Sung Hyun Park sets out for a much-awaited local stint before an expected big gallery eager to get a glimpse of her world-class skills she displayed in beating the best of the best in the Women’s World Championship Sunday as she top-bills the $100,000 The Country Club Ladies Invitational unfolding Wednesday in Laguna.
And there is no fitting time to drum up the biggest, richest event on the Ladies Philippine Golf Tour than the world No. 2’s stirring come-from-behind victory in Singapore where she battled back from four strokes down off world No. 1 Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand then edged Aussie Minjee Lee by two on a closing 64 for a 273.
“I didn’t think I would win this fast ... I think I will play really comfortable the rest of my season,” said Park, who vowed to emerge as world No. 1 at the end of the season after signing a two-year sponsorship deal with Solaire Resort & Casino two weeks ago.
The two-time Major champion is actually the hands-down pick to win the inaugural TCC Ladies and her presence and victory further lend prestige and honor to the 54-hole championship put up by ICTSI which features some of the leading players on the LPGA of Taiwan (TLPGA) and the best local shotmakers.
She tests the long, wind-raked TCC layout in today’s (Tuesday) pro-am tournament where she and a select group of pros team up with the guests and officials of the event’s chief backers. She will then rush to the Solaire Casino & Resort to grace the press conference at 6 p.m.
Meanwhile, amateur Yuka Saso is expected to bolster the Philippine side’s campaign in the event also serving as the third leg of the TLPGA, bringing with her a game enhanced by pro stints and marked by a number of victories here and abroad.
While opting to downplay her chances against a stellar pro field, the Fil-Japanese hopes to get the most of her rare invite to such a major tournament organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc..
“I never gave it a thought of playing here but I’m very happy to receive an invitation,” said Saso. “I’ve seen Park play at the ANA Inspiration and she hits it very well and I hope to be able to learn from her.”