$1-M Manila Masters up in S'woods

By Olmin Leyba, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jul 24 2014 06:40 PM | Updated as of Jul 25 2014 02:40 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Organizers look forward to a bigger, more exciting second edition of the Resorts World Manila Masters which sets out to be the richer ever on Philippine soil with a whopping $1-million in prize money.

Coming on the heels of the successful maiden edition that came down to a thrilling playoff last time, the Asian Tour-sanctioned tourney gets a million dollar boost from Resorts World Manila and new presenting sponsor 918.com for the Nov. 20-23 event at Manila Southwoods.

Topnotch golfers from the Asian Tour as well from the European and US Tours, led by Chinese defending champion Liang Wen-chong, who rallied to beat Thai Prom Meesawat in playoff last year, are expected to come over for the event.

“Last year’s inaugural Resorts World Manila Masters proved to be a victory not just for champion Liang Wen-chong but also for Phl golf. By providing a stage at Southwoods, top caliber golfers from Phl and around the world were able to compete in the country’s biggest tournament,” said Resorts World Manila COO Stephen James Reilly.

“This year, together with the Asian Tour and our new presenting sponsor 918.com, we look forward to making the Resorts World Manila Masters even bigger and better with an increased prize fund of $1 million,” he added.

918.com, one of Asia’s leading online casino companies, is making its first foray into sports.

“We know golf is one of the interests of our clients so we want to give them the opportunity to play with the pros, especially with the pro-am in the Resorts World Manila Masters,” said Maideline Aure, marketing director of 918.com Philippines.

“I have every belief that this tournament will become one of the most highly-anticipated and biggest events in the Asian Tour,” said Asian Tour chairman Kyi Hla Han.

Organizers hope weather will be more cooperative this time. Last year, the then $750,000 tournament was played a couple of weeks after Typhoon Yolanda hit the country. Resorts World Manila and the Asian Tour, helped in relief efforts as did eventual champion Liang who donated half of his winnings.

They also expect a highly competitive chase for the top plum worth $180,000.

“You never know. We might see one of the Filipino greats coming down the 18th fairway. Who knows? We could have another name this year,” said Reilly.