Top pros bracing for tough challenge at TCC Invitational

AN elite 30-player cast—led by five previous champions and a host of younger guns—gear up for 4 days of battle in the P6-million The Country Club (TCC) Invitational that unwraps Tuesday at the TCC training course in Laguna.

The winner pockets a record P2 million in what looms to be yet another survival of the fittest the way it has been on a system that provides tons of high-risk plays.

“TCC is so tough that it genuinely is your combat with the study course. No subject who performs in the event, it is a rough system for all,” stated Guido Van der Valk, the last winner of the Philippine Golf Tour’s (PGT) flagship match in 2020.

Van der Valk edged Clyde Mondilla by one shots with a seven-more than 297 full in a wild end that has marked each TCC Invitational.

The previous three editions of the function have been also determined by means of 1-shot victories, additional underscoring the course’s unpredictability.

Tom Kim, now a rising star on the Experienced Golfers Affiliation Tour, nipped Keanu Jahns on a 290 complete in 2019, Micah Shin foiled Miguel Tabuena in 2018, and Tabuena outlasted Juvic Pagunsan in 2017 on a 13-about 301 whole in brutal circumstances.

“Your entire activity needs to be good—driver and long irons because the study course is long, brief game since no matter how fantastic you engage in you will pass up the greens,” included Van der Valk, who scored two victories in past year’s 7-leg PGT to arise one particular of the marked players in this week’s championship structured by Pilipinas Golfing Tournaments Inc.

Becoming a member of him in the hunt are Shin, 2004 champion Tony Lascuna, 2013 winner Frankie Minoza and three-time titlist Juvic Pagunsan, alongside with Mondilla, Zanieboy Gialon, Michael Bibat, Reymon Jaraula, Jhonnel Ababa, Lloyd Go, Ira Alido, Joenard Costs, Sean Ramos, Ruperto Zaragosa III, Rico Depilo, Orlan Sumcad, Jerson Balasabas, Gerald Rosales, Jay Bayron, Dino Villanueva, Anthony Fernando, Fidel Concepcion, Albin Engino, Enrico Gallardo, Richard Sinfuego, Art Arbole, Mars Pucay, Paul Echavez and Dan Cruz.

All get the possibility to check the 7,256-garden system, whose drinking water-laced No. 18 is long regarded as as a person of the very best ending holes in Asia, a single very last time in Monday)’s professional-am match wherever they will spouse with officials and friends of the sponsoring Intercontinental Container Terminal Products and services Inc.

“We all know that TCC is rough but it’s a obstacle for us to perform at the country’s toughest program. To develop great scores, you have to be superior in everything—driving, irons, short activity and putting,” explained Mondilla, all pumped up to nail the elusive championship soon after falling limited the past two instances.

The Del Monte ace has essentially gained at TCC, creating two clutch shots to check an impending skid and thwart American Nicolas Paez for the Solaire Philippine Open up crown in 2019 on a two-above 290 full.

“But it is tricky to gain at TCC once more. You have to engage in your finest,” he extra.

Lascuna, who ruled the event in his prime, remains hopeful he’ll be ready to get at least a crack at yet another TCC trophy. But with engineering favoring the younger, much better gamers, the 52-yr-aged multi-titled campaigner is pinning his hopes on his trustworthy 3-wood and hybrid in tackling the extensive class, specially if the winds occur into engage in.

“No a person can actually forecast the outcome simply because the wind can change each hole’s character in an instantaneous. And whilst I’ll be supplying absent some yards off the mound, I be expecting to compensate for this with my 3-wood and rescue. Hopefully, my placing will also click in all 4 days,” explained Lascuña, who has stayed in form all through the split through standard routines and training when conducting swing classes at Manila Southwoods.

He considers TCC’s Nos. 4, 8, 11, 14, 15, 17 and 18 as essential holes which require not just strong shotmaking but great judgment.

Bidders will also have to offer with the winds that can be incredibly frustrating to account for, when the fairways can engage in a critical roll as well with the pace and contour of the greens to have a direct effects on how participant can go small in a round.