THE Solaire Philippine Open unwraps on Thursday with former champions Marcus Both of Australia, Singapore’s Mardan Mamat and home bet Angelo Que heading the cast.
The first time the TCC hosted a premier event after undergoing a two-year renovation, it yielded a baffling 13-over 301 winning total three weeks ago, posted by Miguel Tabuena, also a Philippine Open winner.
“The wind had been unpredictable the past few days but we’re expecting it to whip up during the weekend,” said Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. and TCC general manager Colo Ventosa, who believes that with a talented international field, an under-par winning total can be achieved.
“I really cannot tell. Hopefully, it won’t be as over as the TCC Invitational. I think an under-par score can be done since there are several strong hitters from among the foreigners,” said Ventosa, who also expressed hopes locals will be able to hold their own against the foreign field.
“I think Angelo (Que) has a chance based on his performance at Anvaya recently,” she added, referring to the three-time Asian Tour winner’s solid stint at the ICTSI Anvaya Cove Invitational where he routed the elite field and won by nine in Bataan.
But the TCC layout could be much tougher, measuring up to 7735 yards, and the wind expected to provide a true test of golf.
“I think course management is premium to win this tournament. They have to play their game and strike when the opportunity presents itself,” said Ventosa.
The winner gets US$72,000 (around P3.6 million) from the $400,000 pot in the event sponsored by Solaire Resort and Casino and held in cooperation with Meralco and PLDT.
Some of the players get to test the TCC in Wednesday’s pro-am where the leading pros will be paired with officials and guests of the event’s chief backers, including Pioneer Insurance, Lexus, BDO, Sharp, Custom Clubmaker, KZG, Empire Golf and Titleist.