Six leg winners, including reigning Order of Merit champion Tony Lascuna, have confirmed participation in next week’s ICTSI Splendido Classic, guaranteeing another explosive showdown in the P1 million event at Splendido Golf and Country Club in Tagaytay.
A low scoring duel looms among the best in the land despite the elite field coming off a month-long break after Lascuna dominated his rivals to retain the ICTSI Manila Southwoods Championship with a 21-under 267 total. He won by three over Miguel Tabuena and Jhonnel Ababa last September.
While the rest of the pack honed up their respective games during the long break, Lascuna, along with ICTSI Sherwood leg winner Tabuena, Aboitiz Invitational back-to-back champion Elmer Salvador and veteran campaigner Mars Pucay stay in shape by competing on the Asian Tour, including in the ongoing Taiwan Masters.
Others tipped to contend for the crown in the 54-hole tournament, sponsored by ICTSI and organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc., are John Hay leg champion Jay Bayron, Palos Verdes leg winner Michael Bibat and ICTSI Midlands ruler Carl Santos-Ocampo.
But they will be up against a field hungry for title with Cassius Casas, Ferdie Aunzo, Rufino Bayron, Jun Bernis, Marvin Dumandan, Anthony Fernando and Mhark Fernando raring to nail the elusive crown and join the roster of leg winners this year.
Guido Van der Valk is also expected to crowd the favorites with the Dutch ace hoping to re-flash the form that netted him the low medal honors in the ICTSI PGT Qualifier at Splendido last March.
The event also serves as the 12th leg of the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour with the OOM frontrunners also out to press their respective bids heading to the last three stages of the circuit.
Lascuna currently heads the OOM race with P1,682,332 in earnings on two victories and four runner-up finishes, with Tabuena in second with P1,456,527 in winnings.
Salvador, who also had three second place efforts, is in third with P1,087,776 followed by Angelo Que, who ruled the Orchard Invitational, with P1,036,276.
Santos-Ocampo moved up to No. 5 with P837,068 followed by Jay Bayron (P822,370), Ababa (721,238), Del Monte and Pueblo de Oro back-to-back winner Frankie Minoza (623,936), Bibat (P507,004) and Edward Reyes (P452,474).