Byrne leads foreign cast in Aboitiz golf

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Monday, August 25, 2014


MANILA—Scot James Byrne, fresh from his three-shot romp in Jakarta last Sunday, hopes to make it two-in-a-row on the Asian Development Tour as he heads the foreign challenge in the $100,000 Aboitiz Invitational tomorrow at Riviera’s Couples course in Silang, Cavite.

The 25-year-old Byrne put on a grand finish in winning the Ciputra Golfpreneur Tournament, holing out with a 40-foot eagle putt on the final hole to complete a bogey-free 64 at the damai Indah Golf’s BSD course and beat American Brett Munson and rookie William Sjaichudin by three.

That makes the former Walker Cup star one of the players to watch in the Aboitiz Invitational. The field also features the country’s top guns, led by reigning back-to-back ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour Order of Merit champion Tony Lascuna, three-time Asian Tour winner Angelo Que, former ADT OOM titlist Jay Bayron, young gun Miguel Tabuena and veteran Frankie Miñoza.

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Elmer Salvador, who nipped Que in a final round shootout at the Cebu Country Club last to become the first player to retain an ADT crown, is also in the star-studded roster, seeking to set another record as the first three-peat winner on the circuit.

The other foreign bets in the event are Thais Wisut Artjanawat and Sattaya Supupramai, Japanese Mitsuhiko Hashizume, Englishman Grant Jackson and Ireland’s Niall Turner along with Canadian Lindsay Renolds, Aussie Darren Tan and Swede Malcolm Kokocinksi.

The leading pros gear up for the battle for the top $17,500 prize as they see action in today’s pro-am tournament along with their respective amateur partners and guests from the event’s chief backers, including International Container Terminal Services, Inc., Nike Golf, Pacsports Phils. Inc., Srixon, Callaway, Mizuno, Empire Golf, Footjoy, Titleist, Custom Clubmakers, Sharp and KZG and the Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.

Action is expected to be fierce in the 14th leg of the ADT and 11th stage of the local circuit with the top five players on the final ADT OOM gaining a spot in the 2015 Asian Tour. Previously, only the top-three players were offered Asian Tour cards.

Tabuena is the best-placed Filipino in the ADT OOM at No. 15, boosted by his joint runner-up finish in Taifong Open in Taiwan last July with seven legs left in the season.

With the Cebu Country Club, venue of the ADT event the last three years, set to undergo renovation, the sponsoring Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc. has decided to move the event to Luzon with Riviera gaining the right to stage the premier tournament backed by ICTSI and supported by the Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. PR

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 26, 2014.

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