REIGNING Philippine Open champion Elmer Salvador will be a man on a mission when the Aboitiz Cebu Country Club (CCC) Invitational tees off today at the CCC golf course.

Salvador was deprived of a win in the Del Monte  leg of the competition after a “bizarre” final hole incident that led to his disqualification.

Salvador, Richard Sinfuego and Juvic Pagunsan, the three leading players, were disqualified for an infraction on Rule 22-6 that has something to do with assisting.

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Pagunsan, a leg winner, is also competing in today’s event.

The Del Monte leg could have been his second win this year. He is ranked fifth in the Order of Merit standings on the ITCSI Philippine Golf Tour.

“That event has already been erased from my mind and this time, I want to focus on the tournament and win,” Salvador said.Salvador said the debacle only inspired him to work harder on his game and prepare for this tournament. He arrived a week early to get himself acquainted with the course conditions. 

Salvador is also expected to face a lot of tough competition, especially since he will be going up against some of the country’s best. One of them is Angelo Que who just won the Asian Tour last week in the Selangor Masters.

Also seeing action in the tournament are other previous winners Artemio Murakami, Mars Pucay, Marvin Dumandan, and Benjie Magada.

Filipino golfing icon Frankie Miñoza has also confirmed his participation.  He will be making a return to competition in the golf course where he scored his first breakthrough win in the Philippine Amateur tour when he became the youngest champion. 

This year’s youngest champion, Del Monte golfer, Clyde Mondilla will also be in the field.

“The course has also been lengthened with this tournament, featuring the debut of the new fifth hole and a new tee box on the sixth,” said  golf director Clifford Celdran.

Celdran added they also added a rough to give the pros more challenges.

“The pros have been raving about the good condition of the course and are looking forward to playing on it,” Celdran said.

The tournament dangles P200,000 for the winner.

This event is the 10th leg of the 14-stage circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.