Rupert Zaragosa hopes to flash his familiarity with the Canlubang layout again as he guns for a rare three-peat in the 21st W Express RVF Cup Amateur Golf Championship unfolding Tuesday, Feb. 9 at the North Course of the sprawling golf complex in Laguna.
The diminutive shotmaker actually seeks to recover from a so-so campaign in the Philippine Amateur Stroke Play Championship last month where he struggled to finish seventh with a strong performance next week although he would facing a crack field toughened up by the presence of a number of Koreans and Japanese players out to spoil the local bets’ bid.
Zaragosa nipped Andres Saldaña by two to annex his first W Express RVF title in 2014 then held off Korean Kim in Jae last year to retain the championship sponsored by W Express and held in honor of the late Rod Feliciano, a long-time golf patron who also served as president of the organizing National Golf Association of the Philippines.
Others expected to see action in the 72-hole event, serving as part of the PLDT Group National Amateur Golf Tour and sponsored by the MVP Sports Foundation, Smart, PLDT and Metro Pacific Investment Corp. and Canlubang Golf and Country Club, are Koreans Kang Dong Guk, Jeong Hwi Gyeong, Lee Geon and Jun John along with Koji Yasuma and Ryu Yasuma of Japan, Indonesian Kevin Akbar and local bets Justin Quiban, Raymart Tolentino, Jelbert Gamolo, Ira Alido, Kristoffer Arevalo, Wei Wei gao and Carlo Villaroman.
Choi Ye Rim bested the local aces to snare the women’s crown last year although the Korean has yet to signify her intention to defend her crown in the 54-hole tournament.
But reigning national champion Harmie Constantino is tipped to headline the cast along with Koreans Jang Yun Ji, Yang Ju Young and Hyun Ji Rho, Indonesian Rivan Sihotang, and local bets Isabela Miravite, Kristine Torralba, Ashia Nocum, Junia Gabasa. Weifang Gao and reigning Thailand Juniors champion Yuka Saso, with a host of others expected to join, guaranteeing a wide open chase in the distaff side of the event conducted by NGAP.