Power-hitting Angelo Que will be leaning on sheer talent when he slugs it out with the cream of the crop in the rich ICTSI Luisita Championship unfolding tomorrow (Wednesday, March 30) at the Luisita Golf and Country Club in Tarlac.
Not only will he be playing the tight, par-72 course for the first time in a long while but he will also be coming into the P3.5 million championship sponsored by International Container Terminal Services, Inc. without the benefit of a practice round.
Asian Tour stints and injuries have kept Que from playing in three tournaments that Luisita had staged since it returned to big-time hosting in May 2015 and personal commitments have prevented the former three-time Asian Tour winner from testing the hazard-laden layout this week, including today’s (Tuesday) pro-am tournament.
“I still have to finish some personal things Monday and Tuesday and will just play Wednesday,” said Que, who also headed straight to the 2016 ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour’s kickoff leg at Anvaya Cove Invitational in Bataan last month and struggled to finish joint 10th.
But one thing going for Que is the momentum he had gained from a strong windup at Indian Open two weeks ago where he closed out with a solid seven-under 65 to grab a share of fourth place. He also hopes to cash in on the breaks that would come his way in all four days of the championship organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
“It all depends on the breaks of the game. I haven’t played Luisita in a while so we’ll just have to see,” said Que, whose length off the tee could also give him some edge on some par-4 holes and the four par-5s.
Meanwhile, Miguel Tabuena, Tony Lascuña, Charles Hong, Jay Bayron, Elmer Salvador and Clyde Mondilla toughen up for the event as they play in the traditional pro-am with the guests and officials of the event’s chief backers, including Custom Clubmakers, adidas, KZG, Summit Mineral Water, Pacsports, TaylorMade, Sharp and Champion.
Tabuena is seeking to sweep the first two legs of the PGT after beating Mondilla by three at Anvaya but the 21-year-old shotmaker and reigning Order of Merit winner sees a tougher outing this week with a full-packed field spiced up by a slew of foreign rivals.
They include Dutch Guido Van der Valk and Japanese Toru Nakajima, who finished joint fourth at Anvaya, and young Korean Park Min Ung, who placed ninth. Others in the fold are Americans Sam Ayotte, Daniel Inocencio, Dylan Jackson, Dillon Soldwisch, Christopher Oetinger and John Jackson, Koreans Hwang Kang Youl, Anthony Kim, Kim Chang Yeon, Park Jun Hyeok, Park Jun Song and Seok Jun Min, Aussies Mark Leich, Kevin Marques, Nathan Park, Nelson Turner and Ben Ratcliffe and Japanese Yuta Sudo and Ryoma Miki.
Other local bets expected to contend for the top P650,000 purse are Cassius Casas, Frankie Miñoza, Rolando Marabe Jr., Orlan Sumcad, Marvin Dumandan, Rufino Bayron, Michael Bibat, Jhonnel Ababa, Mhark Fernando, Jerson Balasabas, Jun Bernis, Dante Becierra, Anthony Fernando, Zanie Boy Gialon, Rey Pagunsan, Mars Pucay, Joenard Rates and Gerald Rosales.