Tony Lascuna hopes to mark his return to winning form with another victory at home but the newly crowned Nan Pao TPGA (PGA of Taiwan) champion faces a tough challenge from a formidable cast headed by fellow Davaoeno aces and firmed up by a number of foreign bets when the ICTSI Apo Golf Challenge is fired off tomorrow (Wednesday, Oct. 2) at the quaint Apo Golf and Country Club in Davao.
The 48-year-old Lascuna ended a two-year title spell in big fashion, winning the second Philippine Golf Tour Asia in Taiwan last Sunday where he turned back a slew of Thai and Taiwanese rivals with a couple of gutsy shots in the closing holes to win by one.
That makes him the player to watch in this eighth leg of the 10th season of PGT although the former three-time Order of Merit winner has expressed guarded optimism as he gears up for four days of battle of shotmaking and putting against a field headed by players who have also honed up their skills and talent on the tight, flat par 72 layout.
They include Jhonnel Ababa, winner of the last PGT leg at Del Monte two weeks ago, Elmer Salvador and Alvin Engino, joint runners-up in this event last year, Ferdie Aunzo, Rufino Bayron, Mhark Fernando and Elmer Saban among others with the likes of Del Monte bets Clyde Mondilla, Johvanie Abano and Reymon Jaraula, who stunned Lascuna in a playoff to score a breakthrough win at Pueblo de Oro three weeks ago, also tipped to contend for the crown in the P3 million event sponsored by ICTSI and organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
“I feel good about my chances, of course, very confident but wary with so many strong players around, including my fellow Davaoenos,” said Lascuna.
Multi-titled Jay Bayron, another Davaoeno ace, is also out for a big rebound from a number of mediocre finishes, while Ira Alido looms as a big threat to Lascuna’s title drive following a string of impressive outings in the last few tournaments of the circuit backed by Custom Clubmakers, Meralco, Champion, Summit Mineral Water, K&G Golf Apparel, BDO, Sharp, KZG, PLDT and M.Y. Shokai Technology.