Eight of the top 15 players in the current Philippine Golf Tour Asia Order of Merit ranking brace for a fierce duel against the best and the brightest of Taiwan PGA as they slug it out in the Daan Taiwan Open beginning Thursday (May 23) at the CCK Golf Club in Taichung.
The $100,000 championship is the first PGT Asia-sanctioned tournament abroad, highlighting its steady rise as one of the emerging circuits in the region. It is actually the first of two PGT Asia events to be played in Taiwan with the Nan Pao TPGA Open also scheduled on Sept. 26-29 at Nan Pao Golf Club in Tainan City.
A third PGTA tournament abroad later in the year is also being finalized.
Burly Namchok Tantipokhakul of Thailand, who edged Finnish Teemu Putkonen in PGTA third season’s kickoff leg at Luisita last month, spearheads the 48-player strong Phl-based field facing a different set of rivals on an unfamiliar turf, a wind-raked layout with wide but tricky fairways and elevated greens, thus putting premium on chipping.
Kammalas Namuangruk, also of Thailand who placed third at Luisita, is also in the fold along with Marcos Pastor of Spain, Singapore’s Choo Tze Huang, Japanese Keita Sudo and fellow Thais Natthapong Niyomchon and Donlapatchai Niyomchon.
Veteran Jay Bayron is the lone Filipino entry in the full packed 144-player roster that also drew bets from the US, Sweden, Australia, Colombia, Scotland, Malaysia, Argentina, South Africa and Korea as multi-titled Tony Lascuña begged off at the last-minute due to hand injury and the likes of Angelo Que and Juvic Pagunsan committed to play in Japan PGA also this week.
Miguel Tabuena, the first PGTA OOM winner in 2017, is competing in the European Tour in Denmark.
Joining the hunt for the top $17,500 purse in the 72-hole championship put up by ICTSI and co-organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. are Thais WIsut Artjanawat, Thammasack Bouahom, Wongsakorn Choowong, Chonlatit Chuenboonngam, Jaturon Duangphaichoom, Pasavee Lertvilai, Nirun Sae-ueng and Panuwat Muenlek, Singapore’s Vikkash Babu, Gabriel Cheok and Deng Shan Koh;
Aussies Jack Lane Weston and Sam Gervinas, South African Luke Trocado, Swede Fredrik From, Malaysian Kai Jei Low, Colombia’s Mateo Gomez and Sebastian Lopez, Charles Lee and Tarik Can of the US and Japanese Keisuke Takahashi, Ikeda Yu and Seiji Yanagisawa.
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