TONY Lascuna seeks no less than a top five finish as he looks to seal the top spot in the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour’s Order of Merit when the P2.5 million ICTSI Wack Wack Championship is played Dec. 19-22 at Wack Wack’s fabled East layout.
Lascuna leads the Order of Merit after 10 legs with earnings of P1,797,640 on two victories and a couple of runner-up finishes and held on to the lead despite missing the last four legs of the 15-stage circuit to see action on the Asian Tour.
Elmer Salvador is running second with P1,365,160 in winnings and Lascuna needs only to finish in the top five in the 72-hole championship to claim the coveted crown although he is expected to go for the leg win just the same and the top prize worth P450,000.
“I’ll go for it (title) but the field is strong so it will be tough,” said Lascuna, runner-up in the Taiwan Masters on the Asian Tour last September but who could only turn in a joint 17th place effort with Salvador in the King’s Cup last week in Thailand.
Salvador, third-running Zanie Boy Gialon and No. 4 Miguel Tabuena also have two leg victories each on the Pilipinas Golf Tournaments Inc.-organized circuit this season, while others to watch in the tournament include Jay Bayron, Elmer Saban, Marvin Dumandan, Rufino Bayron, Charles Hong and Mhark Fernando.
Focus will also be on Frankie Miñoza, who fought back from seven strokes down in the final round to snatch last year’s crown. The veteran campaigner, who also his second Philippine Open at Wack Wack in 2007, recently won the Japan Seniors Open.
Three-time Asian Tour winner Angelo Que is also seeing action, hoping to flash the form that won him the Philippine Open crown at Wack Wack in 2008.
The leading pros get the chance to test the tough layout, which is being spruced up to championship condition, in the pro-am tournament on Dec. 18 as they team up with officials and guests of the event’s chief backers Empire Golf, Titleist, Footjoy, Callaway, TaylorMade, Mizuno, Srixon, Nike Golf, Custom Clubmakers and Sharp.
The circuit is sponsored by International Container Terminal Services, Inc.
Also in the field are Asian Tour campaigners Mars Pucay and Artemio Murakami along with Jhonnel Ababa, Ferdie Aunzo, Jun Bernis, Jerson Balasabas, Cassius Casas, Anthony Fernando, Robert Pactolerin and Gerald Rosales.