Teener Miguel Tabuena signed up for the ICTSI Camp John Hay Championship unfolding Wednesday at the John Hay Golf Club in Baguio City, upbeat of his chances for a second straight win after a dominating performance in the kickoff leg of the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour.
Tabuena romped off with an eight-shot victory in the ICTSI Sherwood Hills Classic last month and finished joint sixth in the recent Solaire Open at Wack Wack, making him the marked player in the upcoming $2.5 million event organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
But he will be facing a slew of equally talented players, including Dabawenyo Jay Bayron, Mars Pucay, Elmer Salvador and Artemio Murakami and fellow young turks Carl Santos-Ocampo, Charles Hong, Zanie Boy Gialon and Clyde Mondilla, making the chase for the top P450,000 purse wide open.
With its tight fairways and unpredictable putting surface, the up-and-down par-69 layout is also expected to provide the touring pros a different kind of challenge as they vie for top honors in the event sponsored by International Container Terminal Services, Inc.
Marvin Dumandan put on a strong finishing kick to beat Santos-Ocampo to rule the ICTSI John Hay Classic last year, which, however, was played through 54 holes with the PGTI now making it now a four-day championship, one of the eight P2.5 million events in this year’s 16-leg ICTSI PGT calendar.
The other legs offering such top prizes are the ICTSI Orchard Golf Championship on May 22-25, the ADT Aboitiz Invitational in Cebu on July 24-27, the ICTSI Classic at Mt. Malarayat on July 31-Aug. 3, the ICTSI Manila Southwoods Championship on Sept. 4-7, the ICTSI Riviera Classic on Oct. 16-19, and the ICTSI Wack Wack Championship on Nov. 20-23.
The rest of the legs are 54-hole tournaments offering a total prize fund of P1 million each.
The circuit, now on its fifth year, is backed by Nike Golf, Empire Golf and Sports Shop, Mizuno, Titleist, Srixon, Foot Joy, Callaway, Pacsports, Custom Clubmakers, Cleveland Golf and Sharp with Balls, Studio 23, Pinoygolfer.com and Inquirer Golf as media partners.(pr)