Manila | November 14, 2013
The Resorts World Manila Masters unwraps today amid calls for its postponement in deference to the victims of killer howler Yolanda with the $750,000 event drawing what could be the toughest international field ever assembled in years at the Manila Southwoods’ Masters Course in Carmona, Cavite.
Reigning Asian Tour No. 1 Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand, two-time PGA Tour winner Daniel Chopra of Sweden, former Asian Tour top gun Liang Wen-chong of China, Taiwanese ace Lin-Wen Tang, Singapore’s Mardan Mamat and Indonesia’s No. 1 Rory Hie headline the elite foreign field chasing the top $135,000 purse in the four-day championship which also features the cream of the local pro crop. They include Angelo Que and Tony Lascuña, who will represent the country in next week’s World Cup of Golf in Australia, veteran and former Asian Tour No. 1 Frankie Miñoza, young gun Miguel Tabuena, Elmer Salvador and the rest of the top 30 players from the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour.
Meanwhile, the decision to continue with the event was taken after careful consideration and consultation with the local golf associations, authorities and relief agencies. The Asian Tour along with its partners, Resorts World Manila and Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club have also pledged to support the Philippine Red Cross directly in their efforts to provide aid and assistance to alleviate the human suffering after Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) that struck Eastern Visayas last Friday.
“The people in this country are resilient and they have shown countless times that they are able to bounce back stronger. Through this tournament, we want to show that the Filipinos are survivors and we’ll get back on our feet quickly,” said Stephen Reilly, chief operating officer of Resorts World Manila.
“The Asian Tour has a close affinity with the Philippines through our long history of supporting the game of golf in the nation. We feel for the people affected by this unfortunate tragedy and hope that through the staging of this tournament and through our support of aid and relief programs, we will be able to help in whatever way possible,” said Asian Tour chief executive officer Mike Kerr. Meanwhile, the Philippines Red Cross has mobilized teams on the ground to help with rescue and relief efforts.
“This is the worst typhoon that we’ve experienced in the country so far. It has affected many provinces and cities. We’re looking into supporting the victims with food, water, shelter and medical help. People can help the victims by making donations. We have a list of options on how they can make donations on our online portal www.redcross.org.ph/donate,” said PRC sec-gen Gwendolyn Pang.
Wiratchant, winner of record 16 titles on the Asian Tour, slugs it out early with Tabuena in the 7:10 a.m. flight on No. 10 with Taiwanese Lu Wei-chih while Que and Chopra clash in an explosive group that includes Chapchai Nirat of Thailand at 11:45 a.m. on No. 10 to be followed by Lascuña against Aussies Scott Barr and David Lipsky at 11:55 a.m. Liang, the 2007 Asian Tour Order of Merit winner, drew Salvador and Thai Arnond Vonvanij at 11:35 a.m. on No. 1 while Miñoza will slug it out with Mamat and Brazil’s Adilson da Silva in a flight earlier.
“I have looked forward to this event where the field is strong. But I’m determined to put up a good performance worthy of my reputation as the reigning Asian Tour OOM champion,” said Wiratchant. Liang, meanwhile, is upbeat of his chances for another stab at glory as he bids to move up the world rankings with several sterling performances this year, including three top-five finishes in India, Russia and Austria.
“It has been a long time since I last came to the Philippines. I think it has been more than 10 years. I’m still trying to cope with my jet lag having flown here from Turkey. However, I’m very excited to be playing here this week,” said Liang. Focus will also be on the local aces with Que, Lascuña, Miñoza, Salvador and Tabuena hope to cash in on their familiarity with the layout and crowd support.