TWELVE Japanese players, nine South Koreans and five Australians make up the bulk of the 33-man foreign contingent set to battle it out with the local stars in the ICTSI Anvaya Cove Invitational starting on Wednesday at the Anvaya Cove Golf and Sports Club in Morong, Bataan.
Former Philippine Golf Tour leg winner Toru Nakajima and former Asian Tour campaigner Hirotaro Naito head the big Japanese crew vying for honors in the P3.5 million event, which also drew the likes of Nicolas Paez of the US, Jose Rolz of Guatemala, Peter Stojanovski of Macedonia, Poland’s Thomas Bosco and regular PGT campaigner Guido Van der Valk of the Netherlands.
Jason Dawes, Kingsley Kelly, Rhett McIvor, Frederick Park and Ian Tonumaipe’a head the players from Australia, while Park Jun Sung, Kim Beom Soo and Lee Hyeon Tae lead the big Korean delegation out to make an impact in the circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
Last year’s champion and The Country Club Invitational winner Miguel Tabuena is taking a much-needed break following a grueling five-week campaign here and abroad.
The tournament offers P650,000 to the champion.
“This is going to be a wide-open race but the locals are ready and confident to keep the crown at home,” said PGT top earner Tony Lascuña.
Joining Lascuña in the title hunt in the in the 72-hole championship sponsored by ICTSI are Angelo Que, Clyde Mondilla, Elmer Salvador, Jay Bayron, Cassius Casas, Zanieboy Gialon and Jobim Carlos along with Ferdie Aunzo, Jerson Balasabas, Rufino Bayron, Jun Bernis, Michael Bibat, Marvin Dumandan and Albin Engino.
Anthony Fernando, Mhark Fernando, Charles Hong, Keanu Jahns, Rey Pagunsan, Mars Pucay, Justin Quiban, Joenard Rates, Gerald Rosales and Orlan Sumcad are also seeing action in the event backed by Aboitiz, KZG, Pacsports, Custom Clubmakers, TaylorMade, Sharp, Champion, adidas, Summit Mineral Water, Event Captain, Ping and Yamaha.
The second PGT leg is the ICTSI Manila Masters set April 5 to 8 at the Eastridge Golf Club in Binangonan, followed by the ICTSI Luisita Championship slated April 26 to 29 in Tarlac before the Asian Development Tour’s ICTSI Orchard Golf Championship in Dasmariñas, Cavite from May 10 to 13.