ASIDE from Chihiro Ikeda, there's another rising golf star from Davao City who is quietly making a name for herself in the country's junior golf scene.
Meet Sarah Jane Ababa, the 15-year-old sensation who is following the footsteps of Ikeda and her more illustrious relatives in aspiring for glory in the fairways.
She's still young, but Ababa had already won three tournaments abroad--two in the US and one in Malaysia--which is a manifestation of how good this girl from a golfing family is.
"I just play my game every time I compete. Fortunately, I win sometimes," said the unassuming young golfer in Filipino during a recent interview with Sun.Star Davao.
Despite her success, Ababa said she has a lot to do to improve her game, especially her swing and putting.
"I have an inconsistent swing and I want this corrected," said Ababa, whose father Edgardo Ababa is a professional golfer who once joined the national golf circuit.
The younger Ababa said she hopes to emulate 18-year-old Ikeda, who has so far registered a good number of victories for the country abroad, including in the 25th Southeast Asian Games in Laos last year where the Filipino-Japanese won two golds for Team Philippines.
"She's really good and I would like to be like her," Ababa said of her friend Ikeda. Ababa and Ikeda are both International Contaioner Terminal Services Incorporated (ICTSI) mainstays who spent the holidays with their familes in their hometown Davao City.
Ababa won her first international crown when she ruled the 44th Penang Amateur Open a commanding 12 strokes at the Bukit Jawi Golf Resort in Malaysia in 2008. She then followed this up with two victories at the Future Collegians World Tour (FCWT) event last year--in New Mexico and Florida.
At the New Mexico leg, Ababa topped the 13-18 girls division title with a 36-hole total of 142, two shots up on her closest rivals.
Ababa, together with Ikeda, flew back to Manila last week to resume her campaign this year both in local and abroad where she hopes to come up with another fine performance for her country.
"I will train very hard to be competitive. I'm working to improve on my game," Ababa assured.