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Locals battle top foreign golfers in PH Amateur tilt

THE COUNTRY’S best young golfers take on a formidable crew of foreign bets on Monday as the Philippine Amateur Open Golf Championship presented by the MVP Sports Foundation tees off at the East Course of Wack Wack in Mandaluyong.

The country will be bannered by several top-notch golfers led by champion Rupert Zaragosa and Jobim Carlos along with up-and-comers Andres Saldana, Basti Lorenzo, Gabriel Manotoc and Cebuano, Lloyd Jefferson Go.

A number of crack foreign bets seek to keep the trophy away from a local bet’s hands with Singapore and Malaysia sending its best for the 72-hole centrepiece men’s championship. Defending champion Gregory Foo of Singapore will not be around to shoot for a second straight win because of commitments with his country’s military, but elder brother George will be here together with the veteran Jerome Ng, Marc Ong and Thomas Tan.

The quartet form Singapore’s A-Team and the tournament could serve as a gauge on how the Philippines could fare internationally, with the Singaporeans already one of the powers in the Southeast Asian region.

The tournament will be tough with cuts to be performed after the first and third rounds for the men. Limited to a 70-player field, only the top 50 and ties will advance to the second round and after the third round, only the top 25 and ties will play in the last 18 holes. For the women, cut will be after the second round, with only the top 12 women and ties playing in the last 18 holes. /Correspondent Jonas Panerio

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