Elmer Salvador, who became the first player to repeat as champion on the Asian Development Tour in the Aboitiz Invitational last year, seeks to set another mark on the circuit as he guns for a record three in the $100,000 event which unfolds next week at Riviera’s Couples course in Silang, Cavite.
The month-long break on the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour has given the touring pros the much-need time to rest and hone up their respective games following a grueling campaign with Salvador all set to defend the crown he won the last two years in Cebu.
But with the Cebu Country Club, venue of the ADT event the last three years, set to undergo renovation, the sponsoring Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc. has decided to move the event to Luzon with Riviera gaining the right to stage the premier tournament backed by International Container Terminal Services, Inc.
Aboitiz has also raised the total prize money from $60,000 to $100,000, making it one of the richest events on the ADT calendar.
One thing going for Salvador is that he also won the last ADT leg, the ICTSI Riviera Classic, at the adjacent and tougher Langer layout where he bested Thai Pavit Tangkamolprasert and Peter Richardson of England by five last May.
The two foreign aces will be back to challenge Salvador again in the event set Aug. 27-30 along with a slew of local talents, headed by back-to-back Order of Merit champion and three-leg winner Tony Lascuña, Angelo Que, Miguel Tabuena and Jay Bayron.
But focus will be on the reticent Salvador, who will also be trying to match Bayron’s three-leg victory on the ADT although another Salvador win will make the him the first player to defend a crown a record three times.
“I’m not concerned on whether or not I would be setting another record but I will go out there and do my best to win it again,” said Salvador, who turned in a pair of runner-up finishes at ICTSI Iloilo Challenge and ICTSI Negros Occidental Classic before the local circuit took a break last month.
Another victory will also propel Salvador past Lascuña in their spirited battle for the ICTSI PGT OOM crown with the former, with P1,582,750 in earnings, trailing the latter, with winnings of P1,729,065, by just P146,000 with six legs left on the 16-stage circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
Meanwhile, the other foreign bets entered in the Aboitiz Invitational are ADT leg winners American Brett Munson, Thais Wisut Artjanawat, Sattaya Supu-pramai, Japanese Mitsuhiko Hashizume, Englishman Grant Jackson and Ireland’s Niall Turner along with Canadian Lindsay Renolds, Aussie Darren Tan and Swede Malcolm Kokocinksi.