Carl Santos-Ocampo sets out for a sweep of the Tagaytay legs of the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour as he joins the title chase in the P1 million ICTSI Splendido Classic, which gets going on Wednesday at the Splendido Golf and Country Club.
Santos-Ocampo flashed awesome form at the nearby Tagaytay Midlands to dominate the stellar field last August, beating reigning Order of Merit champion Tony Lascuna by six with an impressive bogey-free 65s in the last 36 holes of the tournament.
With the same windy condition expected at the up-and-down Splendido layout this week, Santos-Ocampo hopes to re-display the form he dished out at Midlands not only to complete a sweep of the Tagaytay stages of the circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. but also to boost his bid in the OOM ranking.
Counting his eighth place finish at ICTSI Manila Southwoods ruled by Lascuna for the second straight time last month, the 25-year-old Santos-Ocampo moved up to No. 5 with P837,068 in earnings, hoping to gain on the fourth-running but absentee Angelo Que (P1,036,276) and frontrunners Lascuna (P1,682,332), ICTSI Sherwood leg winner Miguel Tabuena (P1,456,527) and Aboitiz Invitational back-to-back champion Elmer Salvador (P1,087,776) with a solid finish this week.
But the rest of the 66-player field are also out for a strong finish, ensuring a spirited battle for top honors in the event serving as the 12th of the 15-stage circuit sponsored by International Container Terminals Services, Inc.
They include John Hay leg champion Jay Bayron, Palos Verdes leg winner Michael Bibat and title-hungry Mars Pucay, Jhonnel Ababa, Cassius Casas, Ferdie Aunzo, Rufino Bayron, Jun Bernis, Marvin Dumandan, Anthony Fernando and Mhark Fernando.
Focus will also be on Guido Van der Valk, who ruled this year’s ICTSI PGT Q-School at Splendido, along with Japanese Tomo Yoshinaga and local aces Jun Bernis, Zanie Boy Gialon, Dante Becierra, Christopher delos Santos, Randy Garalde, James Ryan Lam, Benjie Magada, Elmer Saban, Richard Sinfuego, Orlan Sumcad and Arnold Villacencio.