THAIS EYE PGT ASIA BREAKTHROUGH
A strong 11-man crew seeks to record Thailand’s first championship in the Philippine Golf Tour (PGT) Asia, which resumes its 2018-19 season with the ICTSI Pradera Verde Classic beginning Wednesday at Pradera Verde Golf and Country Club in Lubao, Pampanga.
The Thais, the Filipinos’ perennial rivals in the men’s and women’s sides in the amateurs, are due for a breakthrough in the region’s newest circuit after Pasavee Lertvilai tied for second to Rene Menor at Splendido in 2017 and Namchok Tantipokhakul finished runner-up to Aussie Damien Jordan in the Aboitiz Invitational at Orchard last year.
The Thais are winless in 14 PGT Asia events so far but remain hopeful heading to the $100,000 championship, eighth leg of the second season of the tour.
Lertvilai, also a former PGT Asia Qualifying School topnotcher, and Tantipokhakul are back as spearheads of a team that includes veteran campaigner Wisut Artjanawat, Chonlatit Chuenboonngam, Jaturon Duangpaichoom, Sutijet Kooratanapisan, Tawit Polthai, Puk Pradittan, Nirun Sae-ueng, Thammanoon Sriroj and Piya Swangarunporn.
The field will bid for the top $17,500 purse in the 72hole championship organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
Jordan and Luisita leg winner David Gleeson are going all out for a second win while regular campaigner Lexus Keoninh resumes his title hunt.
Meanwhile, Filipinos Clyde Mondilla, Tony Lascuña, Jay Bayron and Jhonnel Ababa test the Pradera on Tuesday in the pro-am tournament.