JAY Bayron looks to score a third win in as many weeks as he leads the field in the Philippine Golf Tour’s ICTSI Classic starting on Wednesday at the Mt. Malarayat Golf and Country Club.
Winner of the Aboitiz invitational and Riviera Classic, Bayron is looking to close the gap on money leader Tony Lascuña, winner of four tournaments.
“I feel confident. I played the course Monday and it suits my game. I like my chances here,” said Bayron during the traditional pro-am tournament yesterday.
Clyde Mondilla, No. 3 on the Order of Merit with back-to-back wins at Eastridge and Calatagan, is also among the favorites in the 72-hole championship offering a top prize of P270,000 purse.
“I expect Lascuña and Mondilla to contend again. But like the last time out, I’ll try to pounce on their mistakes and make the most of my chances,” said Bayron, who won after Mondilla hit an errant drive and second shot on the first playoff hole at Riviera.
Lascuña believes it will all boil down to putting.
“Shotmaking won’t be a problem but it will depend on who putts well in the end,” said Lascuña, who has P2.470 million in earnings for the season, around P350,000 ahead of Bayron.
Bayron has been drawn to start with Jobim Carlos and Dutchman Guido Van der Valk, while Lascuña has been grouped with Mars Pucay and Benjie Magada.
Mondilla tees off with Justin Quiban and returning Japanese golfer Toru Nakajima, winner at Wack Wack in 2013.
“I opted to take a rest. I need to be in top condition and free of injury since there are still four legs left,” said Mondilla, who was forced to withdraw in the third round in Aboitiz due to back injury and skipped Tuesday’s pro-am.
Rufino Bayron has been grouped with Jun Bernis and Ferdie Aunzo, while Elmer Salvador plays with Rodrigo Cuello and Randy Garalde.
Marvin Dumandan drew Joenard Rates and Rene Menor, while Charles Hong starts with Rey Pagunsan and Tonlits Asistion.
Also seeing action are Cassius Casas, Arnold Villacencio, Mhark Fernando, Orlan Sumcad, Michael Bibat and John Kier Abdon in the event organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. and backed by Custom Clubmakers, adidas, KZG, Summit Mineral Water, Srixon, Pacsports, TaylorMade, Sharp and Champion.