After splitting the first two editions at Alabang Country Club, North and South bring their The Duel series to Cebu when the third staging of the country’s version of the Ryder Cup is held May 21-23 at the Cebu Country Club.
Team South drew first blood in the series by dominating the singles matches to post a 16-12 victory in the inaugurals in 2012 but the North squad struck back last year, also in singles, when it overhauled a four-point deficit in team play to win, 14 1/2-13 1/2 and level the series.
That should make their third face-off doubly interesting with the Southerners expected to get back at their Northern rivals on their turf on a team built around the likes of Tony Lascuña, Elmer Salvador, Cassius Casas, Jay Bayron, Rufino Bayron and Marvin Dumandan.
Lascuña hopes to provide the leadership and inspiration for the team following a series of impressive performances here and abroad, including a joint 11th place finish at The Championship in Singapore and a victory at ICTSI Valley Golf Challenge recently.
Cebuano Charles Hong, winner at ICTSI Sherwood and mentor of winning Team South in 2012, is also expected to boost Team South bid hoping to bank on his familiarity with the challenging Cebu Country Club, where he honed his skills as a junior golfer and later became both junior club and club champion a few years before he turned pro.
Angelo Que and Miguel Tabuena will likely spearhead Team North’s campaign in the three-day tournament, which features the country’s leading players from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao and organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
Play will be foursomes (alternate shot) and fourball (best ball) – five matches each – in the first two days with the singles – 12 matches – slated in the final day. The first team to win 14 ½ points clinches the Duel, according to Colo Ventosa, general manager of the organizing PGTI.
A pro-am tournament will precede the Duel on May 20 featuring the leading pros and amateurs from the sponsoring International Container Terminal Services, Inc. and backers Nike Golf, KZG, Titleist, Cleveland, Pacsports, Srixon, Callaway, Sharp, FootJoy and Custom Clubmakers.
The Duel 3 also serves as a break for the pros after five legs of the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour with two Asian Development Tour events lined up on May 28-31 and June 4-7 at Riviera and Orchard, respectively.
Others likely to join Team South are Jhonnel Ababa, Clyde Mondilla, Zanieboy Gialon, Robert Pactolerin, Ferdie Aunzo and Rey Pagunsan while Jun Rates, winner at ICTSI John Hay, is expected to backstop Team North along with Mars Pucay, Randy Garalde, Carl Santos-Ocampo and Orlan Sumcad.