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8 legs to kick off Asia Tour inaugural

Cashing in on the success of the men’s and ladies circuits of the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour (PGT), the Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. (PGTI) goes global with the launch of Asia’s newest pro golf league, the PGT Asia Tour (PGTA).

“We are being true to our vision and long term commitment to make the Philippines a leading international golfing destination,” said Enrique K. Razon Jr., chairman and president of PGTI and PGT chief sponsor International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI). “The PGTA will also further develop the game of our local pros. As we go global, we make Philippine golf thrive even further,”

The staging of the PGT Asia Tour comes eight years after the PGTI firmed up PGT’s stature as Southeast Asia’s largest national circuit.

The PGTI has been staging international tournaments such as the recent Solaire Philippine Open and select regionally sanctioned legs of the PGT and Ladies PGT. The need to further grow Phl golf and the positive feedback from foreign players, especially on how Filipinos organize and host tournaments, paved the way for the establishment of the PGTA.

“We hope to develop the game of our local golfers and produce more Miguel Tabuenas, Antonio Lascuñas, Clyde Mondillas and the like. We also expect the PGTA to provide a welcome boost to the country’s golf tourism sector since golfers from various countries are expected to draw with them an influx of their own fans,” said Razon.

To initially promote the PGTA to international players, PGTI launched an online campaign in promoting the PGTA Qualifying School on Aug. 9-12 at the Luisita Golf and Country Club in Tarlac. The top 80 players after 36 holes will advance to the final two rounds with the top 60 plus ties gaining cards on the new regional circuit.

The first seven legs of the inaugural season offer a $100,000 prize fund each and a minimum of US$300,000 for the eighth event. In 2018, a total of US$1.7 million will be staked and in 2019 US$2 million with plans to further increase the purse in the future.

An additional 10 events for each of the next two years are also being finalized and talks to hold future legs in other parts of Asia, particularly Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia, are also ongoing.