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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

PH Golf Tour kicks off 10th season at Eagle Ridge

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THE Philippine Golf Tour marks its first decade at the Eagle Ridge Golf and Country Club tomorrow (Wednesday) with a stellar cast, including 26 foreign bets, aiming for a big start in the P2.5 million ICTSI Eagle Ridge Challenge at ERGCC’s Faldo course.

Korean Lee Song, who topped the recent PGT Qualifying Tournament, and Thai Itthipat Buranatanyarat, who bested a tough international field at the nearby Sherwood Hills Golf Club in 2015, loom as the top contenders in the 72-hole championship kicking off the 12-stage circuit sponsored by ICTSI.

They will be joined by Australian Tim Stewart, Great Britain’s Joshua Grenville-Wood, Koreans Park Min Ung and Park Jun Hyeok, and Keisuke Takahashi and Yuta Suto of Japan, who all finished in the Top 10 in the 72-hole Q-School at Splendido.

But the local aces are expected to step up and start the new season on a high note with reigning PGT Order of Merit winner Clyde Mondilla heading the challenge along with fellow inaugural PGT Asia leg winners Jhonnel Ababa, Justin Quiban, Rene Menor and Tony Lascuña, also the winner here in 2016.

Veterans Jay Bayron, Michael Bibat, Marvin Dumandan, Frankie Miñoza, Mars Pucay, Orlan Sumcad and Elmer Salvador along with young guns Jobim Carlos and Ira Alido are also tipped to contend in the event organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.

ICTSI revived the pro circuit in 2009 and expanded its support by launching the country’s first ladies tour in 2013. Last year, the leading global port management company also put up the PGT Asia aimed at developing the local pros’ games, luring more foreign players and making the Philippines a leading international golfing destination.

Other regular foreign PGT campaigners are Nicolas Paez of the US, Peter Stojanovski of Macedonia and Manila-based Dutchman Guido Van der Valk, who is coming off a third place finish in last week’s Solarie Philippine Open won by Miguel Tabuena via playoff over Thai Prom Meesawat.

Mondilla captured three legs in last year’s PGT, including the revival of the Philippine Masters, to clinch his first OOM crown. But the rising Bukidnon star had struggled of late, sharing 24th place in The Country Club Invitational two weeks ago and winding up tied for last in last week’s Solaire Philippine Open, also at TCC.

From Eagle Ridge, action in the circuit, backed by Custom Clubmakers, Meralco, Champion, Summit Mineral Water, K&G Golf Apparel, BDO, Sharp, KZG, PLDT and M.Y. Shokai Technology, Inc, shifts to Eastridge Golf Club for the ICTSI Manila Masters on April 25 in Binangonan, Rizal.




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