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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Nakajima targets top finish in PGT Q-School

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A cluster of international contenders is gearing up for a four-day showdown with the local hopefuls, all vying for Philippine Golf Tour cards in the Qualifying School slated March 5-8 at the South Pacific Golf and Leisure Estates in Davao City.

Toru Nakajima steps up his preparations at Manila Southwoods, aiming to peak in performance in time for the elims. He is seeking for another top finish as the leader of a sizeable foreign contingent participating in the eliminations held in the southern region for the first time.

Nakajima previously asserted his dominance in the PGT Q-School at Eagle Ridge in Gen. Trias in Cavite in 2015 and topped the 2016 elims at Royal Northwoods in San Rafael, Bulacan.

Despite winning a PGT leg at Wack Wack in 2013 and competing in the Philippine Masters at Villamor last year, where he finished tied for 25th, Nakajima lost his card after skipping the subsequent tournaments.

Nevertheless, he is ready and eager to make a comeback, leading 37 other players from Korea, Malaysia, Australia, Thailand and the US.

The foreign lineup includes American Riley Keagle and Kolin Wheeler, as well as amateurs Drew Proctor and Ryan Ku. Also in the mix are Australians Nathan Park and Peter Stojanovski, Koreans Minwoo Kim and Tae Soo Kim, Malaysians Dhakshin Manirajan and Kiishan Tharmalingam, and Japanese Ueda Daiki and Kei Matsuoka.

But they face stiff competition from a group of local contenders, all primed up for the challenge of securing one of the Top 30 slots. Notable local amateurs in contention are Aidric Chan, Lanz Uy, Luigi Wong and Ryan Monsalve, along with Enzo Fregil, Marc Lu, Vince Lusterio, Jr., Tom Marcelo, Francis Mendez, Edmar Salvador, Jr., Niño Soberano, Airon Sorino, Sean Ty and Michael Uy.

Leading the roster of local pros are Kristoffer Arevalo, Josh Jorge, Leandro Bagtas, Jonas Magcalayo, Ivan Monsalve, Enrico Gallardo, Edward Reyes and Carlos Packing, along with seasoned campaigners Rufino Bayron, Anthony Fernando, Elmer Saban and Mhark Fernando.

The new season, sponsored by ICTSI, unveils on March 12-15 at the Apo Golf and Country Club with the challenging Palos Verdes Golf and Club hosting the second leg on March 19-22.

The circuit, which includes the 54-hole Ladies PGT slated in the first three days, moves to Luzon for the third and fourth stops at Caliraya Springs Golf Club in Cavinti, Laguna on April 9-12 and at the Valley Golf Club in Antipolo on May 7-10, respectively.

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