TRECE MARTIREZ, Cavite—The last of the seven foreign delegations seeing action in the Putra Cup arrived yesterday and immediately sampled the daunting Sherwood Hills layout here.
Thailand will be led by world No. 65 Saksansin Poon, while Singapore—the eighth team to check in—will be fielding a balanced lineup led by reigning DHL champion Jerome Ng for the annual 72-hole event serving as the official team championship of Southeast Asia.
Gavin Green, on a break from his studies in the United States, also made the trip as spearhead of darkhorse Malaysia. The 6-foot-1, 20-year-old Green finished in the top 32 of the US Amateurs.
Rupert Zaragosa banners Team Philippines together with MVP Sports Foundation scholar Jobim Carlos and Fil-American recruits Jonathan Delos Reyes and 17-year-old Rico Hoey. The squad will try to snap the country’s 17-year spell in a tournament it used to dominate in the past.
The last time the country won the Putra Cup was in 1996 in Myanmar, and National Golf Association of the Philippines president Tommy Manotoc, a stalwart of many victorious squads in the 1970s to 1980s, believes that this is the Filipinos’ best chance in recent years.
“We have a very solid team,” Hoey said. “We’re excited.”
Said Delos Reyes, a reedy long-hitter: “Trying to bring back the title to our country is no pressure at all—it’s added motivation for the team to get the job done.”
Tournament supporters: PLDT Amateur Golf Tour, Philippine Sports Commission, Philippine Olympic Committee, Philippine Golf Foundation, Department of Tourism, Pancake House, Asia Brewery, Turf Company, Sligo, Ping, Intramachineries Doosan, Suntrust, Crimson Hotel and Golf Depot.