Nine years after it last staged the Philippine Golf Tour, the Valley Golf South is back as host of the country’s premier circuit, ready to provide a stern test to the men of the tour in the ICTSI Valley Golf Challenge beginning 6 June in Antipolo, Rizal.
Tony Lascuña dominated the field in the 2014 Tour edition, beating Jhonnel Ababa by seven but the organizing Pilipinas Golf Tournaments Inc. has not made any stop at Valley since before it held the first Ladies PGT tournament, which top amateur Rianne Malixi dominated, last year.
The rolling Valley Golf South layout actually served as the Tour’s first venue during its four-leg inaugurals in 2009 with Jay Bayron emerging on top of the ICTSI-backed championship.
The upcoming P2 million tournament will be the sixth leg of this year’s circuit following a two-leg Visayan swing in Bacolod and Iloilo, the Caliraya Springs leg in Cavinti, Laguna, the Luisita Championship in Tarlac and the ICTSI Villamor Philippine Masters at Villamor last week.
Ababa ended a long title spell with a come-from-behind victory over Joenard Rates and Dutch Guido van der Valk in a fierce PH Masters battle that went all the way to the final hole with the same unpredictable finish expected at Valley, kept in championship form all-season long, which features narrow, rolling terrains, winding streams and sleek putting surface.
A down-to-the-wire battle is also seen in the LPGT side of the tournament with Harmie Constantino targeting a third straight victory after pulling off a pair of explosive rallies at Luisita and Villamor.
Meanwhile, a select crew of pros in both the men’s and ladies’ sides get the chance to test the par-72 South course in the traditional pro-am tournament on Monday.