No favorite as Masters get off ground
Frankie Miñoza, still a contender at 63 years old, expects the new generation of stars to shine in the P2.5 million ICTSI Villamor Philippine Masters that tees off on Wednesday at the well-manicured, tree-lined layout in Pasay.
Describing himself as “semi-retired” and playing for the enjoyment of it, Miñoza, a two-time Masters champ who will be coming off a string of respectable performances this season, believes that the younger ones have the best chance to prevail.
“It is the new generation that has the best chance,” Miñoza said after the last official practice round on Tuesday. “I don’t expect much for myself because there is already the fatigue factor for me.”
Rupert Zaragosa, the pint-sized Caliraya leg champion seeking to win the event in his first appearance, is one of those given an even chance owing to his precision play. “Everyone has a chance to win,” Zaragosa said. “I need to hit more fairways and make more putts.”
Defending champion Jessie Balasabas, Guido Van Der Valk, Jay Bayron and Jonel Ababa are the veterans who will be in the spotlight, with Van Der Valk looking to avenge a playoff loss to Balasabas the last time the tournament was held in 2018.
“I’m playing quite well and I just hope to do so starting Wednesday,” Balasabas told the Inquirer in Filipino after shooting a two-under-par 70 during the Pro-Am on Monday. “It will be very different starting the first round, what with the pressure and all.” INQ
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