MIGUEL Tabuena and Angelo Que, who split the first two legs of the Philippine Golf Tour, head the local shotmakers battling top Asian Development Tour players for honors in the $60,000 ICTSI Eagle Ridge Invitational starting on Wednesday.
Tabuena nipped Que by one to rule the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour kickoff leg at Splendido but the latter got back by winning the ICTSI Manila Masters crown, ending a three-year winless run.
The two head the race for the top prize of $10,500 in the 72-hole championship co-organized by ADT and Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
Charles Hong, who topped the all-local ICTSI Sherwood Hills Classic last year, is also expected to figure in the chase for top honors in the 72-hole championship.
The ICTSI Eagle Ridge tilt is the first of two ADT events put up by International Container Terminal Services, Inc. in the country, with Sherwood Hills Golf and Country Club hosting the other stage, also a $60,000 tournament, next week.
Tony Lascuna, who topped the money list for three straight years, and fellow ADT winners Jay Bayron, Rufino Bayron and Elmer Salvador, are also among the top local contenders.
Battling for honors are ADT leg champions Thai Panuwat Muenlek, Malaysians Wilson Choo and Arie Irawan, Scot James Byrne, Americans Brett Munson and James Bowen, and Masaru Takahashi and Mitsuhiko Hashizume of Japan.
Lascuna, Salvador and Rufino Bayron won the three ADT events last year at Riviera (Couples and Langer courses) and Orchard, respectively.
“It will be tough, given the depth of the field but if I my putting clicks, I’ll be in contention,” said Lascuna, who struggled to finish joint fifth at Splendido and shared sixth spot at the Manila Masters.
Other foreign bets tipped to contend in the event backed by Aboitiz, Srixon, Callaway, Empire Golf and Sports Shop, Nike Golf, TaylorMade, Custom Clubmakers, Sharp, Omnisource and Silicon Computer and Telecoms, Inc., are Australia’s Sam Burrell, Singapore’s Reagan Ping, Koh Deng Shan, and Choo Tze Huang, England’s Matthew Tweddell, Matt Kang of Canada, Sweden’s Nils Floren, and Thailand’s Annop Tangkamolprasert and Poosit Supupramai.
The other local players vying in the event are Mars Pucay, Cassius Casasm Arnold Villacencio, Clyde Mondilla, Zanie Boy Gialon, and Jun Rates along with Frankie Minoza, Marvin Dumandan, Jhonnel Ababa, Orlan Sumcad, Ferdie Aunzo, Benjie Magada, Anthony Fernando and Michael Bibat.