MANILA, Philippines – Miguel Tabuena and Angelo Que try to cash in on their top form as they shoot for their second tour victory in the rich ICTSI Anvaya Cove Invitational set to fire off tomorrow at the Anvaya Cove Golf and Sports Club in Morong, Bataan.
Tabuena won the opening leg of the ICTSI Philippine Golf, edging Que by one at Splendido but the latter struck back in the next stage in the ICTSI Manila Masters at Eastridge, beating the former and Ferdie Aunzo by two last March before the foreign bets ruled the next two Asian Development Tour legs at Eagle Ridge and Sherwood.
But Tabuena and Que are just two of a host of ace shotmakers tipped to contend for top P650,000 purse, ensuring a shootout in all four days of the P3.5 million tournament serving as the fifth leg of the 16-stage circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
Tony Lascuaa, for one, is aching to nail his first win this year after dominating last year’s circuit with five victories en route to keeping the Order of Merit title for the third straight year.
The seven other players in the current OOM ranking are also in the fold along with last year’s leg winners Rufino Bayron, Cassius Casas, Arnold Villacencio, Zanie Boy Gialon and Joenard Rates along with eight foreign bets trying to sneak into the title picture with the local favorites.
What makes this week’s title race doubly interesting is that no one holds a distinct advantage at Anvaya, which is hosting a tournament of this magnitude for the first time.
“This will be interesting. Everybody is here and since we’re all playing for the first time in this course, there will be no clear favorites here,” said Lascuaa during a break in practice yesterday.
Lascuaa, Tabuena, Que and the other top pros will get to test the wind-raked layout for the last time in today’s pro-tournament where they will be paired with guests and amateur partners of the event’s chief backers, including ICTSI, Nike Golf, Srixon, Callaway, Empire Golf, TaylorMade, Custom Clubmakers and Sharp.
Also vying in the event are surprise No. 3 Orlan Sumcad, Elmer Salvador, Clyde Mondilla, Jay Bayron, Frankie Miaoza, Jun Bernis, Marvin Dumandan, Dante Becierra, Jerson Balasabas, Jhonnel Ababa, Elmer Saban, Michael Bibat and Anthony Fernando.
Japanese Toru Nakajima, who upstaged the local aces to rule the ICTSI Wack Wack Invitational two years ago, heads the foreign crew, which includes Yuta Sudo, also of Japan, Koreans Anthony Kim, Thomas Kim and Gyuha Park, young Micah Shin of the US, South African Joshua Seale and Dutch Guido Van der Valk.