Dabawenyo Tony Lascuna gears up for a tough outing against the cream of the local pro crop as he zeroes in on the second straight Order of Merit crown when the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour resumes with the 12th leg at Splendido next week.
From a mere P40,000 lead in winnings over erstwhile frontrunner Miguel Tabuena after the circuit’s 10th leg at ICTSI Tagaytay Midlands Challenge, Lascuna went P222,000 ahead following his repeat win at ICTSI Manila Southwoods over Tabuena and fellow Dabawenyo Jhonnel Ababa early this month.
“It was a good win (Southwoods), giving me a good lead in the OOM race. But there are still four legs left and anything can happen,” said Lascuna as he primes up for the P1 million ICTSI Splendido Classic on Oct. 9-11.
With two victories and four runner-up finishes, Lascuna has racked P1,682,332 in earnings with Tabuena, who rallied to finish joint second at Southwoods, piling up P1,456,527.
Dabawenyo Elmer Salvador, a repeat winner at Aboitiz Invitational who also had three second place efforts, is in third with P1,087,776 with Angelo Que, who ruled the Orchard Invitational, staying at fourth with P1,036,276 in winnings.
But with four legs left on the 15-stage circuit put up by International Container Terminal Services, Inc. and organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc., the battle for the OOM crown remains wide-open.
After Splendido, the circuit will go to Riviera in Silang, Cavite for the ICTSI Riviera Classic on Oct. 16-19, another four-day, P2.5 million event offering a top purse of P450,000.
Canlubang will host the penultimate leg on Nov. 6-8 for the ICTSI Canlubang Golf Invitational before the tour winds up again at Wack Wack on Nov. 20-23 for the ICTSI Wack Wack Championship.
Meanwhile, Carl Santos-Ocampo, a runaway winner at Midlands, moved up to No. 5 with P837,068 followed by John Hay leg winner Jay Bayron (P822,370), Ababa (721,238), Del Monte and Pueblo de Oro back-to-back winner Frankie Minoza (623,936), Palos Verdes champion Michael Bibat (P507,004) and Edward Reyes (P452,474) in that order.
Other backers of the event were Nike Golf, Srixon, Custom Clubmakers, Pacsports, Cleveland Golf, Callaway, Ping, Mizuno, Empire Golf and Sports Shop, FootJoy, Titleist, Sharp, BMW and Gergia Energy Foods.(pr)