Dominic Wall, the Royal & Ancient’s director for Asia-Pacific operations, pledged bigger support for the development of golf in the country during a courtesy call on National Golf Association of the Philippines president Tommy Manotoc yesterday.
Wall came to Wack Wack Golf and Country Club to watch the final round of the MVP Sports Foundation-Philippine Amateur Open championship, then donated 30 junior sets from the R&A as part of its efforts to help in the grassroots development of the sport.
He said the Philippines now looms as a possible venue for the 2015 Asian Amateur Championships, which rewards the winner an automatic invitation to the prestigious US Masters in Augusta, Georgia.
“We want to bring this championship to as many countries,” Wall said. “And after what I saw, the Philippines is indeed a good candidate.”
The winner and runner-up of the Asian Amateurs will also get automatic seeding into the second round of the British Open qualifying.
Wall, an Australian, said he should have visited the country sooner as he has been based in Hong Kong for the last four and a half years.
“Asia is just such a big region,” he said. “It’s just hard to see each country because I am the only one from R&A outside of St. Andrews (who does the rounds in the Asia-Pacific).
“We’re looking at where we can best assist the (National Golf Association of the Philippines),” added Wall.
This marks the first time that the NGAP will be working closely with the R&A, which is a priority project by Manotoc since he took over leadership of the association two years ago.
“With Tommy, we have the confidence that something will move forward in the positive direction,” said Wall, adding the R&A allots $10 million annually to support golf programs in many countries.
“We’d be very happy to support the NGAP’s grassroots system.”
“There’s a standard that the R&A looks for (before supporting a country’s golf association),” Manotoc said. “With their help the junior program will surely move forward.”