DEFENDING champion Len Wen Tang of Taiwan is all set to defend the crown as the $300,000 2nd Solaire Open Golf Championship unfolds at The Country Club course in Canlubang, Laguna.
Len admitted the difficulties playing at TCC, describing it as challenging with its tough and long course.
“The TCC is tough and longer. It is very challenging for me. But I’m here to defend the title,” said Len in a press conference on Thursday.
Some 120 top players from 24 countries in Asia and the rest of the World including the country’s top 40 in the local tour are seeing action in the tourney, which is being held as part of the second year celebration of Solaire Hotel and Resort.
Angelo Que and Frankie Minoza lead a cast of Filipino golfers, who join in the hunt for the top purse in the first leg of the Philippine Tour and third leg in the Asian Tour. They will challenge a cast of international field that include Thailand’s Arnond Vongvanij, Singaporean veteran Mardan Mamat, highly rated Baek Seuk-hyun of South Korea and Thai veteran Prayad Marksaeng.
Other foreigners in the rich Solaire Open are Anirban Lahiri of India, Nicholas Fung of Malaysia, Siddikur Rahman of Bangladesh, Taiwan’s Lu Wei-Chih, Japan’s Masahiro Kawamura, Thai Chawalit Plaphol, Korean Lee In-woo, American David Lipsky and Aussie Kiera Pratt.
Que, however, said that familiarity of the course having won three times at the TCC is a big advantage.
Also vying for the top honor are Elmer Salvador, Miguel Tabuena, Jay Bayron, Mhark Fernando, Michael Bibat, Frankie Minoza, Mars Pucay, Jhonnel Ababa, Jessie Balasabas, Charles Hong, Gerald Rosaels, Marvin Dumandan, Jun Bernis and Anthony Fernando
The event also sponsored by Solaire Resorts and Casino and supported by DMCI Homes, BDO, PLDT and Meralco, will also has Cassius Casas, who hopes to grab the limelight on his return to form. He won over an elite local field last month at the TCC.
Reigning back-to-back ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour Order of Merit champion Tony Lascuña is also one the hot favorites among the local bets.