A BUNCH of local shotmakers take aim at the first Solaire Open title but focus will again be on two of the country’s most successful Asian Tour campaigners, a senior tour player who continues to defy Father Time and a teen sensation who has proven his worth against established stars, when the Solaire Open tees off next week at Wack Wack Golf and Country Club.
Angelo Que, a three-time winner on the Asian Tour, and 2011 Order of Merit winner Juvic Pagunsan spearhead the local challenge in the $300,000 event set April 11 to 14.
Frankie Miñoza, winner of last year’s Japan Senior Open and the PGT's TCC Invitational just a couple of months ago, is also among the top favorites along with 18-year-old Miguel Tabuena, who has won several titles in the Philippine Golf Tour.
“The current Philippine field is good and these young kids have no fear. They are very good,” said the 53-year-old Miñoza, a two-time Philippine Open champion, the last in 2007, also at Wack Wack.
Others local aces expected to contend for the top prize of US$54,000 in the event serving as the seventh leg of the Asian Tour are PGT No. 1 Tony Lascuna, and last year’s Asian Development Tour top money earner Jay Bayron.
Que got off to a strong start on the lucrative Asian Tour, finishing joint fourth in Myanmar Open although he went through a minor setback when he missed the cut at the Chiangmai Golf Classic presented by PTT last week.
But the power-hitting Filipino shotmaker remains upbeat about his chances in the tournament also being held as part of the launch of Solaire Resort and Casino at Entertainment City in Pasay City.
“I finished fourth in my first event so it has been pretty good so far. I’m still trying to find four good rounds for the whole week where I will be in contention again,” said Que.
Baek Seuk-hyun of Korea, Arnond Vongvanij of Thailand, Mardan Mamat of Singapore, Tetsuji Hiratsuka of Japan and Rikard Karlberg of Sweden head the cast of international players in the four-day championship sponsored by the Solaire Resort and Casino and supported by the Department of Tourism, Hyundai, Pru Life UK, Nescafé Dolce Gusto, and Omega. Other backers of the event are Holiday Inn Manila Galleria, Johnnie Walker, Asahi Super Dry, Srixon, Panasonic, Canon and PepsiCo.