Come December, the Philippine Open will stage its 97th edition to keep its status as the oldest national championship in Asia, and, hopefully, with a field featuring players from the continent’s three major tours.
The National Golf Association of the Philippines bared this thrust after its hook-up with the One Asia Tour opened the possibility of the PH Open attracting some standouts from the Japan Tour.
And with the schedule of this year’s event on Dec. 5-8 coinciding with the Hong Kong Open, which is co-sanctioned by the Asian and European Tours, some Asian Tour mainstays who will not be accommodated in the Crown Colony event may find the PH Open a good alternate event.
Under the HK Open format, 75 percent of the field will come from Europe and the rest from the Asian Tour.
At the same time, the PH Open will accommodate at least 40 Filipino pros and a number of amateur standouts.
“We have developed a unique relationship with the Japan Tour and I would like to see it (multitour event) happen in the Philippines,” One Asia chair and commissioner Sang Chun said during the press launch at Wack Wack yesterday.
“The Philippine Open is steeped in history and is the oldest (national) championship in Asia,” Chun said.
The 2014 playdate of the Open will be held either in March of April.
“We want our pros to be able to play against the very best in the region,” said NGAP president Tommy Manotoc, who was joined in the launch by Wack Wack president and NGAP director Philip Ella Juico, WW VP Butch Campos, One Asia media director David Fox, NGAP vice president Caloy Coscoluella and NGAP junior golf development head Aurelio Montinola.