The men of the Philippine Golf Tour and PGT Asia set out for back-to-back duels at the demanding Luisita Golf and Country Club in Tarlac beginning tomorrow, all ready and raring to slug it out in two rich tournaments following a month-long break on the two circuits.
Jhonnel Ababa, the last winner at ICTSI Club Filipino de Cebu last month, heads the 80-player field in the P4 million ICTSI Luisita Invitational where five of the nine leg titlists go all out to match Jobim Carlos’ two-title feat in the final leg of this year’s 10-stage PGT put up by ICTSI.
They include Eagle Ridge champion Guido Van der Valk of the Netherlands, Philippine Masters titlist Jerson Balasabas, Del Monte winner Nicolas Paez of the US, Bacolod stop victor Justin Quiban and Ababa. Missing this week’s championship organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. are Korean Kim Joo Hyung, winner at Pueblo de Oro, and Negros leg playoff titlist Juvic Pagunsan.
But aside from the leg winners, the field also features veteran campaigners and upcoming stars due for big win and out to avert a winless season, including former three-time PGT Order of Merit winner Tony Lascuña and reigning OOM champion Clyde Mondilla.
Meanwhile, the CAT (Central Azucarera de Tarlac) Open will be played on Oct. 23-26 with the $100,000 event serving as the sixth leg of the second season of PGA Asia featuring a tough international cast.
Also vying at Luisita Invitational are former leg champions Jay Bayron, Zanieboy Gialon, Rene Menor and Elmer Salvador along with Michael Bibat, Joenard Rates, Charles Hong, Orlan Sumcad, Nilo Salahog, James Ryan Lam and Keanu Jahns.
The other foreign aces joining the title hunt are siblings Qawim and Qazzri Aslimon from Brunei, Aussies Tim Stewart, Nathan Park and Jerram Chudleigh, Americans Andy Kang, Lexus Leoninh and Pete Vilairatana, Koreans Park Jun Sung and Kang Chon Koo, Japanese Taisei Mochita, Rio Mori and Hiroyuki Ono, Spain’s Salvador Paya Vila and Peter Stojanovski of Macedonia.