Order of Merit frontrunner Tony Lascuna of Davao and former Philippine Open champion Angelo Que primed themselves up for the P2.5 million ICTSI Wack Wack Championship firing off Wednesday by finishing joint fifth in the Iskandar Johor Open in Malaysia last Sunday.
Lascuna closed out with a 69 while Que fired a 68 at the Horizon Hills layout in Johor Bahru to force a five-way tie for fifth in the weather-shortened $2 million event which served as the final leg of this year’s Asian Tour.
Spain’s Sergio Garcia rallied with a flawless 11-under 61 to run away with the crown.
Lascuna and Que each took home $60,440 or P2.4 million, their solid finish putting them in good stead as they head to the local tour’s closing leg at Wack Wack’s East Course.
“This is a big boost going to Wack Wack. I just hope to stay in top form although the field is strong with all top players competing,” said Lascuna in Filipino.
Lascuna is not only eyeing the top P450,000 purse in the 72-hole championship organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. but also the coveted Order of Merit crown. He actually needs just a fifth place finish to secure the OOM crown.
Lascuna has racked up P1,797,640 in earnings in 10 legs with two victories and a couple of second place finishes and held on to the OOM lead despite missing the last four legs of the 15-stage circuit to campaign on the Asian Tour.
Elmer Salvador, another Dabawenyo, is in second with P1,365,160 and needs no less than a win and hope Lascuna would finish below top five to snatch the OOM crown he won in 2009.
But they will be up against a field teeming with talent, headed by Juvic Pagunsan, Miguel Tabuena and Jay Bayron, Zanie Boy Gialon, Charles Hong, Carl Santos-Ocampo, Marvin Dumandan, Artemio Murakami, Mars Pucay, Que and defending champion Frankie Minoza of Bukidnon.
The leading pros test the tough layout in the pro-am tournament 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 seeing action in the event, backed by Balls, Studio 23, Pinoygolfer.com and Inquirer Golf as media partners, are Jhonnel Ababa, Ferdie Aunzo, Jun Bernis, Jerson Balasabas, Cassius Casas, Anthony Fernando, Robert Pactolerin and Gerald Rosales.(pr)