The country’s top amateurs return to competitive action with the holding of the National Stroke Play Amateur Championship kicking off Jan. 4 at the Legends course of the Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club in Carmona, Cavite.
A 116-player field – 92 in the men’s division and 24 in the women’s side – has been assembled for the 72-hole event marking the resumption of the National Golf Association of the Philippines (NGAP) tournament calendar stalled the past two years by the Covid-19 health crisis.
“It’s going to be a busy schedule for our amateurs barring any more possible serious disruptions from the still existent pandemic as we have lined up events all year-round,” said Bones Floro, secretary general of the NGAP.
Though several of the men’s entries have played in the recent Fil-Am tourney, the Baguio tourney offered limited slots for the championship class and next week’s competition will feature a full-sized field now to include entries from all over the country.
Despite the handicap limit of 8 and below for the men and 12 and below for the ladies, the available slots were snapped up quick and the NGAP even had to request for additional slots from the host club just so more players will be accommodated.
“We wish to tip our hats to Manila Southwoods for giving us their full support for this much-awaited revival of tournament play. This is another showing of their time-tested commitment to talent development,” said Floro.
Both men’s and women’s play will be for 72 holes. There shall be a cut-off after 36 holes, top 50 and ties for men and top 20 and ties for ladies. Ironically, the same event was the last staged by the NGAP before it was halted first due to the eruption of Taal Volcano in January 2020 then the coronavirus crisis wiped out all tournaments for the next 23 months.
Aside from the handicap limits, the NGAP and local government also required vaccination for entry not just for next week but for all its forthcoming events.
The event is part of the PLDT Group National Amateur Golf Tour and is also sponsored by Huawei, MVP Sports Foundation and Manila Southwoods.