Still on high following a breakthrough win at ICTSI Summit, Arnold Villacencio braces for an early clash with the so-called “Cangolf boys” as he guns for a second straight victory in the ICTSI Canlubang Golf Invitational unfolding today at Cangolf’s North course in Laguna.
Villacencio upended young gun Miguel Tabuena on the second playoff hole to end a 27-year quest for a first pro crown at ICTSI Summit Point in Batangas two weeks ago, making him a top contender in this week’s P1.5 million event serving as the penultimate leg of the 16-stage circuit put up by International Container Terminal Services, Inc.
“I think I’ve got 90 percent chance to win again here in Canlubang,” said Villacencio during break in yesterday’s pro-am tournament where he and the other leading pros teamed up with guests and amateur players from the event’s chief backers, including Nike Golf, Pacsports Phils. Inc., Srixon, Callaway, Mizuno, Empire Golf, Footjoy, Titleist, Custom Clubmakers, Sharp, KZG and Rudy Project.
But he remains wary of a slew of players who have honed their talent and skills on the tough layout, including the former members of the national team headed by Mhark Fernando, Jhonnel Ababa, Marvin Dumandan and Jessie Balasabas.
“The Canlubang boys have the edge since it’s their home course but we are all in shape and in top form coming off a series of tournaments,” said Villacencio, who drew Edward Reyes and last year’s playoff loser Clyde Mondilla in the 7:40 a.m. group at No. 10.