Pros gear up for ICTSI Villamor Match Play

The pro golf circuit caps its big bounce-back season with a novel head-to-head tournament at the Villamor Golf Club in Pasay with the top finishers in the just-concluded Philippine Golf Tour and the Ladies PGT all prepped to mix it up for top honors in the ICTSI Villamor Match Play Invitational unfolding Nov. 15.

Guido Van der Valk

Spread over four days at the flat but tight, challenging military layout, the top 32 in the PGT Order of Merit rankings after six tournaments and the top 16 in the LPGT prize money list after 11 legs make up the cast disputing not only the top P280,000 purse in both sides but also the bragging rights as the first Match Play champions in the country’s premier pro tour put up by ICTSI.

The North and South duel, which pits the top players from Luzon against their counterparts from the Visayas and Mindanao, used to highlight each PGT and LPGT season before the pandemic with the organizing Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. opting to shift from team play to individual competition that will put to test the competing field's skills in head-to-head clashes.

The first round will be played on Nov. 15 for the Round of 32 (PGT) and Round of 16 (LPGT) with the winners advancing to the next round on Nov. 16 – Round of 16 (PGT) and quarterfinals (LPGT).

The PGT survivors will then face off in the morning quarterfinals on Nov. 17 and then in the semis in the afternoon together with the LPGT with the winners disputing the titles on the Nov. 18.

A pro-am tournament will be held on Nov. 14.

Dutch Guido Van der Valk, who captured two of the six PGT events at Splendido Taal and Pradera Verde, and three-leg runner-up Tony Lascuña lead the chase in the P2 million PGT match play while LPGT top money earner Chihiro Ikeda, who won at Mount Malarayat and Eagle Ridge-Aoki, headlines the cast in their side of the P1.5 million event.

Harmie Constantino, who ruled the season-ending leg at Pradera Verde two weeks ago, finished at No. 2 while three-leg winner Chanelle Avaricio settled for third as she missed the Valley Golf and Riviera stops to campaign in the US.

Rounding up the Top 16 are Sarah Ababa, Pamela Mariano, Gretchen Villacencio, Marvi Monsalve, Sunshine Baraquiel, Lovelynn Guioguio, Apple Fudolin, Eva Miñoza, Lucy Landicho, Kristine Fleetwood, Florence Bisera, Martina Miñoza and Sheryl Villacencio.

Joining Van der Valk and Lascuna in the PGT roster are Clyde Mondilla, Caliraya Springs leg winner Zanieboy Gialon, Luisita leg titlist Miguel Tabuena, Eagle Ridge-Aoki champion Michael Bibat, Riviera playoff winner Juvic Pagunsan, Reymon Jaraula, Jhonnel Ababa, Ira Alido, Joenard Rates, Sean Ramos, Rupert Zaragosa;

Lloyd Go, Rico Depilo, Orlan Sumcad, Jerson Balasabas, Dino Villanueva, Angelo Que, Jay Bayron, Marvin Dumandan, Frankie Miñoza, Anthony Fernando, Gerald Rosales, Keanu Jahns, Albin Engino, Enrico Gallardo, Fidel Concepcion, Richard Sinfuego, Art Arbole, Mars Pucay and Paul Echavez.

Meanwhile, the PGTI said that if any player decides not to compete, he or she will be replaced in order of the ranking on the cut-off date.