Gibson, 15 Koreans vie for ICTSI Tour berths
MANILA, Philippines – The Foreign campaigners start their chase for 20 berths in the 2014 ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour as the four-day qualifying reels off Tuesday at the Aoki course of Eagle Ridge Golf and Country Club in Gen. Trias, Cavite.
Fifteen South Koreans head the big roster of hopefuls seeking spots in this year’s bigger, richer circuit along with nine Americans and a sprinkling of players from Australia, Canada, Japan, Sweden and Bangladesh.
To provide a wider base of players and give each one a chance to play in one of Asia’s leading circuits, the organizing Pilipinas Golf Tournaments Inc. has put up a two-stage qualifier, including one for local aspirants, which was topped by Joey Huerva last December.
Manila-based Canadian Rick Gibson, coach of ace teener Miguel Tabuena, is also trying to make the grade in the event sponsored by International Container Terminal Services Inc.
Others in the fold are Koreans Cho Byung-kyu, Cho Phil-kyu, Kim Chang-hoi, Mun Jae-hyung, Park Jin-young, Nam Ji-soo, Kim Sung-woon, Park Kyoung-chun, Kwak Tae-heon, Kang Dae-man, Kim Hwan-bum, Hyun Jeon-jeong and Jong Choi-eun.
Tony Guerrero and Josh Leppo banner the US contingent that includes Elliott Hume, Daniel Bigelow, Krishna Beach, Honey Boy Pabonita, Tuan Nguyen, Eric Mina, Norman dela Peña and Robert Manalo.
Masaru Imabayashi, Ryoma Miki and Yuto Katsuragawa are also seeking berths as they try to match compatriot Toru Nakajima’s title romp in the last leg of last year’s ICTSI PGT—the first foreigner to win on the local circuit.
Nakajima placed joint second in last year’s combined Q-School for local and foreign aspirants ruled by Dutchman Guido Van der Valk.
The top 20 players after the 72-hole tournament will gain cards for the 2014 season, which will feature a record 18 legs, including four P3.5-million events, firing off in March.