Justin Quiban, Guido Van der Valk upbeat as PGT Bacolod unwraps

Justin Quiban, Guido Van der Valk upbeat as PGT Bacolod unwraps

MURCIA, Negros Occidental, Philippines — Justin Quiban and Guido Van der Valk set out for a pair of repeats on the Philippine Golf Tour, confident of their chances against a stellar field toughened up by two comebacking aces in the ICTSI Bacolod Golf Challenge which gets going today at the Bacolod Golf Club here.

Quiban used a 66 and two 64s at the par-70 layout in the first three rounds to dominate this event last year with the young rising shotmaker hopeful of duplicating his fine start and sustaining it to the finish in what looms to be a spirited chase for the crown in this P2.5 million event serving as the second of the four-stage Visayan swing of the circuit put up by ICTSI.

“I feel good about my chances to defend my title here,” said Quiban, who vowed to play aggressive at the tight, tricky BCC unlike last week at Club Filipino de Cebu where emphasis was on iron game. He gets an early test as he drew veteran Tony Lascuña and Thai Pachara Sakulyong in the 11 a.m. flight on No. 10.

“I’ll use my driver more here to attack the reachable par-4s. I played a conservative game last week (in Cebu) but now it will be the opposite,” added the former amateur hotshot, who has also nailed a victory in the inaugural PGT Asia at Luisita in 2017.

Like Quiban, Van der Valk is also coming into the event oozing with confidence following a wire-to-wire triumph in Danao City, Cebu last week with the Manila-based Dutchman likewise hinting at unleashing an attacking kind of game this week.

Focus will also be on Juvic Pagunsan and Clyde Mondilla, two of the best of the old and new who are out to mark their return to the PGT with a victory. Pagunsan is taking a break from the Japan PGA Tour where he is based while Mondilla is coming off a two-month long layout due to injury.

But they are both tipped to figure prominently right in the opening round with Pagunsan to square off with Marvin Dumandan and Richard Sinfuego at 11:10 a.m. on the first hole.