Tag Archives: ICTSI

Local aces upbeat as 2nd PGT Asia unwraps

TARLAC – The Philippine Golf Tour Asia kicks off its second season today (Tuesday, April 17) with a promise of a shootout among a crack international cast right at the start of the $100,000 ICTSI Luisita Championship at the Luisita Golf and Country Club here.

While majority of the foreign cast, led by those who earned their Tour cards in last weekend’s Q-School, hope to sustain their form, the local top guns will be coming into the event fresh from a long break, making them hungry and eager to slug it out with the best of the best.

“It’s been a while since we last played in the Philippine Open. So I think we have a chance here, everybody is raring to go,” said multi-titled Tony Lascuña. “I, for one, am keen on winning again.”

The Solaire Philippine Open at The Country Club last March served as the final leg of the inaugural PGT Asia with Miguel Tabuena edging Thai Prom Meesawat in the playoff to rule the Centennial staging of Asia’s oldest National Open.

Tabuena has begged off to lead the Filipinos’ bid at one of his favorite courses but the likes of Lascuña, Clyde Mondilla and Jhonnel Ababa are more than ready to fill in the slack and take the cudgels for the locals out to extend their domination of the region’s newest circuit sponsored by ICTSI.

Tabuena and Ababa won two legs each while Mondilla, Lascuña, Rene Menor and Justin Quiban accounted for the four other titles in the first season of the circuit put up to raise the level of the Filipino golfers’ games and at the same time make the country a major golfing destination.

But this year’s foreign contingent from at least 17 countries looks formidable with Q-School topnotcher Sattaya Supupramai also tipped to re-display the form that netted him the winning 14-under 274 total at the quaint Robert Trent Jones Sr.-designed layout.

Fellow Thais Sorachut Hansapiban and Itthipat Buranatanyarat, who finished among the Top 5 last week, are also in the fold, along with South African Mathiam Keyser, who placed second to Tabuena here last year, and Dutch Guido Van der Valk, whose victory in last month’s PGT first leg at Eagle Ridge also makes him a top contender for the top $17,500 purse in the 72-hole championship organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.

Competition is expected to be fierce with only the top 50 players plus ties from a starting field of 129 advancing to the final 36 holes of the event backed by Custom Clubmakers, Meralco, Champion, Summit Mineral Water, K&G Golf Apparel, BDO, Sharp, KZG, PLDT and M.Y. Shokai Technology, Inc.

Others tipped to contend are John Michael O’Toole and Nicolas Paez of the US, Matt Killen of England, Aussie David Gleeson, Ian Andrew of Indonesia, Peter Stojanovski of Macedonia, Japanese Yuta Sudo and Thai Pasavee Lertvilai, last year’s Q-School topnotcher.

Also vowing to dish out a strong start are local bets Joenard Rates, Michael Bibat, Elmer Salvador, Jay Bayron, Jerson Balasabas, Jobim Carlos, Keanu Jahns, Zanieboy Gialon, Orlan Sumcad, Ira Alido, Marvin Dumandan, James Lam, Mhark Fernando, Ferdie Aunzo and Mars Pucay.

Meanwhile, Riviera will host the second leg of the 10-stage PGTA on May 30-June 2 with Manila Southwoods staging the third tournament on June 5-8 before the circuit moves to Forest Hills on July 11-14, Orchard on Sept. 5-8, Summit Point on Sept. 12-15 before heading back to Luisita on Oct. 17-20 for the Central Azucarera de Tarlac Open. Venues for the last three stages are still being finalized.(pr)

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Superal targets 3rd straight at Luisita

Princess Superal hopes to further hone up for the Symetra Tour as she seeks a third straight Ladies Philippine Golf Tour crown in the ICTSI Luisita Ladies Championship beginning Wednesday (April 4) at the Luisita Golf and Country Club in Tarlac.

Superal deferred plans to play in her first Symetra Tour also set this week in California, opting instead to compete here and get better after scoring back-to-back victories in Tagaytay and Riviera last month.

But the field she’s facing in the P1.5 million event sponsored by ICTSI also get tougher with seven Thai aces signing up along with a host of amateurs out to keep a tradition in the country’s premier ladies circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.

Former leg winner Saruttaya Ngam-usawan banners the delegation from the country’s perennial regional rival that includes Jaruporn P. Na Ayuttaya, Numa Gulyanamitta, Sarinee Thitiratanakorn, Supakchaya Pattaranakrueang, Thanuttra Boonraksasat and Ananya Vitayakonkomol.

But Superal will also have fellow local aces to contend with, including former three-time Order of Merit winner and fellow Symetra Tour campaigner Cyna Rodriguez and recent Eagle Ridge leg winner Chihiro Ikeda, who is expected to come into the 54-hole tournament in top shape after struggling in the last two legs with a slight hand injury.

Still, focus will be on the 21-year-old Superal, who broke a long LPGT title-spell with a record setting 16-shot victory at Tagaytay Highlands then followed it up with a five-stroke romp at Riviera two weeks ago.

“I feel good and pretty confident of my chances for another crack at the crown,” said Superal. “But the rest have also prepared hard for this during the break, so I expect a tough challenge.”

That could also come from the amateurs who have continuously proved their mettle against the best year-in and year-out, snatching one or two victories each season.

This week’s cast will be led by The Country Club mainstays Mikha Fortuna, Sofia Chabon, Laia Barro, Samantha Dizon and Mafy Singson with Kristine Torralba, Japanese Kelly Marutani and Sharon Park of Canana also in the hunt.

Other backers of the seventh leg of this year’s LPGT are Custom Clubmakers, BDO, Meralco, Sharp, KZGm PLDT, Champion, Summit Mineral Water and K&G Golf.(pr)

LPGT kicks off 6th season at Ayala Greenfield

The Ladies Philippine Golf Tour launches its new season on Wednesday (Jan. 3) with a stellar field headed by the cream of the country’s pro crop and a number of Thailand aces bracing for a spirited battle for top honors in the ICTSI Ayala Greenfield Ladies Challenge in Calamba, Laguna.

Symetra Tour campaigners Dottie Ardina, Cyna Rodriguez and Princess Superal hope to come out strong coming off a failed bid at South Forbes two weeks ago which the Thais dominated via a 1-2 finish to sweep the last two legs of the 2017 LPGT season.

But the locals are all primed to open the sixth season of the country’s premier ladies circuit sponsored by ICTSI on a winning note with last year’s LPGT Order of Merit winner Pauline del Rosario also raring to rebound from a mediocre showing at South Forbes.

Del Rosario racked up four victories in her rookie campaign in the record 11-leg circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. but struggled with poor health and form in the last tournament, ending up 10th.

But the 19-year-old rising star is expected to have recovered, ready to slug it out with her fellow fancied Filipinas and a slew of Thais out to extend their domination of the tour backed by Custom Clubmakers, BDO, Meralco, Sharp, KZG, PLDT, Champion, Summit Mineral Water and K&G Golf.

They include former LPGT leg winners Saruttaya Ngam-usawan and Wannasiri Sirisampant with Chonlada Chayanun also eyeing her first win after turning in back-to-back runner-up finishes in the Philippine Ladies Masters and South Forbes.

Others in the Thai fold are Numa Gulyanamitta, Pakpring Duangchan, Chitawadee Duangchan, Hathaikarn Wongwaikijphaisal, Jaruporn P Na Ayuttaya, Ploychompoo Wilairungrueng, Punpaka Phuntumabamrung, Saraporn Chamchoi, Sarinee Thitiratanakorn, Supakchaya Pattaranakrueng, Thanuttra Boonraksasat and Tiranan Yoopan.

Meanwhile, Ayala Greenfield has been spruced up in time for its first hosting of an LPGT tournament with the par-72 layout expected to provide a different kind of challenge for the competing field especially in the presence of the wind.

Others vying in the 54-hole championship are former leg champions Chihiro Ikeda and Sarah Ababa along with Anya Tanpinco, Apple Fudolin, last year’s Luisita stage champion Euna Koh of Korea and South African Madeleen Grosskoph.(pr)

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)

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.

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)