A BIG and talented local field will try to take the title away from foreign hands for the first time in four years when the MVP Sports Foundation-Philippine Amateur Open championship tees off on Monday at the fabled East course of Wack Wack.
Jobim Carlos and reigning world junior champion Kristopher Arevalo spearhead the locals' bid to wrest the crown away from Singapore’s Jerome Ng in the 72-hole event that is also part of the PLDT Group Amateur Tour and backed by Pancake House, Golf Depot and Pacsports.
Ng, now the Singapore team spearhead, returns to the site of his first career national championship as he seeks a rare repeat while trying to keep the foreign domination going.
In 2012, Gregory Foo, a Singaporean born to a Filipino mother, won the title but will be out for the second straight year as he completes his mandatory military stint for his country.
A year earlier, Wang Jeung-hun dominated at the Riviera in Silang, Cavite as close to a dozen other Korean expats playing out of the same wind-swept layout would now try to duplicate Wang’s feat.
Carlos is the brightest Philippine hope in the absence of the pint-sized Rupert Zaragosa. Coming off a mediocre stint in the Southeast Asian Games last month in Myanmar, Carlos is raring to make amends, so to speak.
“But it will be very difficult because the (East) course is playing so tough, and it was just a practice round,” Carlos said, referring to Friday’s round with some of the other participants.
“Certainly, anything near even-par could do the trick.”