Cashing in on the success of the men’s and ladies circuits of the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour (PGT), the Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. (PGTI) goes global with the launch of Asia’s newest pro golf league, the PGT Asia Tour (PGTA).
“We are being true to our vision and long term commitment to make the Philippines a leading international golfing destination,” said Enrique K. Razon Jr., chairman and president of PGTI and PGT chief sponsor International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI). “The PGTA will also further develop the game of our local pros. As we go global, we make Philippine golf thrive even further,”
The staging of the PGT Asia Tour comes eight years after the PGTI firmed up PGT’s stature as Southeast Asia’s largest national circuit.
The PGTI has been staging international tournaments such as the recent Solaire Philippine Open and select regionally sanctioned legs of the PGT and Ladies PGT. The need to further grow Phl golf and the positive feedback from foreign players, especially on how Filipinos organize and host tournaments, paved the way for the establishment of the PGTA.
“We hope to develop the game of our local golfers and produce more Miguel Tabuenas, Antonio Lascuñas, Clyde Mondillas and the like. We also expect the PGTA to provide a welcome boost to the country’s golf tourism sector since golfers from various countries are expected to draw with them an influx of their own fans,” said Razon.
To initially promote the PGTA to international players, PGTI launched an online campaign in promoting the PGTA Qualifying School on August 9 to 12 at the Luisita Golf and Country Club in Tarlac. The top 80 players after 36 holes will advance to the final two rounds with the top 60 plus ties gaining cards on the new regional circuit.
The first seven legs of the inaugural season offer a US$100,000 prize fund each and a minimum of US$300,000 for the eighth event. In 2018, a total of US$1.7 million will be staked and in 2019 US$2 million with plans to further increase the purse in the future.
An additional 10 events for each of the next two years are also being finalized and talks to hold future legs in other parts of Asia, particularly Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia, are also ongoing.
“We intend to level up the ante of Asian golf through the PGTA. As we help thrive Philippine golf, we cascade the same support to our Southeast Asian neighbors by having PGTA legs in ASEAN countries,” said Razon.
The PGTA will kick off with the Aboitiz Invitational on August 15 to 18 at the Manila Southwoods followed by Luisita on September 6 to 9 for the Central Azucarera de Tarlac Open and the ICTSI Riviera Championship on September 13 to 16.
The ICTSI Wack Wack Challenge will be held on November 15 to 18 at WW East with Splendido Taal hosting the next stop on November 29 to December 2. Still to be determined are the venues for the seventh leg set December 6 to 9 and the eighth leg scheduled early next year.
The initial circuit is geared towards offering golfers from the Philippines, Asia and other parts of the world another platform on which to play and at the same time to complement each country’s national golf tour and the existing regional circuits.