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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Fil-German Jahns eyes redemption in ICTSI Villamor Philippine Masters

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KEANU JAHNS returns to Villamor Golf Club with high hopes of scoring a breakthrough in the International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) Villamor Philippine Masters which gets going Wednesday at the relatively flat but challenging layout in Pasay City.

Jahns fell short the last time out at the military course and is now free from the injury that had sidelined him after yielding the ICTSI Villamor Match Play crown last December.

But with a strong finish in the recent ICTSI Luisita Championship, the 28-year-old Filipino-German exudes confidence this time.

“I’ve always felt comfortable playing at Villamor, so hopefully I can have another good finish this year,” said Jahns, who upset fancied rivals to earn a shot at the crown in the inaugural Match Play Invitational.

But a wrist injury kept him out of play in the first five tournaments of this year’s Philippine Golf Tour (PGT), including The Country Club Invitational where he also placed second to now Professional Golfers Association Tour campaigner Tom Kim in 2019.

He marked his return with a joint 16th place finish at Luisita.

“I had an OK start at Luisita considering that the last event I played before was the Villamor Match Play and I only started playing again the week before the event due to injury,” Jahns said. “Luisita was a good test for me to see if my wrist would handle tournament week again and it did.”

That makes him a marked player in the upcoming P2.5 million event put up by ICTSI and organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments Inc., given his length and patience that helped anchor his bid in the head-to-head duel.

“Yes, my length is definitely an advantage but I feel what it would come down to is approach and short game,” he said. “If I am able to get closer to the hole with my wedges and short irons, I’ll have a better chance making birdies.”

A birdie-hunt is indeed expected in the 72-hole, stroke play championship given the elite field’s form coming off four highly-competitive battles in Bacolod, Iloilo, Caliraya and Luisita with The Country Club Invitational back-to-back winner Guido van der Valk and Jerson Balasabas, winner of the last ICTSI Philippine Masters in 2018, headlining the 66-player cast.

While a number of top guns are competing overseas, including Match Play and Caliraya Springs leg champion Tony Lascuna, Bacolod leg winner Ira Alido and Luisita titlist Miguel Tabuena, Angelo Que and Clyde Mondilla, the depth of the Philippine Masters field remains deep with Jhonnel Ababa, Reymon Jaurala, Michael Bibat, Joenard Rates, Jay Bayron, Marvin Dumandan and Iloilo stop champion Rupert Zaragosa all ready for a stab at Masters glory.
Legend Frankie Miñoza and fellow former Masters titlist Robert Pactolerin are also in the fold with the former underscoring his readiness to contend again after doing so and finishing tied for seventh at Luisita.

Read full article on BusinessMirror

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