BAGUIO CITY—A third of the supposed participants of the Fil-Am Golf Invitational Tournament starts their quest tomorrow as the 67- year-old sports spectacle kicked off officially with the ceremonial tee at both Camp John Hay and Baguio Country Club courses.
Some 424 of the more than 1,200 players will be the first to hit the ball at the par 61 BCC and par 68 CJH courses in what is supposed to be the world’s biggest and oldest amateur golfing event, which will also see the return of Baguio pride Kylie Verzosa, the newly crowned Miss International.
Verzosa, whose family owns a hotel and restaurant here, joined members of the executive committee in the ceremonial tees at both golf clubs.
Players tomorrow will come from the Seniors’ A and B and Regular G and H of both Fil and Am divisions.
“The course is in good condition,” said BCC spokesperson Andrew Pinero.
“We’re very excited as we expect a very good competition this year,” added Pinero as players started checking in at both the courses starting Monday this week to check on the courses, including the seniors’ Fil Championship defending champion San Miguel – Northern Cement, led by former top pro Eddie Bagtas.
Bagtas is confident to lead his San Miguel squad anew to the title over local squad Pugo Adventure, which they beat in an exciting finale last year and won only through countback.
Bagtas vowed that his San Miguel team this time is much stronger with Benjie Sumulong, Jingky Tuason, Bong Sison, Chito Laureta and former John Hay golf manager Jerich Hechanova.
“(I) Like to see them play (in a) very competitive and challenging tournament and hope that my team will regain the supremacy this year,” said Pugo team captain Peter Go.
Pugo will have many time seniors’ Group A individual champion Fred Puckett leading the charge with younger brother Jack, who replaced another brother Douglas in the team. The team also have mainstays Ed Montenegro, Goodie Ignacio and retired Korean architect Park Jun Wong.
The two teams start their bids on Sunday at the longer CJH course, take a break on Tuesday, before resuming on Wednesday at the BCC course until Thursday.
“Lalaban ang mga local players natin,” added Go, whose Pugo team won in 2014.