In-form Tony Lascuña will be the marked man as he shoots for a quick follow-up to his three-shot romp in the Abotiz Invitational last Saturday, leading a power-packed roster in the rich ICTSI Pilipinas Invitational unfolding Wednesday at Manila Southwoods’ Legends Course in Carmona, Cavite.
“For sure, they will all be going after me but I’ll just try to put it all together again and hopefully give myself another shot at the title,” said Lascuña, who outdueled Angelo Que at Riviera’s Couples course to add the Aboitiz Invitational crown, his first on the Asian Development Tour. to his growing list of victories.
It was actually Lascuña’s fourth win in the season, counting his three victories on the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour’s legs at Eagle Ridge, Valley and Bacolod.
What makes him the player to beat in the upcoming P3.5 million event sponsored by International Container Terminal Services, Inc. is the fact that he won this event, which used to be the ICTSI Manila Southwoods Championship, the last two years. He beat Que by two in 2012 and dominated Jhonnel Ababa and Miguel Tabuena by three last year.
Que will not be around as the three-time Asian Tour winner is set to compete in the European Masters in Switzerland also this week. But Ababa, Tabuena and the rest of the local pro crop are all in the fold, including PGT leg winners Elmer Salvador, Charles Hong, Jay Bayron, Rufino Bayron and Jun Rates, along with Cassius Casas, Benjie Magada plus a number of foreign bets, including Dutch Guido Van der Valk and a slew of Korean shot makers.
“I’ve been hitting the ball quite solid the last few months but I’m really playing inspired as my wife Cheryl is set to give birth to our second child next month,” said Lascuña. “It’s a boy so I’m really very excited.”
The ICTSI Pilipinas Invitational is the third of four P3.5 million events lined up by the organizing Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. this year after the ICTSI Sherwood Classic won by Hong last April and the ICTSI Manila Masters at Eastridge topped by Tabuena last June.
Frankie Miñoza has also confirmed his participation in the event with the veteran campaigner and former No. 1 player in Asia raring to atone for his missed cut stint at Riviera last week.
Meanwhile, Lascuña and the other leading pros test the Legends course one last time tomorrow (Tuesday) when the traditional pro-am tournament is held, featuring the amateur players and guest of the event’s chief backers, including Nike Golf, Pacsports Phils. Inc., Srixon, Callaway, Mizuno, Empire Golf, Footjoy, Titleist, Custom Clubmakers, Sharp and KZG, the Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. with ABS-CBN Sports & Action, Balls and Inquirer Golf as media partners.