JUVIC Pagunsan and Angelo Que shoot for a record fourth crown in The Country Club Invitational set Feb. 7-10 at the TCC layout in Laguna.
At stake is P5 million, with the winner of the 72-hole tournament getting P1.5 million. That is a huge increase from last year’s tournament purse of P4.5 million and the P1.4 million top prize Pagunsan bagged.
Pagunsan also won in 2006 and 2008, while Que ruled the event in 2007, 2010 and 2011, but looking to steal the show is a tough group of challengers headed by Tony Lascuna, winner of the recent Sabah Masters.
Lascuna won three legs on the ICTSI-PGT last year to top the Order of Merit, capping his romp with a runaway victory in the final leg at Wack Wack in December.
The 42-year-old Davaoeno shotmaker is looking to score his second TCC crown after winning it in 2004.
“I’m in top shape and my ball-striking is quite consistent. But the field is so strong and talented and I’m sure everybody trained hard during the off-season for this event,” said Lascuna.
Former champions Cassius Casas (2003), Jerome Delariarte (2005) and Artemio Murakami (2009) are also seeing action along with Zanie Boy Gialon, Miguel Tabuena, Jay Bayron, Elmer Saban, Clyde Mondilla, Charles Hong and Mhark Fernando.
Also in the field are Rufino Bayron, Mars Pucay, Richard Sinfuego, Carl Santos-Ocampo, Jhonnel Ababa, Jun Bernis, Randy Garalde, Michael Bibat, Ferdie Aunzo, James Ryan Lam, Orlan Sumcad, Joenard Rates, Benjie Magada, Christopher delos Santos, Arnold Villavicencio, Rey Pagunsan, Anthony Fernando and Frankie Minoza.
Before the stars battle it out in the four-day tournament put up annually by long-time golf patron Ricky Razon, chairman and CEO of International Container Terminal Services Inc., in honor of his late father and ICTSI founder Enrique “Don Pocholo” Razon, Sr., the traditional 18-hole pro-am event featuring the leadings pros and ICTSI’s guests from various sectors will be held on Feb. 6.