ANGELO Que joins the hunt for top honors and world ranking points in the $100,000 Aboitiz Invitational starting on Wednesday at Manila Southwoods’ Legends course in Carmona, Cavite.
The three-time Asian Tour winner was misquoted during the pro-am on Monday that he is skipping the tournament proper to take a much-needed rest.
“There was a misunderstanding. What I said was I would take a rest today (Tuesday),” said Que.
The long-hitting shotmaker hopes to start out strong as he plays the opening round with New Zeaand’s Sean Riordan and Taiwan’s Shih Chang.
The 126-player field, featuring top local players and the top 10 in the Asian Development Tour ranking, battles for in a four-day shootout for the $17,500 top prize and points in the race for Olympic berths.
Defending champion Tony Lascuna predicts a 20-under winning total on the course turned into a par-71.
“An 18-under total might not be enough. I think 20- or more should do it,” said the 45-year-old Lascuna, brimming with confidence following back-to-back victories at ICTSI Apo and ICTSI Classic.
“I got my rhythm back so I believe this will be a great week for me,” said Lascuna, seeking to match Elmer Salvador’s back-to-back title feat in this event put up by Aboitiz Ventures, Inc. and co-sanctioned by ADT and Pilipinas Golf Tournaments.
Lascuna starts with Japan’s Mitsuhiko Hashizume and Finland’s Janne Kaske.
Salvador is wary of his chances, and hopes to work on his long game in time for the event.
“I have to make it work,” said Salvador, who headed straight to the range after the pro-am to work on his driving.
Young Miguel Tabuena also expects to come up with a strong start after a three-week rest.
“A string of four good rounds is needed in this kind of field,” said Tabuena.
Focus will also be on Juvic Pagunsan, who served notice of his bid by ruling the pro-am with partners Montxu Aboitiz, Suguru Tsuzaki and Tadahiro Miyamoto via countback with a 16-under 55, nipping Michael Bibat and teammates Florene de los Santos, Erwyn Limanog and Richie Santos.
Australia’s Jake Stirling and partners Mark Watson, Paolo Gamab and Ian Tambunting placed third with a 56.
Tabuena and Stirling are grouped with Japan’s Masaru Takahashi, while ADT money list leader Hsieh Chi Chien will be playing with Cassius Casas and James Bowen of the US.
Frankie Minoza, who skipped the pro-am, will start at noon with Thailand’s Wisut Artjanawat and Mars Pucay.
Pagunsan, joint 15th at Mt. Malarayat last week, will play with Australia’s Matthew Giles and Brett Munson of the US.