Tony Lascuña slugs it out with Jay Bayron and Elmer Salvador while Angele Que faces off with young turks Miguel Tabuena and Clyde Mondilla in early clashes of the fancied bets in the P3.5 million ICTSI Open Championship unfolding at Wack Wack’s fabled East layout.
The six occupy the top seven places in the current Order of Merit ranking with money leader Lascuña leading Tabuena by just P28,000 and Que another P14,000 back, guaranteeing a spirited chase for the top P650,000 purse right in the first round of the 72-hole championship sponsored by International Container Terminal Services, Inc.
The reigning three-time OOM champion underscored his readiness for the tournament by piloting his team composed of Terry Capistrano, Marlon Villanueva and Justin Limjap to the pro-am victory with a 16-under 56, two strokes ahead of Cassius Casas and partners Nemi Pagtakhan, Nestor Gimenez and JA Coching, who had a 58.
Rey Pagunsan, with Hubert Lim, Oliver Gan and Liberato Tan, placed third with a 59.
Lascuña, No. 4 Salvador and the fifth-running Bayron start at 7:45 a.m. at the backside of the tight, challenging East layout, the home of the Philippine Open spruced up to championship condition for a true test of golf.
Que, winner of three Asian Tour legs, including the PH Open here in 2008, hopes to come out strong in their 11:25 a.m. flight on No. 1 where he will test Tabuena and the No. 7 Mondilla’s mettles in what promises to be an action-packed start of the 13th leg of the circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.