Category Archives: golf

ICTSI Orchard unwraps; Lascuña upbeat

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Lascuna.
DASMARINAS, Cavite – Tony Lascuña hopes to rebound from a failed bid at Luisita and ride the momentum of a pro-am victory as he heads the local charge against an elite foreign cast in the ICTSI Orchard Golf Championship reeling off today (Wednesday, May 10) at the Orchard’s Player course here.
“This is a big morale boost but I still have to play quality golf in the next four days. The field is strong and anything can happen here at Orchard,” said Lascuña, who ruled Monday’s pro-am tournament of the $60,000 event put up by ICTSI with amateur partners John Laurel, Juanchit Jose and Siegfried Ramos.
The foursome pooled a 17-under 55 to nip 2014 Orchard Championship winner Rufino Bayron, Arnel Paras, Paul Griba and David Astejada, who assembled a 56, while Michael Bibat, Alex Dy, Amy Dy and Bien Cerbo placed third with a 57.
Lascuña, the reigning Philippine Golf Tour Order of Merit winner, actually moved within one of Micah Shin halfway through the Luisita Championship last week but closed out with a pair of 71s to settle for joint fourth with Jhonnel Ababa and American Brett Munson.
He rued his poor putting in the last two rounds but the veteran campaigner vowed to make up for the slack in this week’s event organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. which offers a top purse of $10,500.
“I’m ready and I feel good now with my stroke. I just hope it will click in all four days,” said Lascuña, who drew Bayron and last week’s playoff loser Mathiam Keyser of South Africa in the 7:45 a.m. flight on No. 1.
Keyser, who lost to absentee Miguel Tabuena in sudden death in Tarlac, also vowed to complete an unfinished business with a triumphant campaign here, along with a slew of foreign aces, including Solaire Philippine Open champion Steve Lewton, John Catlin, Nicolas Paez and John Michael O’Toole of the US and Korean Park Jun Sung.
Keanu Jahns, who rallied with a solid, eagle-aided 65 to snare solo third at Luisita, is also expected to figure prominently along with fellow locals Ababa, Mars Pucay, Frankie Miñoza, Mhark Fernando, Gerald Rosales, Cassius Casas, Jay Bayron, Rufino Bayron and Elmer Salvador.
After missing the action last week, the crack Thai group is back on the local circuit, all gunning for a crack at the crown, led by Panulat Muenlek, Nitithorn Thippong, Kasidit Lepkurte, Donlapachai Niyomchon, Natthapong Niyomchon, Annop Tangkamolprasert, Poosit Supuramai and veteran Wisut Arjanawat.
Former Singapore amateur hotshot Choo Tze-Huang is also in the hunt along with Aussies Jason Dawes, Finland’s Janne Kaske, Dutch Guido Van der Valk and Swede Oskar Arvidson.
The event drew a total of 120 players, one of the biggest and strongest on the local circuit backed by BDO, KZG, Custom Clubmakers, Meralco, Sharp, Champion, Summit Mineral Water and PLDT.
It also serves as the second of a four-week PGT swing with Southwoods hosting the next stop on May 17-20 for another $60,000 ICTSI Manila Southwoods Championship before the revival of the P2 million ICTSI Philippine Masters at the Villamor Golf Club on May 24-27.(pr)
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Saso, Corpus take charge in Phl Junior Open

Yuka Saso checked a rollercoaster backside start with an eagle-spiked windup at the front, firing a four-under 68 to seize a three-stroke lead over Junia Gabasa while Carl Corpus took control of the boys’ field at the start of the Philippine Junior Amateur Open Golf Championships at the Sherwood Hills Golf Club in Trece Martirez, Cavite yesterday.
Saso bounced back from a bogey-birdie-bogey-birdie stint with three birdies and an eagle against one more bogey in the next 14 holes as she put her title-retention bid in motion while firming up her spot in this year’s SEA Games squad, this being the last part of a three-stage selection process for spots in the national team for the biennial event in Malaysia in August.
The reigning national champion, also the World Junior Girls gold medalist in Canada last year, highlighted her 33-35 card with a solid drive on the par-5 No. 8 and nearly holed in an albatross off a superb 9-iron second shot from 150 yards that stopped inches off the cup.
Gabasa trailed Saso by one at the turn but the Cebuana bet grabbed the lead with a birdie-birdie feat from No. 1, only to fumble with bogeys on Nos. 3 and 5 before ramming in another birdie on the par-3 sixth to string a 35-36 and a 71 for second.
Harmie Constantino, winner of the WExpress RVF Cup crown, the second national elims, last February, mixed three birdies with four bogeys for third at 73 while Kristine Torralba carded a 74 and Kayla Nocum shot a 76 and Nicole Abelar and Korean Yang Ju Young each made a 78 in the event also serving as part of the PLDT Group National Amateur Golf Tour sponsored by the MVP Sports Foundation and organized and conducted by the National Golf Association of the Philippines.
Corpus, the NGAP Doubles winner last year with Yuto Katsuragawa, birdied the last hole to card a 71 and grab a two-stroke lead over Carlo Gatmaytan, who turned in a 73, while defending champion Kim Joo Hyung of Korea struggled in the heat and wind and hobbled with a 74, the same output put in by Ryan Monsalve.
Perry Bucay shot a 75 while Paolo Wong and Weiwei Gao made a pair of 76s to stay in contention in the 72-hole championship backed by Cignal and Metro Pacific Investment.
Meanwhile, former national champion Rupert Zaragosa groped with a 75 but still led the Special Division (18-and-above), two clear of Dan Cruz, who had a 77, while Lizbeth Alcantara seized control in the girls’ side with an 83, seven shots clear off Annika Guangko, who skied to 90.
Miguel Ilas shot an 81 and took a two-stroke lead over Francis Lanuza, who had an 83, in the 13-and-below section with Grace Quintanilla carding an 81 to post a 10-shot lead over Daniella Gatti, who struggled with a 91.

Muangkhumsakul rallies, snares Champion Tour crown

TAGAYTAY – Thai Kanphanitnan Muangkhumsakul charged back from three shots down at the back with a blazing eagle-spiked windup, closing out with a 69 to foil local bet Pauline del Rosario and compatriot Titiya Plucksataporn and capture the ICTSI Champion Tour at Splendido crown by two here yesterday.
Muangkhumsakul eagled No. 10 of Splendido Taal Golf Club and birdied two of the last four holes to sneak from third-to-last flight to the top of the heap at 215 as erstwhile leader Plucksataporn wavered with a 74 and Del Rosario fell short of her own comeback bid with a 68 for 217s.
“I played relatively good. Everything was in place and I’m happy I finally made it,” said Muangkhumsakul, who led in the first round with a 69 but tumbled down with a horrendous 77 in windy Thursday.
But the 18-year-old shotmaker from Bangkok, a consistent Top 5 finisher but never a winner on the ICTSI Ladies Philippine Golf, struck back hard in the last nine holes, her solid four-under 32 netting her the elusive crown worth $15,000, the replica of the check she received from STGC general manager Teboy Javier.
Plucksataporn, who held a two-stroke lead after 36 holes with a gutsy 71, hung tough despite Muangkhumsakul’s eagle on No. 10 with a birdie on the par-5 hole. But she fumbled with bogeys on the next, gave up another stroke on No. 14 and dropped off the lead.
Del Rosario, six behind Plucksataporn at the start of the final round after a disastrous 78 in the second day, mounted a fierce rally in an earlier flight with an eagle on No. 2 then came through with birdies on Nos. 14 and 16 to pull within one of Plucksataporn and Muangkhumsakul, raising hopes for a local victory in the event sponsored by Champion after erstwhile contenders Mia Piccio and Cyna Rodriguez faded one after the other.
But while Plucksataporn cracked under pressure, Muangkhumsakul held sway with clutch birdies, including on the par-3 17th from six feet that gave her a two-shot cushion and all but quashed Del Rosario’s crack for a playoff.
“If not for my 78 in the second round, I could’ve vied for the crown,” rued Del Rosario.
Still, the joint runner-up effort augured well for the rookie pro, who shared the combined $12,000 prize with Plucksataporn. She later vowed to do better when the next ICTSI LPGT leg, also part of the Taiwan LPGA and organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc., is held next Wednesday (March 15) at Mt. Malarayat.
The locals actually pinned their hopes on Symetra Tour campaigners Piccio and Rodriguez, who moved within two off Plucksataporn after 36 holes. But the former bowed out with a bogey and double bogey on Nos. 7 and 9, respectively, and the latter wilted with a bogey-marred backside 41.
Piccio ended up with a second 75 for joint fifth at 220 with Thai Narisara Kerdrit, who shot a 71, behind fourth placer Korean Kang Ji-won, who matched par 72 for the second straight day for a 219.
“I didn’t get the breaks and missed a lot of putts. Maybe this tournament was not meant for me,” said Piccio, who lost by one to Korean Lee Jeong-hwa here last year.
Yuka Saso took the top amateur honors with a 74 as she finished tied for seventh with Taiwanese Yeh Hsin-ning, who hobbled with a 75, while Taiwanese Lin Tzu-chi fired a 70 and tied Thais Thanuutra Boonraksasat (71) and Punpaka Phuntumabamrung (74) and compatriot Lee Hsin (76) at ninth at 222.
Rodriguez, who had dominated the first three editions of the LPGT backed by ICTSI, BDO, Champion, Custom Clubmakers, Empire Golf and Sports Shop, KZG, Sharp, Summit Mineral Water, Titleist and Event Captain, limped with a 78 and wound up tied with Thai Pimpadsorn Sangkagaro (75) at 223.
Princess Superal made a second 74 for a 225 at joint 19th while Dottie Ardina ended up tied at 33rd after a 74 for a 232.

Tecson returns to rule PAL Mabuhay Golf

Jenz Vincent Tecson returned this year to the PAL Mabuhay Miles Elite Invitational Golf Tournament to claim the Overall Low Gross Championship trophy (gross 75, net 70), and the bragging rights for winning top prizes for two consecutive years.

The young Tecson – Premier Elite member – was Men’s Class A champion at last year’s Mabuhay Miles Golf tournament held at the Manila Southwoods Golf & Country Club.

A total of 257 Elite, Premium Elite and Million Miler members of PAL’s Mabuhay Miles battled for the 24 trophies.

Bernabe Punsalan brought home the Low Net trophy, while Christine Marie Valdehueza Naidoo emerged Ladies division champion. The Seniors division was ruled by Tranquilino Magpantay.

Other division champions include: Class A – Louis Bartolome Borja; Class B – Joseph Owen Fulo; Class C – Elson Jose Dagondon; and Class D – Emeterio Dikitanan.

Rodrigo Perez scored the most number of birdies while Vicente Solon had the most number of pars. Guest champion trophy was given to Rodrigo Perez.

The recent 24th PAL Mabuhay Miles golf was played at the two 18-hole courses of The Orchard Golf & Country Club in Dasmarinas,Cavite.

The presidents of PAL and PAL Express – Jaime J. Bautista and Bonifacio Sam – were joined by representatives of the tournament’s major sponsors at the ceremonial tee off.

Major sponsors for the 2016 Mabuay Miles Elite Invitational Golf Tournament include Master Card Philippines, Airbus, Omnipay, Unionpay, Petron, Philippine National Bank, myPAL Roam, Power Mac Center and the Marianas Visitors Authority.

Corporate sponsor is PNB General Insurers while Boysen Paint and Pacsports Philippines are minor sponsors.

Official hotels are Century Park Hotel and Pan Pacific Manila. A brand new Toyota car was reserved for the golfer who scores a hole-in-one.

Donors include Vita Coco, Clarks Shoes, Bluewater Resorts, Pico Sands Hotel, BDO Credit Cards, Taal Vista Hotel, Hertz, The Bellevue Hotels & Resort, Aruga by Rockwell, Holiday Inn & Suites Makati, Be Grand Resort, Makati Shangri-la, Airspeed International Corp., Las Casas Filipinas de Azucar, Asia Brewery, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Boulangerie 22 and Resorts World Manila.

For almost 25 years, Mabuhay Miles established itself as one of the most prestigious names in airline loyalty programs, known for its generous rewards and first-rate service.

Mabuhay Miles was launched in 1991 not only to delight frequent flyers but also to exceed their expectations. Last year, Mabuhay Miles was relaunched with a host of exciting program enhancements. Today, the new Mabuhay Miles stands out as a brand for the 21st century traveler.(pr)

Streakin’ Lascuña eyes No. 4 at NOGCC

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Lascuna.
Coming out of a tight finish a winner a third time around, Tony Lascuña exudes confidence as he heads to the ICTSI Negros Occidental Classic, shooting for fourth straight and fifth overall at the Negros Occidental Golf and Country Club in Bacolod starting Wednesday (July 13).
“This win further boosted my confidence going to Marapara. I really feel good and will go for another win,” said the 46-year-old veteran Davaoeño shotmaker, after rallying from three shots down with a closing bogey-free 65 at the Bacolod Golf and Country Club in Binitin then nipped Dutch Guido Van der Valk and American Micah Shin on the first playoff hole to bag the ICTSI Bacolod Golf Challenge crown last Saturday.
It was Lascuña’s third straight victory in this year’s Philippine Golf Tour, counting his one-shot win over Japanese Ryoma Miki at Eagle Ridge and a nine-stroke romp over Zanieboy Gialon and Orlan Sumcad at Forest Hills last month.
That should make him the player to beat at the former Marapara layout although Van der Valk and Shin, along with the other local top guns will also be going all-out to foil his bid while fueling their respective title drives in the P1.5 million event serving as the 10th leg of this year’s circuit sponsored by ICTSI.
But Lascuña, who also won at Luisita last April, isn’t only coming into the event riding on a three-win run but also brings with him the bragging rights as the winner at NOGCC when it last hosted a PGT leg in 2014. He beat Elmer Salvador and amateur Lloyd Go by four to spark a three-leg sweep and finish with five legs wins on his way to copping his third straight OOM title.
“I always love to play at Marapara, despite its tough condition especially in the presence of the wind,” said Lascuña. “But I expect another tight finish since everybody will be trying to stop my streak.”
They include Van der Valk and Shin, who fell short of their bid to nail a breakthrough on the circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. with shaky backside stints at Binitin, enabling Lascuña to gain a crack at the title and eventually snatch the win.
Others tipped to contend for the top P270,000 are Jay Bayron, Cassius Casas, Mhark Fernando and Sumcad who all bounced back into contention in the final round at Binitin but failed to match Lascuña’ solid finish.
Meanwhile, a select number of pros test the NOGCC layout in tomorrow’s pro-am tournament where they will be paired with the amateur guests and officials of the event’s chief backers, including Custom Clubmakers, adidas, KZG, Summit Mineral Water, Srixon, Pacsports, TaylorMade, Sharp and Champion.(pr)

Juvic routs field, cops Aboitiz crown by 8

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Juvic Pagunan receives his trophy and replica of his cheque worth $17,500 from Aboitiz Corporate Marketing Communications manager Victoria Vicente after ruling the 2015 Aboitiz Invitational via an emphatic 8-shot romp at Southwoods’ Legends course.(pr)



Juvic Pagunsan stamped his class over Pijit Petchkasem and Angelo Que with an early burst of birdies, turning what was expected to be a wild finish into a runaway eight-shot romp in the Aboitiz Invitational at Southwoods’ Legends course here yesterday.
Tied with the Thai ace and one up on the three-time Asian Tour winner after 54 holes, Pagunsan needed just four pars to seize control in the early going then flashed his vaunted shotmaking and iron game to fire four birdies in the next five holes which Petchkasem and Que failed to match to virtually settle the outcome.
He wound up with a six-under 65, another bogey-free round that has marked his solid start in the $100,000 event sponsored by Aboitiz Equity Ventures, for a 72-hole aggregate of 20-under 264.
“It’s a nice win. I was able to string up a good game this week,” said Pagunsan, who pocketed the top $17,500 purse for his maiden victory on the Asian Development Tour, a farm league of the Asian Tour, which he dominated in 2011 by winning the coveted Order of Merit title.
It was also Pagunsan’s first victory on the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour, which he was forced to skip the last two-and-a-half years after being sacked by the organizing Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. for abandoning a tournament without prior notice.
As a former Asian Tour OOM winner, Pagunsan gained a card in the lucrative Japan PGA Tour which he made as base during his suspension that saw him post seven top 10 finishes, including a runner-up finish in Mizuno Open last year.
More importantly, the Japan stint further honed his talent and skills, which he put in full display in all four days this week, spiked by a bogey-less nine-under 62 in the second round that put him in the lead of a tightly-fought championship co-organized by ADT and PGTI.
“I’m going back to Japan to play two more tournaments and might join the PGT leg at Wack Wack next month,” said Pagunsan, who preserved his flawless round with a chip-in par from 15 yards on the par-3 No. 12 after dumping his tee shot into the greenside bunker.
Petchkasem actually bested Pagunsan’s brilliant 36-hole performance with a third straight bogey-free round Friday that gained him a share of the lead. But the 28-year-old Thai succumbed early in a pressure-packed finale, stumbling with his first bogey on No. 2 and went on a roller-coaster ride the rest of the way.
After firing a 12-under aggregate at the front in the first three days, Petchkasem fumbled with a 38 and struggled to the finish, needing to birdie the 18th to salvage a 73 and a share of second with Que, who missed clinching solo runner-up with a bogey on the par-5 17th for a 72, and another Thai Nirun Sae-Ueng, who rallied with two birdies in the last four holes to shoot a 67 for 270s. Each got $8,033.
“I struggled with my iron game, either I came up short or overshot the green,” rued Que, who three-putted No. 17 and scrambled for par on the last hole to salvage a share of second.
Aussie Paul Donahoo gunned down four birdies in the first eight holes but tripped with a bogey and a double bogey against two birdies for a 68, dropping to a share of fifth at 271 with Zanieboy Gialon, who also carded a 68, Clyde Mondilla and Japanese Masaru Takahashi, who closed out with identical 70s. Each received $3,450.
Last year’s champion Tony Lascuña failed to sustain sizzling 31 start and settled for just one birdie at the back for a bogey-free 65, forcing a tie for ninth at 272 with Jay Bayron, who made a 69, and Americans Blake Snyder and Greg Moss, who carded a 68 and 72, respectively. Each pocketed $2,000.
After an opening 32, Pagunsan sat on a six-shot cushion as Que fumbled with a 37 and Petchkasem hobbled with 38. The backside proved to be a victory ride for the smooth-swinging former PGT OOM champion, who spiked his third bogey-less round with birdies on Nos. 13 and 15 and a couple of scrambling pars.
Flawless after 54 holes, Petchkasem parred the opening hole but cracked under pressure after missing the green on No. 2 and making his first bogey. He struck back with a birdie on the next but dropped another shot on No. 4 and reeled farther back with a double-bogey on the par-3 seventh after another birdie on the sixth and never recovered en route to a 73.
So did Que, who was expected to engage Pagunsan in a shootout on a course he calls home. But like Petchkasem, he bogeyed the second hole, birdied the next but dropped two shots on No. 4 on an errant approach shot.
Que did fight back with birdies on No. 9 and 12 but missed a couple of birdie chances and three-putted the 17th to fall to joint second with a 72.(pr)

Toughest cast assembled for Aboitiz Invit’l

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Pagunsan.
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Lascuna.
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Tabuena.

From current Order of Merit leader Miguel Tabuena to fellow two-leg winner Angelo Que to the comebacking Frankie Miñoza and Juvic Pagunsan to the in-form Tony Lascuña to a host of other local aces and rising stars, all are accounted for in the Aboitiz Invitational firing off Wednesday, Aug. 5 at Manila Southwoods’ Legends course.
Count in the top 10 players in the Asian Development Tour OOM rankings, and no fewer than 22 ADT winners and other notable shotmakers from around the region, one gets an idea of what looms ahead when the first shot is hit and the last putt is made in the $100,000 event put up by Aboitiz Equity Ventures.
No local event in recent past has put together a deep, talent-laden international cast, guaranteeing a highly charged duel for the top $17,500 purse and world ranking points in all four days of competition co-sanctioned by the ADT and the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour.
“Just looking at the roster makes one feel uncomfortable. It’s such a tough cast that one has to play his very best to at least contend,” said Lascuña, listed as one of the favorites not only because of his back-to-back victories at ICTSI Apo and ICTSI Classic in recent weeks but also because of his three-shot romp over Que in last year’s edition of the annual event at Riviera’s Couples course for his first ADT win.
But the long, bunker-laden Legends layout offers a different kind of challenge for the competing field particularly its last line of defense – the greens, which are expected to be at their meanest in the final round of the blue-ribbon event co-organized by ADT and Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
“I may be on some kind of a roll, winning the last two tournaments. But for sure, it will be anybody’s race,” said Lascuña.
It sure will.
Tabuena, for one, is coming in fresh after a hectic campaign that netted him victories at ICTSI Splendido and Rancho Palos Verdes and three runner-up finishes while three-time Asian Tour winner Que is back from a recent European Masters campaign in pursuit of a follow-up to his victories at ICTSI Manla Masters and Anvaya Cove Invitational and an eye for a breakthrough ADT win.
Minoza is also coming off a stint in Japan and has always been a sentimental favorite and contender on the local circuit this season with a series of top six finishes while Pagunsan is out to redeem himself from a mediocre joint 15th place finish in last week’s ICTSI Classic where he marked his return on local turf after a two-and-a-half campaign on the Japan PGA.
Elmer Salvador, Orlan Sumcad, Jay Bayron, Ferdie Aunzo, Charles Hong, Cassius Casas, Rufino Bayron, Marvin Dumandan and Mars Pucay are also in the fold, all ready to slug it out not only with the cream of the local crop but also the best from the ADT field.
That includes OOM leader Hsieh Chi-hsien of Chinese Taipei, American Casey O’Toole, Malaysian Arie Irawan, Aussie Jake Stirling, Taiwanese Chan Shih-chang, Sean Riordan of New Zealand, Japanese Masaru Takahashi, Jordan Sherbat of Australia, Davao-based American Micah Shin and Thai Itthipat Buranatanyarat.
Hsieh is tipped to contend owing to his good form this season where he nailed one victory and produced five top 10 finishes.
“My aim is to finish inside Top 10. That is the target that I set for myself in every ADT event,” said Hsieh, who finished sixth in the ADT Sherwood Hills Classic last April.
“It’s good to be leading in the OOM rankings but I won’t give myself any pressure to win or play exceptionally well. I will play with minimal expectations,” said Hsieh, 24.(pr)