The 2018 Solaire Philippine Open is offering the biggest total prize in its history to draw top caliber golfers from the Asian Tour as well as international and local players to the oldest golf tournament in Asia.
To be held from February 28 to March 3 at The Country Club in Sta. Rosa City, Laguna, the centennial edition of the Philippine Open has put up a total cash prize of $600,000.
Defending champion Steve Lewton will be returning to defend his crown against top foreign and local players in the 72-hold championship, which serves as the eighth and final leg of the Philippine Golf Tour Asia.
“We are looking for a very exciting tournament now that the Philippine Open is celebrating its 100th year. This is a game changer for golf in the country,” said Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. General Manager Colo Ventosa during a news conference on Tuesday at the Waterside at Solaire Resort and Casino.
Besides Lewton, other players vying for the top honors are former champions Mardan Mamat of Singapore, Marcus Both of Australia, and Filipino winners Miguel Tabuena (2015) and Frankie Miñoza (1988 and 2007).
Top local golfers Juvic Pagunsan, Tony Lascuna, Jay Bayron, and 1990 Philippine Open champion Robert Pactolerin are also competing in the four-day tournament organized by the National Golf Association of the Philippines.
“We are supporting in a big way and we would like to make it the biggest tournament to be held in the Philippines especially on its 100th year,” said Alfredo Panlilio, Senior Vice President and Head of Customer Retail Services and Corporate Communications of Meralco, one of the tournament’s backers.
“We feel that Philippine golf should be improving and it can only be done if we support the sport. We want to give opportunities for our golfers to improve, to be exposed, and make them better,” he added.