STAYING true to its commitment to help Filipinos get in the Olympics in the sport of golf, the Manny V. Pangilinan Sports Foundation (MVPSF) has also thrown its support to the ICTSI Philippine Open set to tee off on May 15.
Ever since it started backing all of the National Golf Association of the Philippines’ amateur events since last year, the MVPSF has not backed down in giving the sport a much-needed shot in the arm and has come in as a major presenter of Asia’s oldest national championship.
The Open, which took a hiatus last year after all the calamities that struck the country, will be an Asian Tour event and will, as usual, be played at the daunting Wack Wack East layout in Mandaluyong.
Mardan Mamat of Singapore, effectively, will be the defending champion and he will be trying to conquer the best in the region and a big number of local aces counting Angelo Que, Antonio Lascuna and the ageless Frankie Minoza.
Incidentally, the MVPSF will also be presenting the Philippine Junior Amateur Match Play championship to be played at posh Alabang Country Club starting Tuesday where Rupert Zaragosa will try to duplicate his 2011 feat of holding the boys and men’s national titles at the same time.
No Filipino has won a foreign-flavored Open since Que pulled it off in 2008 with Jay Bayron and Miguel Tabuena coming close in 2011 and 2012, respectively.
American Berry Henson kept Bayron at bay in one of the most enthralling final round battles of the modern Open era, winning by just a stroke with his improbable birdie on the par-4 seventh hole standing out as the highlight of that day.
The Open will be the second big international golf event in the country this year after the Solaire Open at The Country Club won by Canada’s Richard H. Lee in come-from-behind fashion.