MANILA — A total of 22 countries, led by defending champion France, will compete in the 17th World University Golf Championship (WUGC) to be held in Pampanga in May.
The WUGC, a tournament sanctioned by the International University Sports Federation (FISU), will be held at the world-class Pradera Verde Golf and Country Club in the town of Lubao on May 16-19.
According to the Federation of School Sports Association of the Philippines (FESSAP), which is organizing the tournament, the countries already registered are Australia, China, Chinese Taipei, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, South Africa, Switzerland, and the United States. Canada, Malaysia and Mongolia have also expressed their intention to join.
Host Philippines will also join the tournament for amateur players with a handicap of nine or less.
Each country may enter a maximum of six players. Three players may be fielded in the individual events. In the team event, the two best results per day will be counted for the team classification per day.
Medals will be awarded to the top three finishers in the individual and team events in both men’s and women’s divisions.
The FISU has designated Australian Dominic Wall as technical head of the WUGC, which will be played over 72 holes stroke-play, 18 holes each day for four days.
To ensure the successful hosting of the WUGC, the FESSAP has teamed up with the provincial government of Pampanga, led by Governor Lilia Pineda and her husband, philanthropist-businessman Rodolfo “Bong” Pineda; Lubao City Mayor Mylyn Pineda-Cayabyab; and Pradera Verde Country Club manager, Mike Singgaran.
The WUGC Organizing Committee is composed of Marius Aseron (chairman); Emmanuel Edward Co and Benito Techico (vice chairmen); Atty. Baldomero Estenzo, David U. Ong, Godofredo Gallega, Alvin Tai Lian, Prof. Robert Milton Calo, Col. Ariel Querubin, Atty. Maria Luz Arzaga-Mendoza, and Dr. Diosdado Amante, and tournament secretariat members Joseph Sy, Cecil Sarmiento, Nga Yee Rodas, Fructuso Raytos, Eloisa Guillermo, and Ann Janeth Garcia.
The Philippines is the third country in Asia to hold the WUGC after Chinese Taipei (2002) and Thailand (2004).
Italy hosted the inaugural staging of the WUGC in 1986, as well as the 1988 and 2006 editions, while Spain was host in 1992, 1994 and 2010.
France, which hosted the 16th edition of the WUGC in Brive-la-Gaillarde two years ago, bagged the men’s team gold medal. Ireland and Chinese Taipei took the silver and bronze medals, respectively.
Czech Republic ruled the women’s team event as Karolina Vickova won the gold, Marrie Lunackova the silver, and Katerina Vlasinova the bronze.
Ireland’s Robin Dawson topped the men’s individual event. China’s Xuewem Luo got the silver, and Chinese Taipei’s Yu-Chen Yeh claimed the bronze.