Manila: Filipino legend Frankie Minoza will walk down memory lane in the ICTSI Philippine Open next week with the intention of becoming the oldest ever Asian Tour winner.
The two-time Philippine Open champion will join a group of former winners of Asia’s oldest national Championship at the venerable Wack Wack Golf and Country Club from May 12 to 15.
Minoza has been victorious twice in his home Open in 1998 and 2007 and he has accepted an invitation to compete in the 95th edition.
Other former Philippine Open champions in the fray include local favourites Angelo Que, Artemio Murakami and Elmer Salvador, Manila-based Canadian Rick Gibson and Chinese Taipei veteran duo Wang Ter-chang and Yeh Chang-ting.
Teen sensation Miguel Tabuena and the sweet-swinging Juvic Pagunsan will also carry the local challenge in the US$300,000 event, which is making a welcome return onto the Asian Tour schedule after a two-year hiatus.
Should Minoza wins, he will be the oldest champion at the age of 51 years and 135 days on the Asian Tour. The current record is held by Korea’s Choi Sang-ho, who was victorious at the age of 50 years and 145 days when he won the 2005 Maekyung Open on home soil.
Hailed a hero at home, Minoza is one of the country’s legends of the game and has won tournaments across Asia since the 1980s. He currently competes on the US Champions Tour after finishing second in Qualifying School last year.
Que will be another hot favourite in next week’s ICTSI Philippine Open. He lauded the return of his national Open on the Asian Tour schedule, saying the presence of the region’s finest stars will add prestige to the storied tournament.
“It is always nice when a tournament is sanctioned by the Asian Tour. You have a stronger field but the Filipinos have a better chance of winning here for sure,” said Que.
He won his third Asian Tour title at last year’s Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters and believes he needs to maintain a relaxed approach to give himself a chance of repeating his 2008 success.
“I played well at the Avantha Masters (in India) where I finished in ninth place. I’ve also won two local events but have been struggling since then because I think I’ve been trying too hard.
“It has been a bit of a struggle. Maybe it is just in my head but I’ll be alright if I start relaxing more,” added Que.
The International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI), which is in the business of acquiring, developing and operating container ports and terminals worldwide, is title sponsoring the Philippine Open.
Photo - Asian Tour
Asian Tour GolfGreedy.com