Exciting shotmaking up as Philippine Open starts | Inquirer Sports

Exciting shotmaking up as Philippine Open starts

By: - Reporter / @MusongINQ
/ 11:31 PM February 08, 2012

Manny Pacquiao tries his hand at golf.

Manny Pacquiao tries his hand at golf.

MANILA, Philippines—Boxing icon Manny Pacquiao tried his hand at golf Wednesday and provided some light moments on the eve of the staging of the 96th ICTSI Philippine Open at the famed East course of Wack Wack.

Taking time off from his busy schedule, the eight-division world champion played in the Pro-Am together with Frankie Minoza then posed for pictures and signed autographs for Asian Tour players and fans.

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But it’s down to business for some 150 participants today with organizers looking forward to an exciting battle in the $300,000 event serving as second stop of the 2012 Asian Tour.

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“It’s been the same, except for one year, when the East course punishes the field,” former winner Angelo Que said after the pro-am. “It’s still the field against the course.”

Que referenced the year when Australia’s Scott Strange triumphed with double-digit under-par total, something he feels won’t happen again in the near future.

“That was a special year,” Que, the last Filipino to win a foreign-flavored Open in 2008, told the Inquirer. “Otherwise, going five- or six-under for 72 holes is practically a guarantee that you’ll win.”

The East course is in perfect shape as Asia’s oldest championship promises to be one of the toughest tests in the young season.

“This is a great course that you have to respect,” South African Peter Karmis said.

Berry Henson of the United States is here to defend the first major title of his career, and Filipino Jay Bayron is hoping that he betters a second place finish last year with the legendary Miñoza setting out to win his national title a third time.

Henson won last year using some smart play and brilliance on the putting surfaces.

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TAGS: ICTSI Philippine Open, Manny Pacquiao, Philippine Open, Wack Wack

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