THE Philippine Golf Tour’s million Sherwood Hills Classic fires off next week, with the country’s top players battling it out for the P650,000 top prize in Dasmarinas, Cavite.
Four of the country’s top shotmakers will not be joining the title hunt as they see action in the Asian Tour’s Indonesian Masters, but the field remains formidable with seven of the top 10 players on the PGT money list seeing action.
Jay Bayron, winner of the season opener at Splendido in Tagaytay, and John Hay champion Jun Rates head the 81-player field that includes Canada’s Rick Gibson, Dutchman Guido Van der Valk and Koreans Park Jin Hyelon and Park Jun Song.
Angelo Que, a three-time winner on the Asian Tour, will vie for honors in Indonesia along with Tony Lascuna, Elmer Salvador and Miguel Tabuena.
The Sherwood leg, set April 23 to 26, is the first of four legs on the 16-stage circuit offering a prize pot of P3.5 million, followed by the Manila Masters set June 17 to 20 at Eastridge Golf Club in Binangonan, Rizal and the Pilipinas Invitational at the Manila Southwoods from Sept. 3 to 6.
The season-ending ICTSI Tournament Players’ Championship from Nov. 12 to 15 at Wack Wack also has a P3.5 million purse.
After Sherwood, the circuit sponsored by International Container Terminal Services, Inc. and organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. holds the ICTSI Valley Golf Challenge, a P2 million event, from May 7 to 10 at the Valley Golf Club in Antipolo.
The third edition of The Duel, pitting the top players from Luzon against those from Visayas and Mindanao, will be held May 20 to 23 at the Cebu Country Club in Cebu City. Alabang Country Club hosted the first two Duels.
Others seeing action at Sherwood are Jhonnel Ababa, Ferdie Aunzo, Jessie Balasabas, Dante Becierra, Michael Bibat, Rico Depilo, Mhark Fernando, Anthony Fernando, James Ryan Lam, Rey Pagunsan and Mars Pucay.
The leading pros test the layout in the traditional pro-am on Tuesday along with their amateur partners from the event’s chief backers, including Nike Golf, Custom Clubmakers, Titleist, Cleveland, Pacsports, Srixon, Callaway, Sharp and FootJoy and media partners Balls TV and ABS-CBN.