The Resorts World Manila Masters plays its swan song in 2017. Yes, the partnership between the Asian Tour, Resorts World Manila (RWM) and the Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club comes to an end this year as most things must. The five-year agreement that bound them together and brought the richest golf tournament in Philippine history to us expires this year, and the parties involved are hoping that the 2017 edition will be the most exciting yet.
The fifth edition of the $1-million Resorts World Manila Masters will return to Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club from November 9 to 12, with a charity initiative to support families affected by an unfortunate incident that occurred in RWM on June 2.
A fund-raising initiative will be undertaken at the tournament, where the Asian Tour and its members will be making their contributions to a charity fund set up by RWM, specially for the dependents of those who were lost. Proceeds from the fund-raising efforts will be channeled to the children and qualified heirs of RWM employees and guests affected by the incident.
“This fifth edition of the Resorts World Manila Masters holds a special place in our hearts,” Stephen Reilly, COO of RWM said. “Not only is it the final edition of the RWM Masters [but] it is also in loving memory of the employees and guests we lost during a senseless incident in June. By integrating a charity component into the tournament this year, we stand by our commitment to honor our dear departed whilst helping those they left behind move forward.”
Josh Burack, CEO of Asian Tour, said: “The Asian Tour stands united with our partners, Resorts World Manila, in the face of the recent tragedy. We deeply feel aggrieved for the families affected by the incident and hope to do a small part through this fund-raising activity at the Resorts World Manila Masters. We hope this will bring some measure of relief to the families.
“The Asian Tour players are committed to support this wonderful initiative. As we visit so many countries around the world to compete every year and showcase our players’ talents, it is also our responsibility to support the local communities during challenging times”.
The Resorts World Manila Masters has a history of social responsibility. During the first running of the event in 2013, most of the Philippines, particularly the province of Leyte, was devastated by Supertyphoon Yolanda. Liang Wen Chong of China, who won title, donated half of his $135,000 paycheck to the victims of the typhoon. The Asian Tour and Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club, likewise, raised money for those affected by the storm.
The tournament has done much to showcase the Philippines and the quality of golf here to the rest of the world. The broadcast goes out to more than 50 countries, and the Tour’s new live streaming initiative will complement its well-established global television platform, which already covers over 180 countries and territories with a potential reach of more than 750 million households via Asian Tour Media’s large pool of official TV broadcast partners.
There can be no better advertisement for golf tourism in the country than the live broadcast of the Resorts World Manila Masters.
The one wrinkle in the short history of the event has been the lack of a Philippine champion. As you read this, Angelo Que and Miguel Tabuena have been playing very well as of late. Juvic Pagunsan has shown flashes of his old self on the Japan Tour and might compete on the Masters Course of Manila Southwoods. Tony Lascuña has been up to his winning ways, yet again, and because he calls Manila Southwoods home, he has to be tagged as a potential winner of the event. Although he has yet to finish well in the Resorts World Manila Masters, Clyde Mondilla has been on a tear on the Philippine Golf Tour. His prodigious length and newfound maturity make him a real threat this year.
But is this 2017 edition truly the Resorts World Manila Masters’ swan song? Is this the end of the richest tournament in Philippine golf?
Well in advance of the news conference, the team at Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club has been making the rounds of potential sponsors, shaking the trees and trying to find the money to keep the tournament moving forward. Given the exciting history of the tournament, the good that it has done and the good that it does for the country, we should see the tournament again in 2018, albeit with a different title sponsor.
That can only mean good things for all things golf in the Philippines.