The Philippine Golf Tour kicks off its new season at the Anvaya Cove Golf and Sports Club in Morong, Bataan next week with the P3.5 million ICTSI Anvaya Cove Invitational featuring the cream of the country’s pro crop, plus a host of foreign aces.
Reigning PGT Order of Merit champion Tony Lascuña, three-time Asian Tour winner Angelo Que and fellow Japan PGA Tour campaigner Juvic Pagunsan, Elmer Salvador, Jay Bayron, Frankie Miñoza, Jhonnel Ababa and young turks Clyde Mondilla and Jobim Carlos banner the stellar field in the February 15 to 18 event at the challenging, wind-raked layout.
Fifteen legs spread over the country’s championship courses are on tap in this year’s PGT calendar, including a record five Asian Development Tour events, with the organizing Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. also staging the fifth edition of The Duel, the country’s version of the Ryder Cup pitting the leading players from Visayas and Mindanao against those from Luzon, now held on alternate years.
The new season will also see the revival of one of the country’s former four Major championships, the Philippine Masters, set in May at its home at the Villamor Golf Club.
Meanwhile, others vying for the top P650,000 purse at Anvaya are Ferdie Aunzo, Jerson Balasabas, Rufino Bayron, Jun Bernis, Michael Bibat, Cassius Casas, Marvin Dumandan, Albin Engino, Anthony Fernando, Mhark Fernando, Zanieboy Gialon, Charles Hong, Keanu Jahns, Rey Pagunsan, Mars Pucay, Justin Quiban, Joenard Rates, Gerald Rosales and Orlan Sumcad.
From Anvaya, the PGT goes to the Eastridge Golf Club in Binangonan, Rizal for the ICTSI Manila Masters on April 5-8, then to Luisita Golf and Country Club in Tarlac for the ICTSI Luisita Championship on April 26-29, and the ICTSI Orchard Golf Championship at the Orchard Golf and Country Club in Dasmariñas, Cavite on May 10-13.
The Orchard event also serves as the kickoff of the five ADT-sanctioned events that include the ICTSI Manila Southwoods Championship on May 17-20, the ICTSI Sherwood Hills Classic on Aug. 2-5 at Sherwood Hills Golf Club in Cavite, the Aboitiz Invitational on Aug. 9-12 at The Country Club, and the Central Azucarera de Tarlac (CAT) Open on Nov. 1-4, also at Luisita.
The Philippine Masters, which used to be one of the country’s premier championships alongside the Philippine Open, the President’s Cup and the National PGA, will be played on May 24-27 to be followed by the ICTSI Del Monte Classic on June 7-10, the Pueblo de Oro Classic on June 14-17, the ICTSI Classic at Mt. Malarayat on July 19-22, the Calatagan Golf Challenge on Sept. 27-30, the Riviera Classic on Oct. 11-14 and the season-ending ICTSI Tournament Players Championship at Wack Wack on Nov. 15-18.
The Duel, won by Team South in come-from-behind fashion at Wack Wack in 2015, will be held at Camp John Hay Golf Club in Baguio on July 5-8.
The Country Club Invitational, which Tabuena won recently, actually kicked off the new golfing season but the P5 million championship was not an event of the PGT and not part of the OOM ranking.