JOBIM Carlos, fresh from a four-stroke romp at Apo, sets out for a second straight Philippine Golf Tour crown and third overall in the ICTSI Del Monte Championship, which returns to the tour calendar beginning Wednesday (June 27) at the Del Monte Golf Club in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon.
Carlos unleashed a strong finishing kick to turn what had appeared to be a down-to-the-wire finish into a runaway triumph in the ICTSI Apo Golf Invitational, beating local ace Elmer Salvador and pro-am winner Albin Engino by four on a closing 68 spiked by three birdies in the last seven holes.
That makes the 25-year-old former amateur hotshot the marked player in the upcoming P3 million tournament sponsored by ICTSI at Del Monte which incidentally makes its first hosting of the circuit since 2013 won by golf legend and local hero Frankie Miñoza.
The Apo romp came three weeks after Carlos scored a breakthrough at PGT Asia at Riviera and after he teamed up with DJ Padilla to rule the Delimondo Pro-am at Splendido last month.
But the hottest player on the tour expects a tougher, fiercer challenge from practically the same field he outclassed at Apo with Del Monte also posing a different kind of challenge with its mountain-top set-up with man-made lakes, pine trees, bunkers and unpredictable greens to test even the best in the fold.
They include Salvador and Engino, Tony Lascuña, Jerson Balasabas, Joenard Rates, Mars Pucay, Ira Alido, Nilo Salahog, Jay Bayron, Rufino Bayron, Ferdie Aunzo, Mhark Fernando, Marvin Dumandan and Jhonnel Ababa.
A slew of foreign aces will also be going all out to spoil their local counterparts in the Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.-organized event, led by Kim Joo Hyung, who finished tied for six at Apo, and fellow Koreans Lee Song and Park Jun Sung and Americans Lexus Keoninh and Nicolas Paez.
PGT Eagle Ridge winner Guido Van der Valk of the Netherlands is also out to atone for this missed cut stint at Apo along with Japanese Keisuke Takahashi and Issei Mori and Spain’s Salvador Paya Vila.
Meanwhile, Pueblo De Oro will host the next Mindanao swing on July 4-7 before action shifts to the Visayas for the ICTSI Bacolod Golf Championship on Aug. 8-11 to be followed by the Negros Occidental Classic on Aug. 15-18, the Iloilo Golf Challenge on Aug. 22 -25 and the ICTSI Cebu Invitational on Aug. 29-Sept. 1.
But the men of the tour will first focus on how to stop the fired-up Carlos, who will be coming into the 72-hole championship backed BDO, KZG, Custom Clubmakers, Meralco, Sharp, Champion, Summit Mineral Water and PLDT brimming with utmost confidence coming off that big Apo victory.