JOHN Michael O’Toole of the US and Thailand’s Pasavee Lertvilai head the 38 foreign entries vying for honors in the ICTSI Eagle Ridge Invitational beginning on Wednesday at the Eagle Ridge Golf and Country Club in Gen. Trias, Cavite.
Filipinos swept the first five legs of the region’s newest circuit put up by ICTSI late last year and are keen on keeping their domination with another victory in the 72-hole US$100,000 event (around P5 million) at the Aoki layout.
Lertvilai and O’Toole lost in a playoff to unheralded Rene Menor at PGTA Splendido last September. Lertvilai settled for third at PGTA Wack Wack ruled by Tony Lascuna in November.
Indonesia’s Ian Andrew hopes to take the top spot this time after placing third in the inaugural PGTA leg, the Aboitiz Invitational at Manila Southwoods topped by Miguel Tabuena.
Natchanon Varapornkittirat finished tied for seventh in the CAT Open at Luisita dominated by first-time winner Justin Quiban last December.
The local top guns including PGTA third leg winner at Riviera Clyde Mondilla will be going all out to extend their reign.
Jhonnel Ababa is seeing action along with Jay Bayron, Zanieboy Gialon, Mars Pucay, Orlan Sumcad, Ferdie Aunzo, Marvin Dumandan and Elmer Salvador and young guns Keanu Jahns, Jobim Carlos, Ira Alido and James Ryan Lam.
Aside from Lertvilai and O’Toole, other foreign bets tipped to contend are Dutchman Guido Van der Valk, Indonesia’s Elki Kow, Clement Kurniawan, Andrew Wirawan and Fajarwin Nuryanto, New Zealand’s Hayden Beard, Americans Paul Harris and Jacob Fleck, Australia’s David Gleeson, Dane Mcardle and Andrew Campbell, Singapore’s Choo Tze Huang and Korea’s Park Jung Sung, Lee Sangun and Lee Jae Won.
The next PGT Asia event is set at the Pradera Verde course in Lubao, Pampanga next week.