MANILA, Philippines — Ira Alido is a young man in a hurry.
After scoring a Philippine Golf Tour breakthrough, the 19-year-old rising star believes he could level up, seeking no less than a full card when the Asian Tour kicks off its restart next year.
The former amateur standout fell two strokes short from earning a card for the region’s premier circuit in the grueling Q-School early this year but he said he’s has a “temporary status” for the Tour where he could play in some events.
But the pandemic cut short the Asian Tour 2020 calendar last March with its planned September restart also shelved due to travel restrictions and health concerns.
That would leave Alido and other Tour aspirants with no option but to go through another qualifying tournament although the Tour is still finalizing its 2021 calendar while also figuring out how it will protect status for players who are unable to compete after the restart.
Whatever, Alido is keen on staying fit and in shape, using the holiday break to hone and sharpen his skills which he put in full display with a dominant showing in the last of the two-stage PGT "bubble" tournament at Riviera’s tough Langer course three weeks ago.
“I work hard to keep myself in shape and be prepared for 2021,” said the former De La Salle Zobel stalwart. “I’m preparing for the Asian Tour next year. Hopefully, I get to go full season.”
But as he gears up for the qualifying, Alido and the other local pros hope the PGT will cash in on its successful restart and stage more tournaments early next year.
“I will still keep playing in the PGT and I’m hoping for a sooner start so I can keep the momentum going,” said Alido, who also dreams of playing in the PGA Tour someday.
The Games and Amusements Board had recommended the staging of more PGT and Ladies PGT tournaments, citing the organizing Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. for its strict compliance with the government’s guidelines with regard to the health and safety protocols during the twin Riviera tournaments.
“With the successful conclusion of the pro golf tournaments organized by PGTI under the GAB supervision, it is noted that pro golf is back and more upcoming tournaments be allowed,” said the GAB in its report after the ICTSI Riviera Invitational Challenge.
Alido tied for second with Rupert Zaragosa in the first PGT bubble event ruled by Tony Lascuña at Couples course then dominated the next with a kind of performance that could merit not just another championship but also a coveted card in the Asian Tour.
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