DUTCHMAN Guido Van der Valk and seven other foreign bets try to steal the show from the local pros as the new season of the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour tees off with the Sherwood Hills Classic on Wednesday in Trece Martirez, Cavite.
Van der Valk topped the PGT Qualifying School at Splendido two weeks ago, leading a 1-2-3 finish by foreign bets in the 72-hole eliminations and will head to this week’s P2.5 million event in top form and oozing confidence.
He will be joined by No. 3 Toru Nakajima of Japan, Phil Cho, Wooram Suh, Park Jun Song, Micah Shin, Jung Hanmil and Byron Cho in the tournament sponsored by International Container Terminal Services, Inc. and organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
The pros test the layout in Tuesday pro-am tournament as they team up with guests and officials of the event’s chief backers, including ICTSI, Sharp, Nike Golf, Callaway, Titleist, Custom Clubmakers, Mizuno, Cleveland Golf and Foot Joy. Other supporters of the circuit are Event Captain, Inc., Omnisource Inti’l. TPGAP and media partners Balls, A Round of Golf, Inquirer Golf, Studio 23 and Pinoygolfer.com.
Custom Clubmakers is also putting up a P50,000 prize for the “Custom Clubmakers Player of the Year,” the pro with the most number of wins after the 17-leg season.
Frankie Miñoza, Jay Bayron, Mars Pucay, Cassius Casas, Artemio Murakami and Miguel Tabuena banner the local field in the Sherwood Classic, won by Elmer Salvador the last two years.
Salvador and several fellow Asian Tour campaigners, however, will not be around as they are set to compete in the $2.3 million Malaysian Open set to start Thursday.
Others in the cast are last year’s leg winners Zanie Boy Gialon, Charles Hong and Carl Santos-Ocampo, with Michael Bibat, Ferdie Aunzo and former Philippine Open champion Gerald Rosales.