Shootout looms in 5th Aboitiz Invit’l



Aboitiz Equity Ventures renews its commitment to Philippine golf as it stages the $100,000 Aboitiz Invitational for the fifth straight year on a new venue but still part of the Asian Development Tour and the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour calendars.

The long-running event will feature the cream of the country’s pro crop and the region’s leading players as they slug it out for the top $17,500 purse from Aug. 5 -8 at the Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club’ Legends course in Carmona, Cavite.

Jay Bayron, winner of the inaugural event in 2011 in Cebu, and recent ICTSI Luisita leg champion Charles Hong headline the local challenge alongside Elmer Salvador, who won the Aboitiz Invitational in 2012 and 2013, and a slew of local aces, including current ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour Order of Merit leader Miguel Tabuena.

Top players from across the region, including ADT OOM leader Hsieh Chi-hsien of Chinese Taipei, Malaysia’s Arie Irawan and Australian Jake Stirling have confirmed participation in the event, third ADT tournament to be staged in the country after the ICTSI Eagle Ridge Invitational and the ICTSI Sherwood Hills Classic last April.

Bayron and Hong graced Monday’s launch of the blue-ribbon event and both predicted a shootout among the elite field in the four-day championship serving as the 17th leg of the ADT and 11th of the ICTSI PGT.

“Players will look for those birdies, and even eagles, to have an edge in the first two days. It would be one tough tournament. The local guys must be ready for it,” said Bayron.

“Given the depth of the field, around 4- or 5-under per day will be perfect. But the key here is to reach the green in regulation consistently,” said Hong, who humbled a stellar international field to win the ICTSI Luisita Championship.

“I would like to thank Jay and Charles for gracing the affair and their continuous support.  We are very happy with the success of the Aboitiz Invitational and we are grateful to be a partner of this event with Philippine Golf Tour, ICTSI and the Asian Development Tour,” said Aboitiz Equity Ventures senior vice president Ernest Villareal.

Erramon Aboitiz, president and chief executive officer of the sponsoring Aboitiz Equity Ventures, is delighted to extend their partnership with the ICTSI PGT and the ADT, which was launched in 2010 as a gateway to the Asian Tour.

“We are pleased to partner with the PGT and ADT once again to ensure the continued success of the Aboitiz Invitational. We look forward to hosting the talented players in the region and showcasing some world-class golf at the Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club next month,” said Aboitiz.

Enrique Razon Jr., chairman and president of ICTSI PGT organizer Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. (PGTI), hailed the continued staging of the Aboitiz Invitational, saying it will be another great opportunity for budding local golfers to establish themselves on the international stage.

“We believe the Aboitiz Invitational is a strong platform for aspiring professionals to further excel in the game, especially with the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points on offer on the ADT. We hope to propel players into the Olympic Games in 2016 through the staging of this event,” said Razon.

Asian Tour associate director Irfan Hamid lauded the strong commitment from Aboitiz to grow the game of golf in the Philippines and across the region.

“Over the years, we have witnessed tremendous success from our players on many levels and we are sure they will continue to showcase their talents at the upcoming Aboitiz Invitational. The tournament has been won by local stalwarts previously and we hope that will inspire the younger golfers to aim for more success next month,” said Irfan.

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