THE Philippine Golf Tour gear up for another grueling southern campaign with a four-leg Visayan swing on tap beginning with the ICTSI Bacolod Golf Challenge on Wednesday at the Bacolod Golf and Country Club.
Negros Occidental Golf and Country Club (Marapara) hosts the next stop for the ICTSI Negros Occidental Classic from Aug. 15 to 18.
The Iloilo Golf and Country Club will next stage the event, the ICTSI Iloilo Golf Challenge, on Aug. 22-25 before the tour goes to Cebu Country Club for the ICTSI Cebu Invitational on Aug. 29-Sept. 1.
Pilipinas Golf Tournaments Inc and the sponsoring ICTSI revived the southern swing with three tournaments in Mindanao in June. Jobim Carlos won the Apo stop, Nicolas Paez of the US upstaged the local aces to snare the Del Monte diadem, while young Korea Kim Joo Hyung posted a record win at Pueblo de Oro, becoming the youngest player at 16 to win on the PGT.
Multi-titled Tony Lascuña is out to snap a long winless run while also seeing action are last year’s top money earner Clyde Mondilla, veterans Elmer Salvador, Ferdie Aunzo, Frankie Miñoza and local hero Robert Pactolerin.
Lascuña edged Guido Van der Valk and Micah Shin in a thrilling playoff when the circuit held its last tournament at the BGCC two years ago. The Dutchman and Korean-American are also playing this week, along with Keisuke Takahashi of Japan, Spain’s Paya Vila Salvador, Koreans Lee Song and Park Jun Sung and Lexus Keoninh of the US.
Jay Bayron and Jhonnel Ababa are also hoping to score a follow-up to their recent PGT Asia victories at Manila Southwoods and Forest Hills, while Carlos hoping to cash in on his good form to go for another victory in the series backed by BDO, KZG, Custom Clubmakers, Meralco, Sharp, Champion, Summit Mineral Water and PLDT.
Others in the field are Philippine Masters champion Jerson Balasabas, Ira Alido, Rufino Bayron, Marvin Dumandan, Albin Engino, Anthony Fernando, Mhark Fernando, Jelbert Gamolo, Zanieboy Gialon, Charles Hong, Keanu Jahns, Reymon Jaraula, Rene Menor, Rey Pagunsan, Mars Pucay, Joenard Rates, Gerald Rosales, Elmer Saban, Orlan Sumcad and Arnold Villacencio.