The Aboitiz Invitational shifts to a fourth venue for the fourth straight year, bracing for a spirited battle for top honors among the leading players from the Asian Development Tour and the country’s ace shotmakers at one of the country’s toughest courses.
The fabled East course of the Wack Wack Golf and Country Club has been kept in championship form all-year long and is expected to provide a different kind of challenge to the elite field clashing in the $100,000 event set August 3 to 6 and serving as the 18th leg of the ADT and 11th of the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour.
The Aboitiz Invitational held its first three tournaments in Cebu from 2011 with Jay Bayron winning the inaugurals and Elmer Salvador ruling the next two. The event then moved to Riviera in 2014 with Tony Lascuña nailing his first Aboitiz and ADT win before Juvic Pagunsan dominated the elite field at Manila Southwoods last year.
Pagunsan is expected to be back and defend the crown along with Lascuna, Salvador and Bayron but the local aces will be hard-pressed to keep the crown on home soil given a slew of ADT top shotmakers and Wack Wack East’s unpredictability.
“We are proud to welcome the return of the Aboitiz Invitational and we are looking forward to working with the ADT, whom we share a strong relationship with. I’m confident that we can see some great action from the talented players in the region on the difficult Wack Wack course,” said Erramon Aboitiz, president and chief executive officer of Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc.
Ricky Razon, chairman and president of Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. (PGTI), said: “We hope to discover more talents through the staging of this event. The ADT has always been a great platform for budding golfers to hone their skills and advance their careers. We are happy to do our part in helping these players.”
Asian Tour Associate Director Irfan Hamid lauded the strong commitment from Aboitiz.
“The return of the Aboitiz Invitational reinforces the growing strength of the game in the Philippines and across the region. We would like to express our appreciation to Aboitiz for their unwavering support over the years,” said Irfan.
The ADT will reward the top-five finishers on the Order of Merit at the end of this season with Asian Tour cards for 2017.
Like all other ADT events, the Aboitiz Invitational, co-organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc., will offer Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points to the top six players and ties based on a sliding scale.