THE Philippine Golf Tour and PGT Asia hold consecutive tournaments at the Luisita Golf and Country Club in Tarlac after a month-long break.
Jhonnel Ababa, winner at ICTSI Club Filipino de Cebu last month, heads the 80-player field in the P4 million ICTSI Luisita Invitational where five of the nine leg titlists go all out to match Jobim Carlos’ two-title feat in the final leg of this year’s 10-stage PGT put up by ICTSI.
The tournament starts on Tuesday.
Eagle Ridge champion Guido Van der Valk of the Netherlands, Philippine Masters titlist Jerson Balasabas, Del Monte winner Nicolas Paez of the US, Bacolod stop victor Justin Quiban and Ababa. Missing this week’s championship organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. are Korean Kim Joo Hyung, winner at Pueblo de Oro and Negros leg playoff titlist Juvic Pagunsan look to score their second wins.
The field also features veteran campaigners and upcoming stars, including Tony Lascuña and last year’s top money earner Clyde Mondilla.
Meanwhile, the Central Azucarera de Tarlac Open will be played from Oct. 23 to 26 with the US$100,000 event serving as the sixth leg of the second season of PGT Asia.
Also vying at Luisita Invitational are former leg champions Jay Bayron, Zanieboy Gialon, Rene Menor and Elmer Salvador along with Michael Bibat, Joenard Rates, Charles Hong, Orlan Sumcad, Nilo Salahog, James Ryan Lam and Keanu Jahns.
The other foreign aces joining the title hunt are siblings Qawim and Qazzri Aslimon from Brunei, Aussies Tim Stewart, Nathan Park and Jerram Chudleigh, Americans Andy Kang, Lexus Leoninh and Pete Vilairatana, Koreans Park Jun Sung and Kang Chon Koo, Japanese Taisei Mochita, Rio Mori and Hiroyuki Ono, Spain’s Salvador Paya Vila and Peter Stojanovski of Macedonia.
A select pro field tests the tight, hazard-laden layout in Monday’s pro-am event where they will be paired with guests and officials of the event’s chief backers, including ICTSI, Custom Clubmakers, Meralco, Champion, Summit Mineral Water, K&G Golf Apparel, BDO, Sharp, KZG, PLDT and M.Y. Shokai Technology, Inc.
Thirteen sponsor invitees are also out to sneak in and contend for the crown, including pro-bound Rupert Zaragosa and fellow amateurs Jolo Magcalayo, Paolo Wong and Aidric Chan.