Pro-bound Jobim Carlos hopes to toughen up for the big league as he joins the title chase in the 21st W Express RVF Cup Amateur Golf Championship even as Princess Superal looms as the player to beat in the women’s side of the event beginning today at North course of the Canlubang Golf and Country Club in Laguna.
Carlos, who has passed the Q-School both of the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour and Asian Tour, has opted to delay his stint in the pros to anchor Canlubang in the PAL Interclub late this month with the reigning national stroke play champion facing a formidable challenge from a crack international field out to foil his bid.
That includes Cangolf teammate Rupert Zaragosa and Interclub rivals Ira Alido and Justin Quiban of Manila Southwoods, Weiwei Gao, Kristoffer Arevalo, Carlo Villaroman, Aidric Chan, Aniceto Mandanas, Jolo Magcalayo and Japanese Ryu Yasuma and Koji Yasuma.
A slew of Koreans from Riviera are also expected to contend for the crown in the 72-hole championship sponsored by W Express and held in honor of the late golf patron Rod Feliciano, who also served as president of the organizing National Golf Association of the Philippines, including Kang Dong Guk, Jeong Hwi Gyeong, Lee Geon, Jun John and Ji Sung Gun.
Korean expat Park Min Ung, a former Philippine Junior champion, is also tipped to vie for the championship sponsored by the MVP Sports Foundation, Smart, PLDT and Metro Pacific Investment Corp. and Cangolf, his confidence boosted by his impressive stint in last week’s PGT Q-School at Royal Northwoods.
Japanese Yuto Katsuragawa, a multiple winner in the amateur side of the ICTSI PGT, is also in the mix along with Jay-R Salahog, Luigi Guerrero, Carl Corpus and Luis Castro.
While a tight finish is seen in the men’s division, focus will be on Superal in the women’s side with the former US Girls’ Junior titlist hot on a six-win run here and abroad, making her the prohibitive favorite in the event conducted by NGAP and serving as part of the PLDT Group National Amateur Golf Tour.
The Country Club ace won four tournaments abroad to wrap up the 2015 season then dominated the Hong Kong Ladies Amateur Open and the Philippine Ladies Open last month.
But TCC teammates Sam Martirez, Kayla Nocum, Mikha Fortuna and Bernice Olivarez-Ilas will be out to spoil her drive for a seventh crown along with reigning national stroke play champion Harmie Constantino, Thailand Junior winner Yuka Saso, Ashia Nocum, Junia Gabasa, Jona Magcalayo, Weifang Gao and Sofia Legaspi.
Others seeing action are Koreans Jang Yun Ji, Kang Da Yun, Koh Euh A and Hwang Min Jeong from Riviera, Indonesian Rivani Sihotang and local bets Sofia Legaspi from Southwoods, Mae Canto from Eastridge and Tomita Arejola from Aguinaldo.