Davao – Tony Lascuña comes out fresh from a much-needed break following a series of grueling tournaments that netted him back-to-back feats in Taiwan and at Apo the last two weeks, upbeat but wary of his chances for a third straight championship in the ICTSI South Pacific Classic firing off today (Wednesday).
“It’s been quite a good rest kahit dalawang lang. Okay na yun, at least I was able to re-charge,” said Lascuña, who drew former fellow Philippine Golf Tour Asia leg winner James Ryan Lam and Fidel Concepcion on No. 1 at 8 a.m.
“But there are many good players around, so it’s going to be tough,” he added.
They include Micah Shin, back on the PGT after toughening in various tournaments in other regional circuits. The reed-thin but power-hitting Korean-American, who honed his talent and skills here in Davao and winner of The Country Club Invitational last year, opens his bid at 8:50 a.m. on No. 10 with Edgar Ababa and Peter Villaber.
Tarik Can, who humbled the tough international field to reign at Aboitiz Invitational in tough conditions at Wack Wack last month, is also back after an abbreviated stint at Apo last week where he withdrew in the second round with a hand injury.
But back in top shape, the bearded American hopes to contend for the crown worth P550,000 – and like the rest of the 81-player cast – for the bragging rights as the winner of the first PGT event held at the new South Pacific Golf & Leisure Estates.
“The course is tough, especially the greens. But I still feel good about my chances although there are a lot of other strong players around,” said Lascuña.
Ferdie Aunzo, another local talent, served notice of his title drive by winning yesterday’s pro-am tournament along with the likes of Keanu Jahns, Nilo Salahog, reigning Philippine Open champion Clyde Mondilla, Pueblo de Oro titlist Reymon Jaraula, Ira Alido, Paul Echavez, Art Arbole, Ramil Bisera, Elmer Salvador, Jhonnel Ababa, Elmer Saban and Jay Bayron.
Others fancied to slug it out this week are reigning PGT Order of Merit champion Jobim Carlos who is out to snap out of a long slump in the final leg of the 10th season of the country’s premier circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. and backed by Custom Clubmakers, Meralco, Champion, Summit Mineral Water, K&G Golf Apparel, BDO, Sharp, KZG, PLDT and M.Y. Shokai Technology.
Other foreign aces tipped to figure in the title hunt are American Lexus Keoninh, Venezuelan Rafael Parra, Thai Pachara Sakulyong, Korean Park Jun Sung, Emilio Parodi of Argentina, Macedonian Peter Stojanovski and Japanese Ryo Nishimura.