Angelo Que hopes to make the most of his break from the Japan PGA Tour, seeking a second Philippine Golf Tour crown in the ICTSI Classic, which gets going today (Wednesday) at the Mt. Malarayat Golf and Country Club in Lipa, City.
Que has posted back-to-back top five finishes in Japan last month although the long-hitting former three-time Asian Tour champion has opted to downplay his chances in the P2 million event coming off a three-week rest.
“I can’t tell if I’m in top condition since I haven’t played since I got back (from Japan),” said Que, who also skipped the PGT’s The Duel 5 won by his team North over South in Baguio two weeks ago.
Still, he hopes to relive his glory days at the layout’s composite course where he won back-to-back from 2008-09.
“The last time I played Malarayat was when I won,” said Que, who is also eyeing a follow-up to his runaway victory at Anvaya Cove Invitational last February.
But he’s in for an early test of power and putting as he drew veteran campaigners Jay Bayron and Elmer Salvador in the 7:20 a.m. group on No. 1 in one of the featured flights making up the 75-player starting field in the 72-hole championship sponsored by ICTSI.
An early shootout looms with the big guns looking fresh and hungry from a month-long break with Tony Lascuña, who topped the Forest Hills Championship for the second straight year last month, taking on Frankie Miñoza and Ferdie Aunzo at 7:50 a.m.
Defending champion Clyde Mondilla is also out for a rebound following a pair of mediocre finishes after sweeping the Southwoods and Philippine Masters titles with the Del Monte ace clashing with Jhonnel Ababa and Keanu Jahns at 8:10 a.m.
Jahns, who has turned in a number of impressive finishes midway through the season, also seeks to nail the elusive victory as he heads the young turks’ bid for the top P360,000 purse in the 72-hole championship organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
Rookie pro Ira Alido, who has also contended a number of times only to fade in the stretch, hopes to finally put it all together this week, along with Justin Quiban, Art Arbole, Edward Reyes, John Kier Abdon and James Ryan Lam.
Others tipped to contend are Calatagan leg winner Zanieboy Gialon, Jerson Balasabas, Rufino Bayron, Michael Bibat, Marvin Dumandan, Mhark Fernando and Orlan Sumcad while Australian Nathan Park, Peter Stojanovski of Macedonia and Manila-based Dutch Guido Van der Valk banner the compact foreign roster in the event backed by Custom Clubmakers, BDO, Meralco, Sharp, KZG, PLDT, Champion, Summit Mineral Water and K&G Golf.