MIGUEL Tabuena and Tony Lascuña lead the favorites in the ICTSI Riviera Classic teeing off on Wednesday at Riviera’s Langer layout, both coming into the P1.5 million event in top form following decent finishes in the Queen’s Cup on the Asian Tour.
Tabuena closed out with a 69 to finish joint 16th in the tournament topped by Thai veteran Prayad Marksaeng, while Lascuña shot a final-round 68 to take a share of 20th.
“It’s a good rebound from a poor 76 start,” said Lascuna, who shot two 69s before finishing with a four-under card at the Santiburi Samui Country Club in Koh Samui in Thailand. “I just hope to sustain my form heading to Riviera.”
Tabuena, eyeing a second leg win on the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour after ruling the kickoff leg at Splendido, also heads the cast in Tuesday’s pro-am tournament of the seventh leg of this year’s circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
They hope to re-familiarize themselves with the ravine-laced layout along with the other leading players on the circuit, including defending champion Elmer Salvador, Orlan Sumcad, Ferdie Aunzo, Marvin Dumandan, Mars Pucay, Jay Bayron, Joenard Rates, Arnold Villacencio and Frankie Minoza.
Charles Hong, winner of the Luisita leg last month, begged off to honor a previous commitment to play on the Asian Development Tour.
Nine Koreans led by Park Jun Hyeok and Gyuha Park, are also seeing action, along with Japan’s Yuta Sudo, South Africa’s Joshua Seale and Dutchman Guido Van der Valk.
Also vying for top honors and the top prize of P270,000 are Clyde Mondilla, Rufino Bayron, Jun Bernis, Michael Bibat, Rene Menor, Zanieboy Gialon, Elmer Saban, Rey Pagunsan, Anthony Fernando, Jhonnel Ababa, Keanu Jahns, Dante Becierra, Jerson Balasabas, Rolando Marabe Jr., Mhark Fernando and Dino Villanueva.
The circuit returns to Mindanao next week as it holds the ICTSI Rancho Palos Verdes Classic from July 1 to 4 before the Apo Golf Club hosts the next leg set July 8 to 11.