THE new ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour season features 16 tournaments, including seven P2.5 million events, starting with next week’s Sherwood Hills Classic in Cavite.
Veteran Frankie Minoza and teener Miguel Tabuena heads the field in the P450,000 ICTSI Sherwood Classic set March 20 to 23, the first of seven 72-hole championships lined up by the organizing Pilipinas Golf Tournaments Inc. and chief backer International Container Terminal Services, Inc.
Minoza is coming off a big win at The Country Club Invitational, the unofficial kick-off leg of the circuit where the former two-time Philippine Open champion bested the cream of the country’s crop, including brothers Rufino and Jay Bayron in a playoff to clinch the coveted crown.
Tabuena, winner of two legs last year, will be joined in the hunt by Jhonnel Ababa, Jessie Balasabas, Jun Bernis, Cassius Casas, Marvin Dumandan, Mhark Fernando, Anthony Fernando, Charles Hong, Zanieboy Gialon, Clyde Mondilla, Artemio Murakami, Mars Pucay, Carl Santos-Ocampo and the Bayron brothers.
Custom Clubmakers, one of the chief backers of the circuit, will award P50,000 to the “Custom Clubmakers Player of the Year,” the pro with the most number of wins at the end of the season.
The leading pros will test the wind-raked hazard-laden Sherwood Hills in the traditional pro-am tournament on March 19 where they will team up with amateur partners from the event’s supporters, including ICTSI, Sharp, Nike Golf, Callaway, Titleist, Custom Clubmakers, Mizuno, Cleveland Golf and Foot Joy with support from Event Captain, Inc., Omnisource Inti’l. TPGAP and media partners Balls, A Round of Golf, Inquirer Golf, Studio 23 and Pinoygolfer.com.
The ICTSI PGT, launched in late 2008 with a four-leg tournament, has blossomed to become the country’s premier pro tour in PGTI’s effort to further develop pro golf in the country. PGTI also supports the Filipino golfers through exposure in regional and international tournaments.
The Solaire Open will host the next leg on April 11-14 at Wack Wack, with the rich event held in conjunction with the grand opening of the Solaire Resort and Hotel at Entertainment City in Manila. It also serves as a leg on the Asian Tour.
Baguio will stage the third leg on April 24-27 for the ICTSI Camp John Hay Championship, now a four-day tournament, before action shifts to Batangas for the ICTSI Calatagan Challenge, a 54-hole event, on May 8-10.
The ICTSI Orchard Golf Championship is set May 22-25 followed by The Duel (North vs South) at Alabang (June 5-7), ICTSI Rancho Palos Verdes Classic (June 25-28), ICTSI Del Monte Championship (July 2-5), ICTSI Pueblo de Oro Championship (July 10-12), ADT Aboitiz Invitational in Cebu (July 24-27), ICTSI Classic at Mt. Malarayat (July 31-Aug. 3), ICTSI Tagaytay Midlands Challenge (Aug. 28-30), ICTSI Manila Southwoods Championship (Sept. 4-7), ICTSI Splendido Classic (Oct. 9-11), ICTSI Riviera Classic (Oct. 16-19), ICSI Canlubang Golf Invitational (Nov. 13-15) and the ICTSI Wack Wack Championship (Nov. 20-23).