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Friday, July 19, 2024

Van der Valk aims for top golf spot at ICTSI Caliraya

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GUIDO van der Valk is gearing up to leverage his strong start in the first two legs of the Philippine Golf Tour in Davao as he prepares to slug it out with the country’s top pros and rising stars and a host of foreign players in the ICTSI Caliraya Springs Championship slated April 9-12 in Cavinti, Laguna.

The Dutchman is keen on having a swing at the crown after demonstrating remarkable consistency at the beginning of the season, with runner-up finishes at both the Apo Golf Classic and the Rancho Palos Verdes Championship positioning him as one of the standout contenders in the upcoming P2.5 million tournament at Cavinti Springs Golf Club.

Despite a less than stellar performance at last year’s edition of the ICTSI-sponsored event, where he wound up tied for 12th, van der Valk has made a significant impact in 2024, winning the PGT’s flagship tournament, The Country Club Invitational, for the second consecutive year.

While he came up short in Apo, yielding the crown to Jhonnel Ababa via playoff, and finishing four strokes behind Lloyd Go at Palos Verdes, van der Valk is optimistic about his chances against a formidable field, including defending champion Tony Lascuña, on the challenging Arnold Palmer-designed layout.

The competition is intensified with the presence of top players like Ababa, Angelo Que, Clyde Mondilla, Reymon Jaraula, Michael Bibat, Keanu Jahns, Jay Bayron, Nilo Salahog, Rupert Zaragosa, Ira Alido, Randy Garalde and former champion Zanieboy Gialon, all ready for the 72-hole battle at the up-and-down 6,788-yard layout situated 1,200 feet above sea level.

The extreme heat expected during the tournament will be a critical test of endurance and hydration for the players, adding an extra layer of challenge to their quest for the title.

The tournament also highlights the title aspirations of promising young talents, like Sean Ramos, who finished tied seventh finish at Palos Verdes, Aidric Chan, Kristoffer Arevalo, Josh Jorge, Lanz Uy, Ivan Monsalve, Jonas Magcalayo and Ryan Monsalve, who placed fifth at Apo, all vying for supremacy against their more experienced competitors.

Adding international flair to the third leg of this year’s circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournametns, Inc. and supported by PGTI official apparel Kampfortis Golf are Collin Wheeler, Drew Proctor, Min Hyeok Yu, Kang Chonkoo, Tae Won Kim, Daiya Suzui and Hyun Ho Rho.

Others vying in the event, to be held simultaneously with the 54-hole Ladies PGT, are Jobim Carlos, Fidel Concepcion. Marvin Dumandan, Mars Pucay, Elmer Salvador, Ferdie Aunzo, Art Arbole and Gerald Rosales.

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