TARLAC – The Philippine Golf Tour Asia kicks off its second season today (Tuesday, April 17) with a promise of a shootout among a crack international cast right at the start of the $100,000 ICTSI Luisita Championship at the Luisita Golf and Country Club here.
While majority of the foreign cast, led by those who earned their Tour cards in last weekend’s Q-School, hope to sustain their form, the local top guns will be coming into the event fresh from a long break, making them hungry and eager to slug it out with the best of the best.
“It’s been a while since we last played in the Philippine Open. So I think we have a chance here, everybody is raring to go,” said multi-titled Tony Lascuña. “I, for one, am keen on winning again.”
The Solaire Philippine Open at The Country Club last March served as the final leg of the inaugural PGT Asia with Miguel Tabuena edging Thai Prom Meesawat in the playoff to rule the Centennial staging of Asia’s oldest National Open.
Tabuena has begged off to lead the Filipinos’ bid at one of his favorite courses but the likes of Lascuña, Clyde Mondilla and Jhonnel Ababa are more than ready to fill in the slack and take the cudgels for the locals out to extend their domination of the region’s newest circuit sponsored by ICTSI.
Tabuena and Ababa won two legs each while Mondilla, Lascuña, Rene Menor and Justin Quiban accounted for the four other titles in the first season of the circuit put up to raise the level of the Filipino golfers’ games and at the same time make the country a major golfing destination.
But this year’s foreign contingent from at least 17 countries looks formidable with Q-School topnotcher Sattaya Supupramai also tipped to re-display the form that netted him the winning 14-under 274 total at the quaint Robert Trent Jones Sr.-designed layout.
Fellow Thais Sorachut Hansapiban and Itthipat Buranatanyarat, who finished among the Top 5 last week, are also in the fold, along with South African Mathiam Keyser, who placed second to Tabuena here last year, and Dutch Guido Van der Valk, whose victory in last month’s PGT first leg at Eagle Ridge also makes him a top contender for the top $17,500 purse in the 72-hole championship organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
Competition is expected to be fierce with only the top 50 players plus ties from a starting field of 129 advancing to the final 36 holes of the event backed by Custom Clubmakers, Meralco, Champion, Summit Mineral Water, K&G Golf Apparel, BDO, Sharp, KZG, PLDT and M.Y. Shokai Technology, Inc.
Others tipped to contend are John Michael O’Toole and Nicolas Paez of the US, Matt Killen of England, Aussie David Gleeson, Ian Andrew of Indonesia, Peter Stojanovski of Macedonia, Japanese Yuta Sudo and Thai Pasavee Lertvilai, last year’s Q-School topnotcher.
Also vowing to dish out a strong start are local bets Joenard Rates, Michael Bibat, Elmer Salvador, Jay Bayron, Jerson Balasabas, Jobim Carlos, Keanu Jahns, Zanieboy Gialon, Orlan Sumcad, Ira Alido, Marvin Dumandan, James Lam, Mhark Fernando, Ferdie Aunzo and Mars Pucay.
Meanwhile, Riviera will host the second leg of the 10-stage PGTA on May 30-June 2 with Manila Southwoods staging the third tournament on June 5-8 before the circuit moves to Forest Hills on July 11-14, Orchard on Sept. 5-8, Summit Point on Sept. 12-15 before heading back to Luisita on Oct. 17-20 for the Central Azucarera de Tarlac Open. Venues for the last three stages are still being finalized.(pr)
Johnny Arcilla missed slugging it out with fellow Davis Cup mainstay Johnny Arcilla but got the job done just the same, overwhelming Vicente Anasta, 6-0, 6-3. In the men’s singles finals while Marian Capadocia snared the women’s crown in the PPS-PEPP Brookside Hills Open Tennis Championships in Cainta, Rizal last Sunday.
Patrombon, 25, kept the momentum of his 6-1, 6-1 romp over Fritz Verdad in the semifinals, shutting out doubles partner Anasta in the first set then yielding just three games on his way to nailing the crown and pocketing the top purse of P50,000 in the week-long event put up by Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala headed by president/CEO Bobby Castro and backed by Asiatraders Corp., distributor of Slazenger/Dunlop as official ball.
Anasta stood in the way of the projected Patrombon-Arcilla title face-off as the No. 3 bet upended the top-ranked veteran in the Final Four, fashioning out a 6-4, 6-2 victory to earn a crack at the championship.
The 22-year-old Capadocia, on the other hand, needed to toughen up to hold off Clarice Patrimonio, 6-4, 6-4, in their side of the finals of the event sponsored by Rep. Jack Duavit, Mayor Keith Nieto, Vitoria Construction, Pasture to Plate, Feeds Edition, Rublou Mall and Allan del Castillo and supported by Greenrose, St. Louis Realty Corp., board member Gongora, East Electric Construction and Ortigas Hospital.
The third-seeded Capadocia, who came into the event in top form, having won the doubles title with Fatma Al Nabhani in the Manama ITF Women’s Circuit in Bahrain recently, bundled out No. 2 Patricia Velez, 6-1, 6-2, in the semis while the No. 4 Patrimonio stunned top seed Aileen Rogan, 6-1, 6-0.
Arcilla, meanwhile, salvaged the doubles diadem in partnership with sibling Joseph, edging Patrombon and Anasta, 3-6, 7-6(5), 10-5, to claim the top P20,000 purse while Rogan and Bambi Zoleta foiled the Patrimonio sisters, Christine and Clarice, 6-2, 7-6(3), to bag the women’s doubles title worth P15,000.(pr)
Luis Castro and Harmie Constantino turned the final round of the Philippine Junior Amateur Golf Championship into a victory walk as they cruised to lopsided victories despite over-par finishes at the Sherwood Hills Golf Club in Trece Martires, Cavite yesterday.
Castro turned in his worst card of four-over 76, marred by two double-bogeys, but still posted an emphatic 15-stroke victory in the boys’ division with a 291 total, anchored by back-to-back 71s in the first two days that set the tone for his rout of the huge field in the 72-hole tournament organized and conducted by the National Golf Association of the Philippines.
Carl Corpus skied to an 80 but still grabbed the runner-up honors with a 306 as erstwhile second-running Sean Ramos shot himself in the foot with an 87 and slipped to joint third at 311 with Paolo Wong, who carded a 79.
Riggs Illescas made an 81 and wound up fifth at 322 followed by Paolo Barro (79-323), David Guangko (79-328) and Miguel Ilas (85-330) while Masaichi Otake carded a 78 and tied Pierre Ticzon, who fumbled with an 86, at ninth at 334.
Constantino, on the other hand, closed out with a 74 and pooled a 293, beating opening day leader Junia Gabasa by seven for her second straight crown in the PLDT Group National Amateur Golf Tour sponsored by MVP Sports Foundation.
The national team mainstay, who won a tournament in the country’s ladies pro tour in 2016, also dominated the WExpress RVF Cup in Canlubang last February.
Gabasa, who took control in the first day with a 72 but trailed by three after 54 holes, reeled farther back with a 43 start although she recovered with a 35 for a 78 and a 300 total.
Nicole Abelar limped home with a pair of 40s and ended up third at 304 while Sofia Legaspi finished a far fourth at 312 after a 77 and Laurea Duque ballooned to an 81 for a 317.
Aniceto Mandanas carded a third straight 80 and also ran away with the Special Division (18-and-above) crown with a 318 with Aldo Barro finishing with a 351 after an 89 and Sung Yeon Soo of Korea pooling a 372 after a 90.
Korean Jung Jae Hyun also capped his domination of the 12-year-and-below category with a 231 after a 77 with Mikhaella Constantino fumbling with a 91 for a 271 and Jeong Yeaheun pooling a 272 after a 94.(pr)
IOC MARKS INTERNATIONAL DAY OF SPORT FOR DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE WITH MESSAGE OF BRIDGE-BUILDING AND RECONCILIATION
AS THE UNITED NATIONS CELEBRATES TODAY, 6 APRIL, THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF SPORT FOR DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE (IDSDP), THE INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE (IOC) WELCOMES THE DAY WITH ITS OWN MESSAGE OF HOW SPORT CAN HELP TO BUILD BRIDGES AND PROMOTE RECONCILIATION FOR A PEACEFUL AND BETTER WORLD.
The UN talks about sport as a universal language that can be a powerful tool to promote peace, tolerance and understanding by bringing people together across boundaries and cultures. The overarching mission of the IOC is to put sport at the service of humankind. Unlike any other global event, the Olympic Games have the power to bring humanity, and all its diversity, together.
Contributing to building a peaceful and better world through sport is a Fundamental Principle of the Olympic Charter. The IOC cooperates extensively with partners, including NOCs and numerous United Nations agencies, as well as international governmental and non-governmental institutions, on activities and educational initiatives which use sport as a tool for development and social change, contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
At the recent Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, we witnessed the impact of the Olympic spirit on the Korean peninsula. A powerful message of peace driven by sport and athletes was seen at the Opening Ceremony, where teams from the DPRK and the Republic of Korea, separated for decades by a military border, marched side by side; or when their women’s ice hockey players competed together as a unified team.
The intrinsic values found in the Olympic spirit and sport, such as teamwork, fairness, tolerance, discipline and respect for the opponent, as well as the rules of the game, are understood all over the world and can make the impossible, possible.
THE OLYMPIC GAMES SHOWED THE WORLD HOW TO COMPETE PEACEFULLY. THEY SHOWED US THAT, DESPITE ALL OUR DIFFERENCES, IT IS POSSIBLE FOR HUMANKIND TO LIVE TOGETHER IN PEACE, RESPECT AND HARMONY.Thomas BachIOC PRESIDENT
“The power of sport is its universality, it always builds bridges, it never erects walls. Sport has played a fundamental role in creating a bridge between North and South Korea,” said the IOC President. “The Olympic Games showed the world how to compete peacefully. They showed us that, despite all our differences, it is possible for humankind to live together in peace, respect and harmony.”
Sport is an important tool for education, for example it can empower young girls and women and advance gender equality. In March 2018, the IOC released 25 recommendations of the IOC’s Gender Equality Review Project, to provide a solutions-based approach to achieving gender equality on and off the field of play, across all sports organisations in the Olympic Movement. In this year’s Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018, all sports will be fully gender balanced.
As part of it Social Development programme, the IOC is also supporting refugees and displaced people with several specific programmes in cooperation with National Olympic Committees and governments and has created the Olympic Refuge Foundation. One of its aims is to create safe, basic and accessible sports facilities in areas where there are refugees, a displaced migrant population and internally displaced people.
Together with UNHCR, the IOC launched on 13 November 2017 the “Become the Light” campaign on the occasion of the adoption of the Olympic Truce Resolution by the UN General Assembly for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, to bring sustainable, solar powered light solutions to refugee camps. It follows the insight that many refugees in camps have no access to electric lighting, which is important for work, study and play.
The IDSDP, celebrated each year on 6 April, is an opportunity to highlight how sport can not only help unite people and encourage a culture of peace, but can also promote social development, build trust and self-belief, and establish bridges between groups in conflict.
Join the movement at #sport4betterworld and #IDSDP2018!
Visit www.olympic.org/idsdp to learn more about the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace and the IOC’s action on the ground.
Princess Superal hopes to further hone up for the Symetra Tour as she seeks a third straight Ladies Philippine Golf Tour crown in the ICTSI Luisita Ladies Championship beginning Wednesday (April 4) at the Luisita Golf and Country Club in Tarlac.
Superal deferred plans to play in her first Symetra Tour also set this week in California, opting instead to compete here and get better after scoring back-to-back victories in Tagaytay and Riviera last month.
But the field she’s facing in the P1.5 million event sponsored by ICTSI also get tougher with seven Thai aces signing up along with a host of amateurs out to keep a tradition in the country’s premier ladies circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
Former leg winner Saruttaya Ngam-usawan banners the delegation from the country’s perennial regional rival that includes Jaruporn P. Na Ayuttaya, Numa Gulyanamitta, Sarinee Thitiratanakorn, Supakchaya Pattaranakrueang, Thanuttra Boonraksasat and Ananya Vitayakonkomol.
But Superal will also have fellow local aces to contend with, including former three-time Order of Merit winner and fellow Symetra Tour campaigner Cyna Rodriguez and recent Eagle Ridge leg winner Chihiro Ikeda, who is expected to come into the 54-hole tournament in top shape after struggling in the last two legs with a slight hand injury.
Still, focus will be on the 21-year-old Superal, who broke a long LPGT title-spell with a record setting 16-shot victory at Tagaytay Highlands then followed it up with a five-stroke romp at Riviera two weeks ago.
“I feel good and pretty confident of my chances for another crack at the crown,” said Superal. “But the rest have also prepared hard for this during the break, so I expect a tough challenge.”
That could also come from the amateurs who have continuously proved their mettle against the best year-in and year-out, snatching one or two victories each season.
This week’s cast will be led by The Country Club mainstays Mikha Fortuna, Sofia Chabon, Laia Barro, Samantha Dizon and Mafy Singson with Kristine Torralba, Japanese Kelly Marutani and Sharon Park of Canana also in the hunt.
Other backers of the seventh leg of this year’s LPGT are Custom Clubmakers, BDO, Meralco, Sharp, KZGm PLDT, Champion, Summit Mineral Water and K&G Golf.(pr)
The Philippine Junior Amateur Golf Championship kicks off a busy summer schedule for the sport’s future stars with a huge field gearing up for a fierce showdown in the event firing off tomorrow (April 3) at the Sherwood Hills Golf Club in Trece Martires, Cavite.
Paolo Wong and Harmie Constantino headline the cast in their respective divisions with the former tipped to slug it out with the likes of Paolo Barro, Luis Castro, Carl Corpuz, David Guangko, Weiyu Gao, Miguel Ilas, Pierre Ticzon and Joaquin Velez among others.
Constantino, meanwhile, sets out to complete an unfinished business last year when she fell short of her title bid and lost to absentee Yuka Saso. But the many-time national team mainstay will still have her hands full this week with Nicole Abelar, Kayla Nocum, Sofia Legaspi, Junia Gabasa and Weifang Gao also vying in the event featuring the top and rising stars in the 17-and-under age group.
South Koreans Jang Yun Ji, Kang Da Yeon, Kim Seo Young and Baek So Wom are also expected to spoil the locals’ title drive in the four-day championship sponsored by MVP Sports Foundation and held as part of the PLDT Group National Amateur Golf Tour.
Spicing up the event, organized and conducted by the National Golf Association of the Philippines, are the Special Divisions for 18-years-old-and-above to be played over four rounds and 12-years-old-and-below set over 54 holes.
The top 40 players after 36 holes (boys) will advance to the final two rounds while the top 20 in the girls’ division will qualify for the last two rounds.
Others vying in the boys’ division are Cedric Aunzo, Perry Bucay, Santino Diokno, Joaquin Gomez, Liam Harvey, Miguel Ilas, Riggs Illescas, Francis Lanuza, Juan Laurel, James Luguban, Jermaine Melosantos, Masaichi Otake, Sean Ramos, Kristoff Soliven, siblings Delfin and Bernard Trinos and Japanese Gettykane Nakamura.(pr)