P. Verdes Classic fires off; Hong, Ababa heavy faves
CHARLES Hong hopes to sustain the fiery form that gave him a breakthrough pro win last week as he tees off in the Rancho Palos Verdes Classic of the ICTSI Tour today in Davao.
The 26-year-old Hong, who nipped the veteran Richard Sinfuego in the first playoff hole last Friday, will be shooting for a place in the elite company of players who won back-to-back legs in the circuit.
Basically the same field will be playing in the P1-million event, save for the addition of Jonel Ababa, a son of the province tipped as one of the rising pro stars of the country.
Ababa contended for the Royal Selangor Masters crown in Malaysia last week only to get undone in the final round, where he shot an 88 to finish last among those who made the weekend cut.
Ababa has remained winless after pocketing three victories last year. But he would not have any homecourt edge to speak since he learned the game at Apo Golf.
Rancho Palos Verdes is a totally different layout than Apo and every long hitter has a chance on the well-manicured course, which rewards length off the tee and a solid putting stroke.
The tour’s superstars are out of the Palos Verdes leg because of commitments abroad, making it a wide-open race.
Marvin Dumandan, Ferdie Aunzo and Cassius Casas are the veterans in the field. Musong R. Castillo