Del Monte sets out for the 2019 Champion Luzvimin Invitational Golf Tournament with a practically intact crew, eyeing no less than a successful title-retention drive when the event is held May 29-31 at Cebu Country Club in Cebu City.
Martina Miñoza, Leslie Icoy, Kiara Montebon, Saraiah Rheaume and Class B individual winner Sofia Abarcas, who led Del Monte’s runaway triumph over fancied Manila Southwoods-Masters in the centerpiece Diamond division at Taal Splendido last year, are back to anchor the team’s bid in the 54-hole championship organized by the Women’s Golf Association of the Philippines.
Maura Quijano completes the Del Monte roster, which will miss the services of former mainstay Pamela Mariano, now the spearhead of Team Pueblo de Oro in the event sponsored by Champion, which gathers the leading golfing ladies from the country’s top courses.
The Del Monte ladies turned what was expected to be a fierce final round shootout with Southwoods into a victory walk, closing out with an impressive 194 to reclaim the crown they won at Rancho Palos Verdes in 2016 via a whopping 21-point romp.
But Southwoods has toughened up in an attempt to get back at Del Monte and reassert its might in the six-to-play, four-to-count event held under the Molave scoring system, tapping top amateur Laia Barro to backstop a squad made up of Loralie Roberto, Claire Ong, Christine Naidoo, Claudine Garcia and Deanna Samaniego.
Keen competition is also seen in individual play with the flat but tight layout providing a different kind of challenge for the field in all four divisions, including the Emerald, Ruby and Pearl categories of the event backed by Henna, San Miguel Corp., Diamond Motors, Quest Hotel, Cebu Country Club, Ayala Land Premier, Celium Fibre, Derma C, Gothong Lines and Vermogen.