Singaporean Mardan Mamat is expected to defend his title in this year’s Resorts World Manila Masters slated on November 19 to 22 at the Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club in Carmona, Cavite.
Besides Mamat, seeing action in the third edition of the prestigious meet that is offering a $1 million prize pot are professional golfers from Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines.
Mamat defeated Lionel Weber of France by six with a closing three-under 69 to complete a wire-to-wire victory in last year’s edition of Resorts World Mani-la Masters at the Manila Southwoods’ Masters course.
China’s Liang Wen-Chong beat Prom Meesawat of Thailand in the inaugural edition of the tournament in 2013.
Up to challenge Mamat are Filipino golfers Juvic Pagunsan, Angelo Que, Elmer Salvador, Antonio Lascuna, and Miguel Tabuena.
Besides the hefty prize pot, this year’s Resorts World Manila Masters contestants are also after the ranking points that would earn them a slot in the 2016 Rio Olympics. Asian Tour said that 14 maximum ranking points would be given to the champion while the top 20 finishers will also receive ranking points.
‘It is really good for Filipino pros to play in front of the hometown crowd. Most of them are bidding to make it to Rio and the Resorts World Manila Masters is a familiar course,” said Asian Tour Chief Executive Officer Mike Kerr during the event’s media launch at the Mariott Hotel in Pasay City.
According to the Olympic qualifying process for golf, 60 top professional golfers around the world—maximum of two players per country—will qualify in the Rio de Janeiro Games next year.
“We’ve witnessed two memorable editions and I’m sure this year’s tournament will provide greater drama and excitement,” Kerr said.
“Filipino golfers such as Angelo Que, Elmer Salvador, Antonio Lascuna, and Miguel Tabuena have been successful on the Asian Tour in recent years and I’m sure they will try their very best to secure a first home victory for the country.”
“With the tournament being slated in November, it could potentially have an impact in the race for our Order of Merit crown and I’m expecting our top players to tee up at Manila Southwoods and battle for the US $180,000 champion’s check.”