Tony Lascuña stresses the need to seize early momentum, driven to snap a long spell in The Country Club (TCC) Invitational and nail a second championship in the P5 million event slated on February 6 to 9 at the windswept TCC layout in Laguna.
“Given the depth of the competing field, I would need a strong start to contend again,” said Lascuna, one of the early winners (2004) of the annual event that has become the country’s major championship not only for the prize money but also for its scope and prestige.
“It’s been a long time since I won this tournament and I’ve prepared hard not only for the upcoming event but also for the entire season,” said Lascuna, who hopes to flash the form that netted him back-to-back Order of Merit (OOM) crowns on the International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) Philippine Golf Tour.
With the organizing Pilipinas Golf Tournaments Inc. staging a record 18-leg circuit this year, Lascuña said stamina will be a factor in his campaign this season, including the upcoming event put up by ICTSI chairman and CEO Ricky Razon in honor of his late father and ICTSI founder Enrique “Don Pocholo” Razon Sr.
“With so many tournaments lined up for year, we need to be always in shape,” said Lascuña, who also campaigns on the Asian Tour.” I jog in the morning and evening five days a week to build my stamina. I also do some weight training.”
The rest of the elite field are also bracing for a big start in the event, which also serves as the kick off leg of this year’s circuit, led by defending champion Frankie Minoza, whose playoff victory over brothers Jay and Rufino Bayron sparked an inspiring season that saw the veteran campaigner win three titles, including the back-to-back legs at Del Monte and Pueblo de Oro.
Meanwhile, the traditional 18-hole pro-am event, featuring the leadings pros and ICTSI’s guests from various sectors, will be held on Feb. 5.
Angelo Que is also tipped to vie for a record fourth TCC crown worth a whopping P1.5 million, raring to atone for his failed bid last year after leading the event for the first two days and missing the playoff by one.
The other former champions are also expected to figure in the title hunt, including including Cassius Casas (2003) and Artemio Murakami (2009) along with the rest of the top 30 players from last year’s OOM ranking.