x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Golf will go on in Philippines despite typhoon

The Asian Tour will move ahead with the Resorts World Manila Masters from Thursday to Sunday, with Typoon Haiyan fund-raising activities planned around the tournament.

MANILA, Philippines // An international golf tournament will tee off in Manila this week despite chaos in parts of the Philippines after a typhoon ravaged the country, leaving thousands dead and affecting millions more, organisers said Tuesday.

The $750,000 (Dh2.75m) Resorts World Manila Masters will go ahead as planned from Thursday to Sunday, the Asian Tour confirmed, with fund-raising activities to help victims.

A large international aid effort has begun after Super Typhoon Haiyan smashed into the nation’s central islands, leaving at least 10,000 people feared dead and 660,000 homeless, according to the United Nations.

Almost 10 percent of the Philippines’ population has been hit by the disaster, with desperate survivors resorting to ransacking aid convoys in some areas.

“They want to use the opportunity to try to raise some funds for the victims,” said Asian Tour media director Chuah Choo Chiang, referring to the event’s sponsors.

“They’re talking to various people and they hope to come up with some firm plans of what they want to do.”

The tournament is near the capital Manila, which was untouched by what may go down as the calamity-prone Philippines’ deadliest natural disaster.

Fund-raising could include the players donating pro-am appearance fees or prize money. Filipino player Frankie Minoza, 53, pledged to help if he wins on Sunday.

“It’ll be nice to win this week so that I can make some money and help the typhoon victims,” said Minoza in an Asian Tour press release.

“Filipinos have very strong heart. We are used to typhoons hitting our country but it was unusual this year. We’ll get over this as we are survivors and we help each other.”

Gerald Rosales, another Filipino player, added: “It was unfortunate and it’s really bad with what has happened in (worst-hit) Tacloban.

“But we Filipinos are strong and we’ll get through this.”