Stellar Line-Up Set for ICTSI Philippine Open

Sun 29 Jan 2012

Stellar Line-Up Set for ICTSI Philippine Open


Manila, January 29: Chinese Taipei’s Lu Wei-chih and Japanese ace Tetsuji Hiratsuka will spearhead a wonderful line-up of champions for the Asian Tour’s ICTSI Philippine Open at Wack Wack Golf and Country Club next month.

Lu, who won twice at the Mercuries Taiwan Masters and Yeangder Tournament Players Championship on home soil last season, will be fired up to earn a first victory outside of his native country as his maiden title was also secured in Taipei.

Hiratsuka will be searching for his fifth Asian Tour victory in three seasons at the ICTSI Philippine Open, which will be the second leg of the Asian Tour’s 2012 season from February 9-12. The new season begins next week with the Zaykabar Myanmar Open presented by Air Bagan.

The Japanese veteran won three times in 2010 to finish third on the Order of Merit and triumphed once more last season to finish second on the rankings, strengthening his reputation as one of Asia’s top players.

The duo will be amongst a group of nine players who tasted victories on Asia’s elite circuit last season where they will aim to dethrone title holder Berry Henson of the United States at the venerable Wack Wack’s East course.

The ICTSI Philippine Open will be broadcast live over four rounds on the Asian Tour’s global television platform which reaches over 200 countries.

Lu’s countryman Chan Yih-shin, winner of the Macau Open presented by Cityneon last year, looks set to feature prominently at the Philippine Open, which is Asia’s oldest national championship.

Indian duo Himmat Rai and Anirban Lahiri, who won career breakthrough titles at the ISPS Handa Singapore Classic and Panasonic Open India last year, will be looking to launch successful starts to their new season in Manila.

Joonas Granberg of Finland, one of the success stories last season where he earned his card from Qualifying School and subsequently secured a maiden win at the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters, and Thai duo Chawalit Plaphol and Kiradech Aphibarnrat, victorious at the Queen’s Cup in Thailand and SAIL Open in India respectively, will head full speed to the ICTSI Philippine Open next month in search for more success.

Former Asian Tour Order of Merit champion Thaworn Wiratchant will seek a record-equaling 13th career victory in Manila where he will be joined by highly-talented countryman Pariya Junhasavasdikul, who finished tied fifth at the ICTSI Philippine Open last season.

Bangladeshi Siddikur, who has finished seventh and eighth on the Order of Merit in the past two seasons, will be keen to start his 2012 campaign on a strong footing after a relatively quiet second half last season.

The history-maker from Dhaka is the first Bangladeshi to win on the Asian Tour following his triumph in the 2010 Brunei Open and the tight Wack Wack layout will fit his game perfectly in hopes for a second victory.

The ICTSI Philippine Open, celebrating its 96th edition, will feature a 150-man field from no fewer than 20 different nationalities.


About the ICTSI Philippine Open

As Asia’s oldest national Championship, the ICTSI Philippine Open is no doubt one of the most prestigious Opens on the Asian Tour calendar. It is title sponsored by the International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI), which is in the business of acquiring, developing and operating container ports and terminals worldwide. Other sponsors include HSBC (Official Bank), Panasonic Philippines (Official Co-Sponsor), Globe Telecom (Official Telecommunications Sponsor), San Miguel (Official Co-Sponsor), Cathay Pacific (Official Airlines), OMEGA (Official Timekeeper) and BlackBerry (Official Smartphone and Tablet Partner).

About the Asian Tour

As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Rolex (Official Timekeeper), J.Lindeberg (Official Apparel Partner), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts), Cityneon (Official Event Overlay Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Singha Beer (Official Beer), BlackBerry (Official Smartphgone and Tablet Partner) and Srixon (Official Ball). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.