THE P1 million ICTSI Pueblo de Oro Championship blasts off Wednesday with Frankie Miñoza shooting for back-to-back wins and Angelo Que out to make it two-for-two on the Philippine Golf Tour at the Pueblo de Oro Golf and Country Club in Cagayan De Oro City.
Miñoza heads into the 54-hole championship riding the crest of his emphatic win at Del Monte last week, fuelled by a brilliant closing nine-under 63 that turned a five-stroke deficit into a five-shot victory.
The veteran golfer is looking to nail another win as he prepares for the Senior British Open two weeks from now.
“Magandang pabaon yung panalo na ’yun. It’s actually a good start since I’ve already won two tournaments this year,” said Miñoza, who opened the season with victory in The Country Club Invitational last February.
Que made a triumphant return on the local circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. with a dominant performance in the Orchard Championship last May.
The former Philippine Open champion and three-time Asian Tour winner skipped the first two legs of the Mindanao swing at Rancho Palos Verdes and Del Monte the past two weeks but signed up for this week’s seventh leg of the ICTSI-sponsored circuit.
Former PGT Order of Merit winner Elmer Salvador primed himself up by leading his team composed of Jeff Rolida, Vic Tiu and Amador Que Jr. to victory in the pro-am tournament with a 55.
They edged Tony Lascuna’s group of Marc Lu, Ryu Rolida and Tommy Jeong, who pooled a 56 while Mhark Fernando and amateur teammates Marlon Santiago, Dennis Mijares and Rul Leonen placed third with a 57.
An early shootout among the big guns looms as they drew early tee-offs with Que set to start at 7:10 a.m. with Salvador and Ferdie Aunzo on No. 1 and Minoza in a flight behind at 7:20 a.m. with fellow veteran Cassius Casas and defending champion Charles Hong.
On No. 10, Lascuna, winner at Calatagan and runner-up thrice, is pitted against John Hay leg champion Jay Bayron in another marquee matchup with Jacques Van Tonder, one of the invited players from Africa, completing the 7:10 a.m. flight.
Michael Bibat, who scored a breakthrough win at Palos Verdes but struggled to finish joint ninth at Del Monte, is also out to redeem himself although he drew a rather late tee-time of 11 a.m. on No. 1 with Edward Reyes and Carl Santos-Ocampo in the event backed by Nike Golf, Empire Golf and Sports Shop, Mizuno, Titleist, Srixon, Foot Joy, Callaway, Pacsports, Custom Clubmakers, Cleveland Golf and Sharp.