Around 240 teams will vie for titles at stake in the seniors and regular divisions of the 72nd Fil-Am Open Invitational Golf Tournament set at the Baguio Country Club and Camp John Hay on Nov. 23 to Dec. 11.
The Fil-Am executive committee co-chaired by Anthony de Leon of BCC and Jude Eustaquio of CJH announced Wednesday the seniors division will have 96 teams while the regular division will have 144 teams, including the premier Fil and Am championship flights.
The par 69 CJH and par 61 BCC courses are both in tiptop shape except for the ongoing improvements at hole eight at CJH and hole four of BCC.
To observe faster game phase, the previous 15-minute interval between flights will be reduced to 10 to 12 minutes in both courses.
Eustaquio surmised they might be expecting new faces during this year’s staging of the biggest and longest amateur golf tournament in the world, as there was resurgence in the number of budding golf enthusiasts when golf is one of the few outdoor sport activities that were allowed during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Even those in the medical community have engaged themselves in golf when outdoor activities were allowed as a means to cope with stress and other mental health issues brought about by the pandemic.
There is a growing interest among Filipino and foreign players to participate in the Fil-Am, as more than 100 teams are still in the waiting list, according to the executive committee.
The premier Fil and Am championship flights is expected to be a battle among visiting teams led by Manila Southwoods that has dominated the top podium over the past years.
Local teams such as the CJH and BCC teams are among the frontrunners in the lower brackets of the regular division.
Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong will see action during the tournament, as he is a member of one of the City Hall teams to compete in the senior and regular divisions.
Other dignitaries and personalities are also expected to be part of other competing teams from outside the Cordillera. – Harley F. Palangchao