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4 day Fil-Am golf eyed, 288 players from BLISTT

THE LAST TIME. Mayor Benjamin Magalong share a drink with top officials of the Fil-Am Golf Invitational Tournament executive committee during the ceremonial tee at the Baguio Country Club golf course. In Photo are from right: then Camp John Hay Golf Course club manager Shean Bedi, BCC general manager Anthony de Leon, Magalong, CJH Development Corporation executive vice president Shean Bedi and an unidentified representative of a corporate sponsor. Fil-Am Golf Photo

A four day from the usual 18 days is eyed for the Fil-Am Golf Invitational this December.

From the nearly 2,000 players that troop to the par-62 Baguio Country Club and par-69 Camp John Hay golf courses for the longest and oldest amateur golf tournament, the number may go down to as low as 288 “just to bring back the confidence that the city is still one of the top tourist destinations in the city,” said mayor Benjamin Magalong.

“I asked the Fil-Am committee to stage it just to jump start it,” said Magalong during the University of Baguio homecoming to honor the four members of the Philippine boxing team, two of them were silver medalists, while one took home a bronze medal.

Magalong said that staging the Fil-Am golf will boost tourism in the city adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Opening the city for such a competition will give confidence to tourists that Baguio is now open to tourists who could enjoy what the city could offer.

Magalong is confident that tourists will be coming back as the city is one of the best performing local governments in the country that has performed well in the vaccination drive with more than 90 percent of the target population having at least a single dose, while more than 80 percent are already fully vaxed.

The event reportedly to be staged from December 14-17 will have 144 players each on two playing dates at either of the golf clubs then play will shift to the other course.

Most of the players will be from the Baguio-Benguet and Cordillera area, while some invited teams will come from the Big City, including some championship teams, according to BCC spokesperson Andrew Pinero.

“(The) Priority will be players from the BLISTT (Baguio-La Trinidad-Itogon-Sablan-Tuba-Tublay) area. Although (there will be) a few teams coming from Manila,” added Pinero.

Though nothing is final yet as the host clubs, Pinero said, will come out with the final plan.

The event was cancelled last year after the city was declared under enhanced community quarantine and later under general CQ.

The city experienced a surge last April which was topped by the Delta variant driven uptrend in September and October.

Nearly 30,000 Baguio residents have been infected with the virus since the first was recorded in March of last year and more than 700 deaths.

Magalong is happy to announce that the city now have low infection rate since the start of the month and twice this month that it was a single digit new cases. The last time the city experienced this was in February, he added.

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