An early shootout among the best in the land kicks off The Duel —North vs. South showdown tomorrow (Wednesday, June 5) with North skipper Angelo Que and partner Mars Pucay slugging it out with South’s top bet Tony Lascuna and Clyde Mondilla in one of the fourball matches at the Alabang Golf and Country Club.
Juvic Pagunsan, another ace from the South, teams up with Rufino Bayron as they take on the young North pair of Miguel Tabuena and Edward Reyes in another interesting matchup in the morning best-ball format of the event, the local version of the Ryder Cup pitting the top players from Luzon against those aces from Visayas-Mindanao regions.
“We are upbeat and ready to take on the North and prove again that we are the better team,” said South team skipper Jerome Delariarte.
Power-hitting Marvin Dumandan and Zanie Boy Gialon battle North’s Michael Bibat and Gerald Rosales in the third match while Jay Bayron and Ferdie Aunzo face off with another young North pair of Carl Santos-Ocampo and James Ryan Lam.
Meanwhile, Bibat led his team of Nani Almeda, Frankie Flameno and Obet Samson to victory in the pro-am as they pooled a 53 to beat North teammate Randy Garalde and partners Wilson Uy, Jimmy Dy and Manny Tan, who had a 54.
Pagunsan and teammates JV Rocha, Patrick Tabuena and Nijay Punzalan settled for third with a 55.
The fourball matches will start at 7 a.m. while the foursomes (alternate shot) will be held in the afternoon in the first two days with the singles, a total of 12 matches, set on Friday, according to the organizing Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
The South team rallied in the singles to fashion out a come-from-behind victory last year and annex the inaugural crown in the event sponsored by ICTSI and backed by KIA, Ping, Nike Golf, Custom Clubmakers, Mizuno, Pacsports, Callaway, Cleveland, FootJoy, Srixon, Titleist, Empire Golf and Sports Shop and Sharp.
The other members of the South squad are Elmer Saban, Mhark Fernando, Jhonnel Ababa and last year’s team captain Charles Hong while Jun Bernis, Joenard Rates and Benjie Magada backstop the North team.