THIRTY-SIX mainstays of the PGA of Taiwan (TPGA), led by four in the top 16 of the TPGA Order of Merit ranking, seek redemption from failed bids at home as they slug it out with the country’s best and the leading Philippine Golf Tour Asia campaigners in the Central de Azucarera Open teeing off this Wednesday, Oct. 16, at the Luisita Golf and Country Club in Tarlac.
No. 5 Wang Wei-Lun, No. 11 Chiu Han-Ting, 12th-ranked Yeh Wei Tze and No. 16 Wang Tsung Chieh, along with Chen Po-Hao, who placed sixth in the recent PGTA event in Taiwan topped by Tony Lascuña, spearhead the Taiwanese charge in the $100,000 tournament that drew a full-packed field of 125 from 18 countries.
The TPGA’s move to send a powerhouse cast here underscores the PGT Asia’s growing status as one of the emerging circuits in the region with bets from Scotland, Singapore, India, Spain, Venezuela, Argentina, South Africa, Korea and Japan beefing up one of the strongest casts ever assembled outside of the Philippine Open.
They include former PGTA leg winners David Gleeson and Damien Jordan of Australia and American Tarik Can, regular PGT and PGTA campaigners Lexus Keoninh, Brett Munson, Joshua Salah, George Twyman, Micah Shin, Greg Gonzalez and Charles Lee of the US, Aussie Tim Stewart, and Thais Pachara Sakulyong, Ratchapol Jantavara, Donlaphatchai Niyomchoi and Tawan Phongphun.
The locals are ready to defend their turf, led by Lascuña, who is hot on a three-win streak, including victories at Apo and South Pacific the last two weeks. Though ranged against a stellar international field, the Davao ace remains upbeat of his chances for another triumph in the circuit put up by ICTSI and co-sanctioned by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. and TPGA.