SUDDENLY, the ICTSI Sherwood Hills Classic has become wide open.
Splendido leg winner Miguel Tabuena and five other Asian Tour aces have declared participation in the Sherwood stop beginning tomorrow to add star power to the P2.5 million event.
The revered Frankie Miñoza is also in the fold, making the chase for the P450,000 champion’s purse as interesting as it could be, even as Marvin Dumandan returns to the site of one of his three victories in 2010.
Dumandan triumphed at John Hay in Baguio last week by wiping out a three-stroke overnight deficit to Carl Santos-Ocampo, snapping a long victory spell and gaining the confidence to slug it out with the big guns again.
Also returning to the fold are Antonio Lascuña, Jonel Ababa, Mars Pucay, former Philippine Open champion Artemio Murakami and Jay Bayron.
Sherwood Hills is in fine championship form after hosting the Philippine Amateur (Closed) championship two weeks ago. The winds and the sleek greens remain to be the layout’s best defenses.
Organizing the event is the Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. with Nike Golf, Callaway, Titleist, Srixon, Custom Clubmakers and Footjoy as its chief backers. The Event Captain Inc., Omnisource Int’l TPGAP and media partners Balls, A Round of Golf, Inquirer Golf, Studio 23, Pinoygolfer.com and Impact are lending support.
The group, save for Miñoza, campaigned in the Indonesian Open won by world No. 3 Lee Westwood on Sunday with Lascuña finishing in a tie for 11th spot.
Angelo Que was the best Filipino in that event, tying for seventh after a closing 69 left him seven shots off the winning total of Westwood. Que is not seeing action in Cavite, though.
Juvic Pagunsan, the reigning Asian Tour Order of Merit champion, is also not playing because of prior commitments in the lucrative Japan PGA.