The men of the tour gear up for a shootout in the first two days at Eagle Ridge but brace for survival in the last two rounds, ensuring a wild, wide-open finish in the much-awaited ICTSI Eagle Ridge Golf and Country Club Tour Proper firing off on Tuesday in Gen. Trias, Cavite.
The novel format of the upcoming P3 million tournament serving as the third leg of this year’s ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour makes the title chase doubly interesting and challenging with the cream of the crop tackling three different courses in all four days at Eagle Ridge’s sprawling golf complex – a first in Philippine golf.
The 100-player field will play the Norman and Faldo courses in the first two days where they will battle for the 40-plus ties slots before moving over to the challenging Aoki layout for the third and fourth rounds.
The Dye course was supposed to be the third round venue but the organizing Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. said it was not ready in time for the event, forcing them to hold the final two rounds at Aoki.
“I think the players should take advantage of the friendly Norman and Faldo courses. In fact, they should post good scores at them then give it a go at Aoki,” said Eagle Ridge general manager Raymond Bunquin.
Still, all three courses offer a different kind of challenge, especially if the wind comes into play.
“They should also be wary of the Faldo course because it could get testy there too depending on course condition and pin placement,” said Bunquin of the 7,343-yard layout which boasts of a tough hole at No. 16, a 447-yard par-4 where the green is sadistically placed beside a ravine.
ICTSI Splendido Jay Bayron and iCTSI John Hay stage winner Jun Rates head the stellar cast in the event sponsored by International Container Terminals Services, Inc. and organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. which offers a whopping top purse of P550,000.
Others joining the hunt are reigning back-to-back Order of Merit winner Tony Lascuna, three-time Asian Tour winner Angelo Que, eminent Frankie Minoza, former OOM winner Elmer Salvador and young turks Miguel Tabuena and Clyde Mondilla.