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LPGT match play to open with marque matchups

MANILA, Philippines – Harmie Constantino and Mikha Fortuna face off in what promises to be a furious battle for ball control and putting as the ICTSI The Country Club Match Play Invitational unfolds Tuesday at the TCC course in Laguna.

Back-to-back winner at Luisita and Villamor in the recently-concluded Ladies Philippine Golf Tour, the top-seeded Constantino is all primed against the title-hungry Fortuna, who narrowly missed a breakthrough victory at South Pacific last September.

But in knockout duels, focus will be on winning individual holes, thus putting more accent on aggressiveness and strategic play in the face of the demanding TCC layout. As contenders navigate the long and exacting course, they must balance assertiveness with caution, given the lurking challenges on every hole, especially with the unpredictable wind conditions.

With a total prize fund of P1.5 million at stake in the ladies division, each duel becomes a crucial battle for supremacy and the quest for an early advantage will be paramount, setting the stage for eight compelling matches in the tournament organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. which features the Top 16 in the Order of Merit rankings after the 10-leg LPGT season.

Top amateur Mafy Singson, already winner of two LPGT titles, including the Valley leg last June, collides with young Korean Seoyun Kim in one of the featured matches at 7 a.m. on No. 10, while Apple Fudolin and Rev Alcantara tangle at 7:08 a.m.

Gretchen Villacencio and Christine Fleetwood mix it up at 7:16 a.m. to be followed by the Pamela Mariano-Lovelynn Guioguio clash at 7:24 a.m., the Chihiro Ikeda-Eva Miñoza match at 7:32 a.m., and the Sarah Ababa-Lucy Landicho collision at 7:40 a.m.

Bisera, meanwhile, hopes to impose her will against amateur Laurea Duque in their 7:48 a.m. battle before Constantino and Fortuna slug it out at 7:56 a.m.

Constantino edged amateur Rianne Malixi in last year’s inaugurals of the event at home at Villamor, pouncing on the amateur ace’s miscue on the 18th to force a play and then winning on the 19th on a clutch chip-in birdie from way out.

But the former national champion is well aware that good fortune alone won’t merit a repeat