BAGUIO CITY –The 67th Fil-Am Invitational Golf Tournament at the Baguio Country Club (BCC) and Camp John Hay (CJH) fairways here fired off Friday with more than 1,200 golfers all over the Pacific taking part in the largest and longest running amateur golf competition in the country.
Highlighting the tournament is the presence of 2016 Miss International Kylie Verzosa who will hit the ceremonial tee off at 4 p.m.
Fil – Championship defending titlist San Miguel – Northern Cement is set to defend their crown with an almost intact line-up to be led by former pro and top parbuster Eddie Bagtas as it gears up for another showdown with 2014 champion Pugo Adventure (PugAd).
“Mas malakas pa ngayon,” (we are stronger this year),” said the dusky shotmaker through phone.
Bagtas is expected to be joined by Tommy Manotoc, Chito Laureta, Lino Magpantay and Rudy Amata and this year, they will also have Benjie Sumulong.
San Miguel will start its bid on November 27 along with PugAd which it nipped for the title last year.
“We will have the same team and hope to win anew,” said PugAd owner Eugene Martin, a retired police general.
San Miguel faces the Puckett brothers – Fred and Douglas – Goodie Ignacio and Ed Montenegro, even as fifth man Rommel Gomez will skip this year’s event to spend time with his grandchildren.
Dubbed as a tough edition, organizers expect more than 1,200 amateur par busters from the Philippines, Korea, Japan, Australia and the US joining the world’s biggest amateur golf event.
“This will be a tough Fil-Am golf just like last year,” said CJH Golf Club manager Tim Allen of the event presented by San Miguel.
“The course is in perfect shape,” BCC spokesperson Andrew Pinero said earlier as they expect top seniors teams San Miguel – Northern Cement and PugAd to be at each other’s throat when competition for the Seniors Fil Championship flight begins on Sunday.
The Fil-Am golf is also backed by Toyota, Petron, Magnolia, SMC Global Power, Northern Cement, San Miguel Lifestyle Brews, Manor at Camp John Hay, Forest Lodge, Empire, CJH Development Corporation, Baguio Country Club, Le Chef,and the CJH Trade and Cultural Center, and Mizuno. PNA-northboundasia.com