Jobim Carlos tries to cap a sterling Philippine Golf Tour (PGT) season with a victory in the rich ICTSI Luisita Invitational against an elite international field at the Luisita Golf and Country Club in Tarlac.
That makes the P4 million PGT final leg an event to watch starting today with Carlos facing an early test against veteran Jay Bayron and title-hungry Michael Bibat at 11:10 a.m. on no. 1.
With two victories and a couple of runner-up efforts in the PGT season about to end, Carlos secured the Order of Merit crown as early as last month when he piled up earnings of P2,411,083 in nine legs against young Korean Kim Joo Hyung’s P1.36 million winnings.
At 25, Carlos is one of the youngest winners of the coveted individual crown, clinching it on this third year on the tour.
But the next four days will be pretty tough for the former amateur hotshot with a slew of aces out to foil his drive for a third championship, including Jhonnel Ababa and fellow leg winners Dutch Guido Van der Valk (Eagle Ridge), Jerson Balasabas (Philippine Masters), American Nicolas Paez (Del Monte) and Justin Quiban (Bacolod).
Tony Lascuña and Clyde Mondilla are also out to make a bid in the 72-hole championship in an attempt to avert a winless season.
Ababa hopes to come out strong in the group of Erwin Arcillas and Rufino Bayron at 7:30 a.m. on the first hole, Van der Valk also expects to be in the mix early against Aussie Simon Vitakangas and amateur Jolo Magcalayo at 7:35 a.m. on no. 10 while Balasabas faces an early challenge against Lascuña and Ferdie Aunzo at 7:20 a.m., also on no. 1 of the tight, hazard-laden layout.
Paez drew Mondilla and Macedonia’s Peter Stojanovski at 7:40 a.m. on no. 1 while Quiban is primed up against Richard Sinfuego and Joenard Rates at 11:15 a.m. on no. 10.
The event also serves as tune-up for next week’s Central Azucarera de Tarlac Open, the sixth leg of the PGT Asia second season that the young Quiban ruled to nail his maiden victory.