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Golf season

Rey Bancod

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Many golf clubs hold their annual member-guest tournaments in the first two months of the year because of the cold weather.

In fact, the Mango Tee of Alabang Country Club and the Bill Shaw Memorial Cup of Wack-Wack Golf and Country Club were held on the same week, drawing thousands of participants.

The Riviera Golf and Country Club in Silang, Cavite also concluded its annual Invitational last week and Manila Golf Club just completed its 50th Golden Tee yesterday.

Next on the calendar are the Manila Southwoods Invitational and the Don Celso Tuason Cup to be held simultaneously next week at the Manila Southwoods in Carmona, Cavite and at Valley Golf and Country Club in Antipolo, respectively.

Through the years, clubs have been offering cars as hole-in-one and raffle prizes to draw participation.  As a result, tournaments have been extended up to six days as in the case of the Mango Tee since Alabang has only one 18-hole course.

The other clubs blessed with two courses hold theirs in as short as four days.

Valley Golf, for instance, has its North and South courses, which it uses for its 1,000 participants.

The Antipolo course is teeming with activity the past few days as golfers take advantage of two free practice rounds for Tuason Cup participants.

I bumped into a group of golfers last Thursday not connected with the Tuason Cup.

They were touring pros Jobim Carlos, Tonlits Asistio and Ryan Lam and top amateurs Abby Arevalo and Daniella Uy.

Abby, a member of the national team that won two gold medals in the last Southeast Asian Games, said she may postpone her plans to turn pro after being sounded out for the Patsy Hankins Trophy, a women’s amateur golf competition between Asia-Pacific and Europe.

Patterned after the men’s Ryder Cup, the event features 12 players from each team taking part in various match play competitions spread over three days.

The first two days comprise five foursome and five four-ball matches. On the final day, all participants play in 12 singles matches.

The biennial event started in 2016 with Asia-Pacific sweeping the first two staging in Qatar and Portugal.

The site of the third Patsy Hankins Trophy is in Spain, which excites Abby who has not been to Europe.

Abby said she would know in the next several days if she will be on the Asia-Pacific team.

She will be the third Filipina to play in the tournament after Princess Superal in 2016 and Yuka Saso in 2018.

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