REIGNING Order of Merit champion Tony Lascuna sees action in the Philippine Golf Tour for the first time this season as the million ICTSI Camp John Hay Championship fires off on Wednesday at the John Hay Golf Club in Baguio City.
Lascuna, who dominated the local tour last year with three wins and four runner-up finishes in nine appearances, didn’t see action in the kickoff leg at Sherwood won by Miguel Tabuena last month but has made himself available for the second leg, a four-day championship offering a top prize of P450,000.
Marvin Dumandan ruled last year’s Baguio leg, which was then a 54-hole tournament.
“The field is strong but I’m ready,” said Lascuna, who also missed this Pilipinas Golf Tournaments Inc.-organized event last year to campaign on the Asian Tour. “I always look forward to playing on the local circuit whenever I’m available.”
Lascuna expects a stiff challenge from the elite field that includes reigning Asian Development Tour Order of Merit winner Jay Bayron, fellow Asian Tour campaigners Mars Pucay and 2011 top money earner Elmer Salvador.
Focus will also be on Tabuena, seeking back-to-back wins after a dominating performance at ICTSI Sherwood where he beat Edward Reyes by a whopping eight shots.
Guido Van der Valk of the Netherlands and Tomokazu Yoshinaga, who went through Q-School, are also in the fold along with Santos-Ocampo, Charles Hong and Zanie Boy Gialon.
Tabuena, Bayron, Van der Valk, Reyes, Carl Santos-Ocampo, Hong and Gialon head the field in Tuesday’s traditional pro-am tournament also featuring guests from the event’s chief backers including International Container Terminal Services, Inc., Nike Golf, Empire Golf and Sports Shop, Mizuno, Titleist, Srixon, Foot Joy, Callaway, Pacsports, Custom Clubmakers, Cleveland Golf and Sharp.