Centennial Philippine Open offers biggest prize fund in history at The Country Club
NGAP president Caloy Coscolluela, NGAP treasurer and MVP Sports Foundation president Al Panlilio, PGTI GM Colo Ventosa and 1990 champion Robert Pactolerin hold the huge chip symbolic of the Solaire Philippine Open. Others in photo are local aces Jay Bayron and Tony Lascuña. Clems dela Cruz

THE Solaire Philippine Open holds its 100th edition on February 28 at The Country Club in Sta. Rosa, Laguna with the biggest pot money in the history of Asia's oldest golf tournament.

A total of US$600,000 will be at stake for the centennial Philippine Open, the biggest pot in the history of Philippine golf, according to Pilipinas Golf Tournament Inc. general manager Colo Ventosa in a press conference on Tuesday at Solaire's Waterside Restaurant.

“The Philippine Open is set to become a game-changer not only in national golf but in global golf as well,” said Ventosa. “It’s a culmination of many factors that will make it exciting.”

Englishman Steve Lewton returns to defend the 2017 crown that he won in a playoff. He will be facing a crack field of at least 128 players that is expected to include former winners Miguel Tabuena, Frankie Minoza, Angelo Que, and Robert Pactolerin as well as Jay Bayron, and Tony Lascuna.

Other returning champions in the field are 2014 and 2012 winners Marcus Both of Australia and Mardan Mamat of Singapore.

“We thank the National Golf Association of the Philippines, and the Pilipinas Golf Tournament Inc. for the opportunity to be part of this milestone in Philippine golf,” said Solaire Resorts and Casino president and chief operating officer Thomas Arasi.

The tournament is also supported by Meralco and the MVP Sports Foundation.

While foreign players dominated the last five editions of the event (there were no Opens in 2013 and 2016), NGAP treasurer and MVP Sports Foundation president Al Panlilio said he hopes a Filipino wins the coveted crown this year.

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