MANILA, Philippines — Back on the very site of one of her biggest amateur triumphs, Abby Arevalo looks ready and eager for a reprise of her feat three years ago – not just to get back at fancied Princess Superal but also to nail a breakthrough victory just two tournaments into her pro campaign.
The San Jose State U product finished second to Superal in the first of two Ladies Philippine Golf Tour bubble tournaments, the ICTSI Riviera Invitational Challenge at the Couples course three weeks ago. But the ICTSI Riviera Championship unfolding Tuesday (Dec. 8) evokes warm memories for the rising star who spiked a brilliant amateur career with a thrilling victory at Riviera's Langer course three years ago.
"Anything can happen at Langer, which is my favorite course in the country. I definitely have a lot of confidence playing it,” said Arevalo, who birdied No. 18 to nip then brand-new pro Pauline del Rosario by one and snare the LPGT Riviera crown in 2017, joining the elite roster of amateurs who have won in the country’s premier ladies circuit.
“I’ve never been so excited to come back and play Langer again. I know the course well. I won my first pro event as an amateur at Langer and I’m not afraid to do it again,” said the 2020 Philippine Ladies Open runaway champion.
She, however, won’t disclose what she believes are factors to consider in tackling the dreaded par-71 layout where dangers lurk practically in every corner but said: “My plan is to play my own game and manage my shots well.”
Like the rest of the bidders in the P400,000, 54-hole championship put up by ICTSI, Arevalo has opted to downplay her chances but stressed her desire and determination to emerge on top on Thursday.
“I got no expectations but I know I have the ability and competence to win,” she said.
But Superal is likewise brimming with confidence, vowing to go all-out for a sweep of the two LPGT tournaments in the pandemic-hit season while the likes of Pauline del Rosario, Chanelle Avaricio, Chihiro Ikeda, Marvi Monsalve, Cyna Rodriguez and Gretchen Villacencio are all geared up for a three-day test not only of shotmaking but also endurance at the up-and-down, long ravine-laced layout.
That should guarantee a fitting ending to LPGT's restart in new normal after an eight-month hiatus due to the global health crisis.
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