JOBIM Carlos hopes to mark his return to Philippine Golf Tour Asia in triumphant fashion as he shoots for a title repeat in the ICTSI Riviera Golf Challenge starting on Wednesday at the Langer layout in Silang, Cavite.
The former national champion edged veteran Tony Lascuña by two at Riviera last year to score his breakthrough win in three years as pro, a victory that sparked his surge in the PGT where he won two tournaments at Apo and in Cebu while turning in five top five finishes to emerge the Order of Merit champion.
“I couldn’t have done it without hard work,” said Carlos of his OOM feat. “It says a lot about my improvement as a player and I think I am more competitive than ever.”
He aims to put on display that fiery form again when he mixes it with his fellow local top guns and a host of foreign bidders also out to make an impact in the second-to-last tournament of the 2018-19 PGTA season.
Carlos vied in the Singapore Open and when Jhonnel Ababa retained his PGTA crown at Pradera Verde last January with the Meycauayan, Bulacan find raring to get another crack at the crown in the $100,000 championship put up by ICTSI and organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
He will be up against a fired-up field priming up for the 101st Philippine Open from April 3 to 6, including top players from Singapore, Thailand, England, Taiwan, the US, Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Venezuela, Macedonia, the Netherlands and Spain.
PGTA leg winners Damien Jordan and David Gleeson of Australia head the foreign challenge along with PGT titlist Nicolas Paez of the US, Thai stalwarts Pasavee Lertvilai, Wisut Artjanawat and Nirun Sae-ueng, PGT winner Guido Van der Valk of the Netherlands, and Americans Brett Munson and Joshua Salah.
The other local aces will be as much tested as Carlos and their foreign counterparts, including Tony Lascuña, who is out to break a long title spell, along with PGTA Southwoods winner Jay Bayron, Phl Masters champion Jerson Balasabas, PGTA CAT Open titlist James Ryan Lam and PGTA Summit Point victory Joenard Rates.
The 50 plus ties after 36 holes will advance to the last two rounds of the event.
Meanwhile, the leading pros will team up with guests and officials of the event’s chief backers ICTSI, Custom Clubmakers, Meralco, K&G Golf Apparel, BDO, Sharp, KZG, PLDT, Empire Golf and Sports and M.Y. Shokai Technology, Inc. in Tuesday’s traditional pro-am tournament.