Golf Tour

Korean lass seeks breakthrough at ICTSI Luisita

Kim Seoyun is all fired-up for the Luisita battle, armed with confidence boosted by a second-place effort at Caliraya Springs

Kim Seoyun hopes to feed on her strong runner-up finish at Caliraya Springs in quest of a maiden win on the Ladies Philippine Golf Tour, coming in as one of the tops draws in the ICTSI Luisita Championship unfolding Tuesday (May 9) in Tarlac.

The 19-year-old Korean nearly toppled Pauline del Rosario in the last LPGT stop in Cavinti, Laguna three weeks ago, fighting back from four strokes down in the stretch to pull within one heading to the final hole. But she missed forcing a playoff with a flubbed birdie try, enabling del Rosario to pound out a one-stroke victory while on a break from the Epson Tour.

But going to the P750,000 Luisita Championship, the fourth leg of this year’s Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.-organized circuit. Kim exudes confidence, vowing to dish out her best at the challenging Luisita Golf and Country Club course and against a stellar field headed by Harmie Constantino, Daniella Uy, Chihiro Ikeda, and Pamela Mariano.

“I think it’s a great opportunity to play at Luisita. If I look at my condition now, there is a possibility that I can win,” said Kim.

She also crowded Rianne Malixi in a duel of top amateurs in last year’s Riviera Championship in Silang, Cavite but came up short by two despite a tournament-best, eagle-spiked backside 31 at the exacting Langer course.

Ready for big-time golf, Kim marked her pro debut with a tied-for 23rd finish at Anvaya Cove Ladies International ruled by Bianca Pagdanganan last February then skipped the Visayan swing of this year’s LPGT to toughen up and sharpen her skills for the Caliraya Springs Championship.

She stalked del Rosario and trailed by just one shot after 18 holes, fell by four in the second round but mounted a fightback in the last 18 holes, birdying three of the first five holes then bouncing back from a three-bogey, one-bogey card from Nos. 8 to 12 with three birdies in the last six holes to threaten the eventual ICTSI-backed winner.

Her second runner-up effort also made Kim a lot hungrier coming into this week’s battle, not just of shotmaking and iron play at one of the country’s top championship courses, but also of decision-making.
“Thanks to God’s grace, I was able to finish the Caliraya Championship in second place and it surely bolstered my confidence,” said Kim. “I’m excited to show my skills again at Luisita.”

So do Constantino, Uy, Ikeda, and Mariano, ensuring another down-to-the-wire finish in the 54-hole championship put up by ICTSI, which also features Florence Bisera, Sarah Ababa, Gretchen Villacencio, Apple Fudolin, Rev Alcantara and Korean Yang Juyoung, along with amateurs Laurea Duque and Nam Eunhua, also from Korea.
Completing the cast are Sheryl Villasencio, Eva Minoza, Lovelynn Guioguio, Lucy Landicho, Majorie Pulumbarit, and Kristine Fleetwood.

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