ELMER Salvador is skipping the Indonesian Masters to see action in the Philippine Golf Tour’s P3 million ICTSI Sherwood Hills Classic against some of the top local shotmakers starting on Wednesday at the Sherwood Hills Golf Club in Dasmariñas, Cavite.
Fifth in the PGT Order of Merit, Salvador is out to snap a nine-month winless spell on the local circuit and the absence of four other big guns has made it more appealing for the Davaoeno golfer to resume his title quest here than abroad.
“Medyo ’di pa maayos ang palo pero siyempre malaking bagay din ung pagkawala ng ibang magagaling,” said Salvador, who was originally set to join Tony Lascuna, Miguel Tabuena, Angelo Que and Cassius Casas in the Asian Tour event in Indonesia but pulled out at the last minute due to lack of practice.
“Pero marami pa ding magagaling kaya kahit sino pwedeng manalo dito, lalo na ung mga malalakas pumalo,” said Salvador, joint third in the last leg at Eagle Ridge won by Lascuna.
The big-hitting Orlan Sumcad, meanwhile, underscored his readiness to vie for the top prize of P650,000 when he ruled the traditional pro-am tournament on Tuesday. Sumcad and amateur teammates Manny Alarilla, Sunny Donato and Alex Ryu pooled a 55 and nipped Jay Bayron and teammates Nila Patricio, Oscar Patricio and Ed Abesamis in the countback.
Veteran Canadian campaigner Rick Gibson took third place with Shin Paul Chan, Joel Jose and Yuichiro Nakanishi with a 59.
Jun Rates, winner at John Hay, hopes to spring a surprise again this week although the 5-foot-3 shotmaker will need to double his effort, especially off the tee to be able to set up good opportunities for his iron shots on the long layout.
Others fancied to contend for the crown in this fourth leg of the circuit sponsored by International Container Terminal Services, Inc. and organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc., are Frankie Minoza, Marvin Dumandan, Rey Pagunsan, Carl Santos-Ocampo, Rufino Bayron, Jhonnel Ababa, Ferdie Aunzo, Jessie Balasabas, Dante Becierra, Michael Bibat, Rico Depilo, Mhark Fernando, Anthony Fernando, James Ryan Lam and Mars Pucay.
Dumandan looks to go all the way to the top this time after hitting a final round 64 to finish second to Lascuna at Eagle Ridge two weeks ago.
“Sana nga ma-sustain ko ung laro ko sa Eagle Ridge. Kailangan na ding manalo uli,” said Dumandan, fourth place in the Order of Merit in the series also backed by Nike Golf, Custom Clubmakers, Titleist, Cleveland, Pacsports, Srixon, Callaway, Sharp and FootJoy and media partners Balls TV and ABS-CBN.