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Sports

Philippine Open reduced to 54 holes

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Typhoon Nona washed out the opening round of the Philippine Open presented by ICTSI, reducing the staging of Asia’s oldest national Open to 54 holes at the Luisita Golf and Country Club in Tarlac.

This marks the first time in the 98-year history of the country’s premier golf championship that it will be played through 54 holes although it was not held four times, the last in 2013.

“Typhoon Melor (Nona) did not make landfall at the Luisita Golf and Country Club which is located about a two-hour drive from Manila but heavy rainfall has forced us to postpone the start of the event and reduce it to three rounds,” said Asian Tour tournament director Wanchai Meechai.

The $300,000 Asian Tour event was scheduled to start yesterday but incessant rain spawned by the typhoon from late Tuesday night made it impossible for the 132-player field to play and start their chase for top honors.

“There’s no mud or flood but non-stop rain from 10 p.m. Tuesday, so they cannot play at all,” said Luisita’s Jeric Hechanova.

Officials announced the decision at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, as continuous rainfall is expected until Thursday.

“The decision was made in the best interest of the tournament and our Asian Tour members,” said Wanchai.

The Philippine Open presented by ICTSI, which used to be the opening leg of the Asian Tour, now serves as the final event on the 2015 Asian Tour season. Marcus Both of Australia will defend his title against an elite field consisting of two Order of Merit champions and no fewer than 15 Asian Tour winners.

2011 Asian Tour Order of Merit winner Juvic Pagunsan and Miguel Tabuena, the local tour’s reigning OOM champion, head the local challenge along with Tony Lascuña, Jay Bayron and Cassius Casas with former champion Angelo Que opting to skip the circuit’s final event due to a sore shoulder.

“I played a lot of tournaments straight towards the end of the year and I’m resting to prevent injury,” said Que.

The storied Philippine Open has celebrated many worthy champions in the past including Australia’s Peter Thomson, Lu Liang-huan and Hsieh Min-nan of Chinese Taipei, Mardan Mamat of Singapore and Filipino stars Frankie Miñoza, Que, Larry Montes, Celestino Tugot, Ben Arda and Luis “Golem” Silverio, who won as an amateur in 1966.

vuukle comment

ACIRC

ANGELO QUE

ASIAN

ASIAN TOUR

ASIAN TOUR ORDER OF MERIT

ATILDE

BEN ARDA AND LUIS

CELESTINO TUGOT

LUISITA GOLF AND COUNTRY CLUB

PHILIPPINE OPEN

TOUR

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