Former Asian Tour and local circuit’s No. 1 Juvic Pagunsan signed up for the South squad in its upcoming showdown with the North team, giving the defending champion a major boost in The Duel unfolding June 5 at the Alabang Golf and Country Club.
With no event lined up for this week’s Japan PGA Tour, where Pagunsan is campaigning, the smooth-swinging shotmaker from Negros Occidental has made himself available for the local version’s of the Ryder Cup, which he missed last year due to a previous commitment.
This time, Pagunsan, who dominated the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour in 2011, will be anchoring the South squad that boasts of the slew of Davaoeno aces, headed by reigning ICTSI PGT Order of Merit champion and this year’s Calatagan leg winner Tony Lascuna and John Hay leg champion Jay Bayron.
Skipper Jerome Delariarte actually enjoys a deep roster of players whom he could rely on in any given day as they try to make it two-in-row over their North counterparts in the event sponsored by International Container Terminal Services, Inc.
That includes Zanie Boy Gialon, Elmer Saban, Clyde Mondilla, Marvin Dumandan, Mhark Fernando, Rufino Bayron, Jhonnel Ababa and last year’s team captain Charles Hong. Richard Sinfuego is the co-captain.
But they will be facing an equally talented North squad all-pumped up for a payback in the unique event, which pits the leading players on the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour from Luzon against those from the Visayas-Mindanao regions.
The Northerners will be led by playing team captain Angelo Que and ace teener Miguel Tabuena, winner of the ICTSI Sherwood Hills Classic along with veteran campaigners Mars Pucay, Gerald Rosales, Michael Bibat, Benjie Magada, Randy Garalde, Jun Bernis, Joenard Rates and young guns Carl Santos-Ocampo, James Ryan Lam and Edward Reyes.
Skippers of both squads are currently going over their respective rosters for pairings in the foursomes (alternate shot) and fourball (best ball) formats in the first two days with four matches on tap each day. The singles, a total of 12 matches, will be played in the final day on June 7, according to the organizing Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
The elite field, meanwhile, will test the par-72 Alabang layout tomorrow for the traditional pro-am tournament with the pros teaming up with their amateur partners from the event’s chief backers, including KIA, Ping, Nike Golf, Custom Clubmakers, Mizuno, Pacsports, Callaway, Cleveland, FootJoy, Srixon, Titleist, Empire Golf and Sports Shop and Sharp.(pr)