MANILA, Philippines - Asian Tour campaigners Tony Lascuña, Miguel Tabuena, Cassius Casas and Elmer Salvador signed up for the ICTSI Valley Golf Challenge, toughening up the already formidable roster in the P2 million event unfolding Wednesday at the Valley Golf Club in Antipolo.
Lascuña, for one, will be coming into the event oozing with confidence following an impressive joint 11th place finish in The Championship of the Asian Tour in Singapore yesterday where he won P1 million. He also finished 22nd in the Indonesian Masters two weeks ago.
That makes the reigning back-to-back ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour Order of Merit champion the player to watch in the four-day championship serving as the fifth leg of this year’s circuit although Tabuena, Casas and Salvador along with the rest of the local aces will be out to foil his bid for top honors worth P360,000.
“I’m hitting it quite good lately but it will be anybody’s game at Valley. Madaming magagaling sa atin,” said Lascuña, adding that the event also serves as a fitting tune-up for the ICTSI Philippine Open set at Wack Wack the following week.
Charles Hong, meanwhile, hopes to brandish the same form that netted him the ICTSI Sherwood Hills Classic crown two weeks ago, along with runner-up Micah Shin, first leg winner at ICTSI Splendido Jay Bayron and ICTSI John Hay champion Jun Rates and veteran campaigners Frankie Miñoza, Mars Pucay, Ferdie Aunzo, Marvin Dumandan and Gerald Rosales.
Rufino Bayron, who blew a big lead in the final round at Splendido and settled for joint second, will also be trying to relive his victory at Valley where he won as an amateur when the ICTSI PGT staged a five-leg mini-tour in late 2008.
Meanwhile, the leading pros tackle the tight, par-72 layout in the traditional pro-am tournament tomorrow (along with their respective amateur partners from the event’s chief backers, including title sponsor International Container Terminal Services, Inc. and by Nike Golf, KZG, Titleist, Cleveland, Pacsports, Srixon, Callaway, Sharp and FootJoy.
Custom Clubmakers, the pioneer and the only certified professional clubmakers in the country, is also offering P50,000 for the Player of the Year award at the end of the season.
Others tipped to crowd the favorites for the crown are Zanie Boy Gialon, Randy Garalde, Jessie Balasabas, Clyde Mondilla, Anthony Fernando, Jhonnel Ababa, Dante Becierra, Jun Bernis, Michael Bibat, Chris delos Santos, James Ryan Lam, Artemio Murakami, Elmer Saban, Orlan Sumcad and Carl Santos-Ocampo.
Focus will also be on Valley pro Benjie Magada along with Canadian Rick Gibson, Dutch Guido Van Der Valk, Eric Mina and Koreans Kim Chang Hoi, Park Jun Song, Gyuha Park, Park Jin Hyeon, Mun Jae Hyung and Nam Ji Soo.