KOREA’S Tom Kim hopes to cash in on his familiarity of the course he calls home, while former national champion Rupert Zaragosa headlines the local challenge as the 2018 Philippine Amateur Open Championship gets going on Thursday at the Riviera Golf Club in Silang, Cavite.
Kim hopes to do much better after a seven-stroke setback to Sadom Kaewkanjana last year. The Thai is not seeing action this year.
Aniceto Mandanas and Carl Corpus are also playing, along with Judson Eustaquio, who teamed up with Tonlits Asistio to win the first National Pro-Am crown last October.
Kristoffer Arevalo in in the field with Luis Castro, Aidric Chan, Weiwei Gao, Gab Manotoc, Paolo Wong and Don Petil.
Meanwhile, Hee Ji Kim of Korea braces for a tough battle with local ace and 2016 winner Harmie Constantino in the women’s side after the duo finished second and third, respectively, to Yuka Saso last year.
Also vying for the crown are Nicole Abelar, Annika Cedo, Kristine Torralba, Kayla Nocum, Junia Gabasa, and Annyka Cayabyab and Laurea Duque, both 13.
Last year’s Porter Cup winner Lois Go and Malaysian Junior Open champion Mikha Fortuna are also fancied to figure prominently in the title chase together with Hwang Min Jeong, another Korean who has won a tournament on the Ladies Philippine Golf Tour.
Golfers from Australia, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Canada and the US are also vying for honors in the event organized and conducted by the National Golf Association of the Philippines, sponsored by the MVP Sports Foundation and backed by One Tagaytay Place Hotel Suites.