Davao’s Tony Lascuna seeks no less than a Top 5 finish as he shoots for the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour’s Order of Merit crown in the P2.5 million ICTSI Wack Wack Championship set Dec. 19-22 at Wack Wack’s fabled East layout.
Lascuna zoomed to the top of the OOM race after 10 legs with earnings of P1,797,640 on two victories and a couple of runner-up finishes and held on to the lead despite missing the last four legs of the 15-stage circuit to campaign on the Asian Tour.
With pursuer and fellow Dabawenyo Elmer Salvador toting P1,365,160 in winnings, Lascuna needs just to finish among the top five in the upcoming 72-hole championship to claim the coveted crown although he is expected to go for the crown just the same and the top purse worth P450,000.
“I’ll go for it (title) but the field is strong so it will be tough,” said Lascuna, who finished runner-up in Taiwan Masters of the Asian Tour last September but who could only turn in a best joint 17th place effort during his absence on the local circuit.
Salvador, also a two-leg winner on the Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.-organized circuit, is also coming off a fruitless campaign on the Asian Tour but is also going all out for the Wack Wack crown.
So do third-running Zanie Boy Gialon and No. 4 Miguel Tabuena, another pair of double-leg winners this year, along with Jay Bayron, Elmer Saban, Marvin Dumandan, Rufino Bayron, Charles Hong and Mhark Fernando, guaranteeing a four-day shootout in the closing leg of the circuit sponsored by International Container Terminal Services, Inc.
Focus will also be on Bukidnon’s Frankie Minoza, who fought back from seven strokes down in the final round to snatch last year’s crown. The veteran campaigner is also coming off a big victory in the Japan Seniors Open recently, making him a top contender for the championship.
Minoza also won the Philippine Open, his second, at Wack Wack in 2007.
Angelo Que, a three-time Asian Tour leg winner, also joins the title hunt, hoping to flash the form that won him the Philippine Open crown at Wack Wack in 2008.
Meanwhile, the leading pros get the chance to test the tough layout, which is being spruced up to championship condition, in the traditional pro-am tournament on Dec. 18 as they team up with officials and guests of the event’s chief backers Empire Golf, Titleist, Footjoy, Callaway, TaylorMade, Mizuno, Srixon, Nike Golf, Custom Clubmakers and Sharp.
Also in the fold are Asian Tour campaigners Mars Pucay and Artemio Murakami along with Jhonnel Ababa, Ferdie Aunzo, Jun Bernis, Jerson Balasabas, Cassius Casas, Anthony Fernando, Robert Pactolerin and Gerald Rosales.(pr)