Tony Lascuña sets out for a follow-up to his runaway triumph at iCTSI Luisita Championship, confident of his chances but wary of a talent-laden international field in the ICTSI Manila Southwoods Championship ADT beginning Wednesday at the Legends course in Carmona, Cavite.
Lascuña pounced on the sudden withdrawal of top pick Miguel Tabuena in the second round to seize control then flashed vintage form in the final round to rout the Luisita field, winning by four over Korean Park Jun Hyeok two weeks ago.
But while he maintains he’s in tip-top shape coming into the 72-hole event, the former three-time ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour Order of Merit remains cautious of the opposition, saying talent per se won’t be enough to net him another championship.
“I like my chances. I’m hitting the ball pretty well and I’m confident coming off a win,” said Lascuña. “But I think I would still need some luck or good breaks to win again because the field is strong and formidable.”
Truly, the 144-strong field features a mix of the leading players on the PGT and Asian Development Tour, this being the first of two events co-sanctioned and part of the Asian Tour farm league’s calendar.
From Southwoods, the men of the tour head to Sherwood Hills Golf Club in Trece Martirez, Cavite next week for the fourth leg of the PGT and the 11th stage of the ADT. Both events offer a prize fund of $60,000 each.
Aside from the momentum, Lascuña also hopes to cash in on his local knowledge of the bunker-laden layout, his home course, which will play to a par-71 after organizers made it more challenging by converting the par-5 15th to a par-4.
Meanwhile, Lascuña and the other leading pros, including Tabuena and a number of ADT leg winners, test the course one last time Tuesday as they vie in the traditional pro-am tournament with guests and officials of the event’s chief backers, including Custom Clubmakers, adidas, KZG, Sharp, Summit, Srixon, Pacsports, TaylorMade and Champion.
“Everybody has a chance here but I hope to be in contention in the final round and let’s see what happens,” said Lascuña, who picks Tabuena, Clyde Mondilla, Elmer Salvador and Jay Bayron as the local players and a slew of foreign aces ready to duplicate their sweep of last year’s ADT legs at Sherwood and Eagle Ridge.
They included former ADT leg champions John Michael O’Toole and Josh Salah of the US, Malaysian Gavin Green, Japanese Shunya Takeyasu and Thais Poom Saksansin, Wisut Artjanawat, Thammanoon Sriroj, Rattanon Wanasrichan, Nirun Sae-Ueng and Itthipat Buranatanyarat, who ruled the ICTSI Sherwood ADT last year.
Also in the title hunt are Janne Kaske of Finland, India’s Chikkarangappa S., Aussie Jake Stirlin, New Zealand’s Sean Riordan and James Byrne of Scotland. For details, visit www.asiandevelopmenttour.com and pgt.ph.