Miguel Tabuena and Angelo Que, who split the first two legs of the local tour last month, are both primed up for a second victory, ready to slug it out not only with the country’s best but also the leading players in the region in the $60,000 ICTSI Eagle Ridge Invitational beginning on Wednesday.
Tabuena nipped Que by one to rule the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour kickoff leg at Splendido but the latter got back at the former by winning the ICTSI Manila Masters crown, ending a three-year title spell for the former three-time Asian Tour winner.
That makes the duo the chief contenders for the top $10,500 purse in the 72-hole championship co-organized by ADT and Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. along with Charles Hong, who topped the all-local ICTSI Sherwood Hills Classic last year, is also expected to figure in the chase for the top $10,500 purse in the 72-hole championship co-organized by ADT and Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
The ICTSI Eagle Ridge tilt is the first of two Asian Development Tour events put up by International Container Terminal Services, Inc. in the country with Sherwood Hills Golf and Country Club hosting the other stage, also a $60,000 tournament, next week.
But Tabuena and Que, along with the other local aces, among them reigning three-time PGT Order of Merit champion Tony Lascuna and fellow ADT winners Jay Bayron, Rufino Bayron and Elmer Salvador, will be as much tested as the rest of the field, which includes at least eight ADT leg champions.
They include Thai Panuwat Muenlek, Malaysians Wilson Choo and Arie Irawan, Scot James Byrne, Americans Brett Munson and James Bowen, and Masaru Takahashi and Mitsuhiko Hashizume of Japan.
Lascuna, Salvador and Rufino Bayron won the three ADT events last year at Riviera (Couples and Langer courses) and Orchard, respectively, with the troika eyeing a repeat in any of the two inaugural tournaments.
“It will be tough, given the depth of the field but if I my putting clicks, I’ll be in contention,” said Lascuna, who struggled to finish joint fifth at Splendido and shared sixth spot at Manila Masters.
Other foreign bets tipped to contend in the event, backed by Aboitiz, Srixon, Callaway, Empire Golf and Sports Shop, Nike Golf, TaylorMade, Custom Clubmakers, Sharp, Omnisource and Silicon Computer and Telecoms, Inc., are Aussie Sam Burrell, Singapore’s Reagan Ping, Koh Deng Shan, and Choo Tze Huang, England’s Matthew Tweddell, Matt Kang of Canada, Swede Nils Floren, and Thais Annop Tangkamolprasert and Poosit Supupramai.
The other local players vying in the event are last year’s PGT winners Mars Pucay, Cassius Casasm Arnold Villacencio, Clyde Mondilla, Zanie Boy Gialon, and Jun Rates along with Frankie Minoza, Marvin Dumandan, Jhonnel Ababa, Orlan Sumcad, Ferdie Aunzo, Benjie Magada, Anthony Fernando and Michael Bibat.