THAILAND’s Pasavee Lertvilai and Indonesia’s Ian Andrew try to end a string of heartbreak finishes on the Philippine Golf Tour Asia as they head 41 other foreign players in the Central Azucarera de Tarlac Open starting on Wednesday at the Luisita Golf and Country Club in Tarlac.
Lertvilai blew his first shot at a PGTA crown with a playoff loss to unfancied Rene Menor at Splendido last September and lost steam in a final round duel with Zanieboy Gialon and Justin Quiban at Wack Wack two weeks ago.
Andrew, on the other hand, slugged it out with the country’s top shotmakers Miguel Tabuena and Angelo Que for three days, only to fade in the final day and finish third in the PGTA kickoff leg at Manila Southwoods last August.
Wisut Artjanawat, James Bowen, Paul Harris and Lexus Keoninh of the US and Australians Andrew Campbell, Rick Coleman and Daniel Morgan are also seeing action in the US$100,000 event (around P5 million).
Wack Wack winner Tony Lascuña eyes a second straight win, leading other top locals vying for the top prize of US$17,500 (around P840,000).
A select group of pros will test the par-72 course one last time in Tuesday’s pro-am tournament where they will be grouped with amateurs and guests of the event’s chief backers, including Custom Clubmakers, Meralco, Champion, Summit Mineral Water, K&G Golf Apparel, BDO, Sharp, KZG, PLDT and M.Y. Shokai Technology, Inc.
Ninety-nine players from 17 countries are entered in the event capping the PGTA five-leg calendar for the year.
Other local players tipped to contend are Zanieboy Gialon, Jay Bayron, Elmer Salvador, Michael Bibat and Jhonnel Ababa along with Jobim Carlos, Ira Alido, Keanu Jahns and Quiban.