AT least eight Asian Development Tour leg winners have confirmed participation in the ICTSI Eagle Ridge Invitational teeing off on Wednesday at the Aoki course of the Eagle Ridge Golf and Country Club in Gen. Trias, Cavite.
Thailand’s Panuwat Muenlek, Malaysia’s Wilson Choo and Arie Irawan, Scotland’s James Byrne, Brett Munson and James Bowen of the US, and Japan’s Masaru Takahashi and Mitsuhiko Hashizume headline the field in the 72-hole championship.
The $60,000 Eagle Ridge event is the first of two ADT tournaments sponsored by International Container Terminal Services, Inc. ICTSI, which has backed at least one ADT since 2012, is also the title-sponsor of the Sherwood Hills Golf and Country Club, also a $60,000 event in Cavite from April 22 to 25.
The local aces kept all three ADT crowns at home last year with Elmer Salvador ruling the ICTSI Riviera Classic at Riviera’s Langer course, Rufino Bayron scoring a breakthrough at ICTSI Orchard Championship and Tony Lascuna finally nailing his first victory on the Asian Tour’s farm circuit at the Aboitiz Invitational at Riviera’s Couples layout.
Lascuna, who topped the Philippine Golf Tour money list for three straight years, remains upbeat of the Filipinos’ chances.
“We were able to win all three ADT events last year so I don’t see any reason why we can’t do it again,” said Lascuna. “But it will take a lot of hard work and I hope the other guys will step up.”
Angelo Que, thrice a winner on the Asian Tour who topped the Manila Masters at Eastridge last month, is also among the top local players to watch.
Miguel Tabuena will be also be coming into the event oozing confidence with a victory in the Philippine Golf Tour’s kickoff leg at Splendido and a joint runner-up finish at Eastridge.
Jay Bayron, who topped the 2012 ADT order of merit, is also out to end a long title drought on the circuit while Salvador has always been a formidable player in ADT events, having won three titles.
Other seeing action in the 144-player field in the event backed by Aboitiz, Srixon, Callaway, Empire Golf and Sports Shop, Nike Golf, TaylorMade, Custom Clubmakers, Sharp, Omnisource and Silicon Computer and Telecoms, Inc., are Rufino Bayron, Australia’s Sam Burrell, Singapore’s Reagan Ping, Koh Deng Shan, and Choo Tze Huang, England’s Matthew Tweddell, Matt Kang of Canada, Sweden’s Nils Floren, and Thailand’s Annop Tangkamolprasert and Poosit Supupramai.