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Cebu, Philippines: Asia’s rising stars will converge in Cebu for the latest Asian Development Tour (ADT) event next month, when the Aboitiz Invitational presented by ICTSI is staged at the Cebu Country Club from August 31 to September, 3, 2011.
The US$65,000-tournament is making its debut on the ADT this year, where it will become the seventh leg on its 2011 Schedule. 
Local stalwarts Artemio Murakami and Carl Ocampo, along with Brunei’s newcomer Faiz Damit, attended a press conference in Cebu today to promote the Aboitiz Invitational, which was launched last year as a domestic event on the Philippine Golf Tour.
As the Aboitiz Invitational will be one of the final tournaments of the season on the ADT, it will play an important role in determining the top three players on the Order of Merit.
The leading three money-earners will gain an automatic card on the elite Asian Tour for the 2012 season. Chinese Taipei’s Chiang Cheh-chih, winner of the Transcend Championship in Taipei, is currently leading the Merit list with US$22,750, followed by American Jonathan Moore, who was triumphant at the PGM Impian Classic in Kuala Lumpur with US$15,916.
Murakami is presently third with earnings of US$14,517, followed by another Chinese Taipei player Chang Tse-peng and Malaysia’s S. Siva Chandhran, who was the inaugural ADT Order of Merit champion and the only player with multiple wins on the ADT so far.
Juvic Pagunsan, the current leader of the PGT Order of Merit and a winner in the Asian Tour, is also expected to challenge for honours in the Aboitiz Invitational along with the country’s other leading players such as Antonio Lascuna, who finished joint third at the Asian Tour’s Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters last week, Angelo Que and teenager Miguel Tabuena. Murakami, who has won on the Asian Tour previously, said the upgrading of the Aboitiz Invitational into an ADT event will present a wonderful opportunity for budding Filipino golfers to compete on the international stage.
“I am very much looking forward to the Aboitiz Invitational as it will allow the local stars to compete against many of the leading players from the ADT. While the ADT is the development circuit for the Asian Tour, competition is still very demanding as the winning scores are often very low.
We will need to consistently shoot low scores to compete on the ADT,” said Murakami. Ocampo is also keen to test his game at the Aboitiz Invitational. “It’s such a big thrill for the Aboitiz Invitational to upgrade its tournament into an ADT event. There are huge incentives for our players to win the tournament as it could result in a direct route onto the Asian Tour through the top three rankings in the ADT Order of Merit.” 
Faiz believes that competing in the ADT has given him the added experience required to become a top-notch international golfer. “Through regular competition in the ADT, I believe I am now a better player than before. It is great that we will have a new tournament on board with us with the Aboitiz Invitational joining the ADT Schedule.
I’m looking forward to competing in this event as it gives us an opportunity to travel and compete,” said Faiz.
This year, The ADT has already travelled to Malaysia, Chinese Taipei and Bangladesh. In the inaugural year in 2010, five events were staged in the ADT. Last year, Siva Chandhran, countryman Akhmal Tarmizee and Chinese Taipei’s Hsu Chia-jen finished top three on the Order of Merit to earn their Asian Tour cards. 
The Aboitiz Equity Ventures (AEV) has an impressive portfolio of businesses which include power, banking and food.

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