FOCUS will be on Frankie Minoza as the Philippine Golf Tour goes to Luisita Golf and Country Club in Tarlac for the first time.
Miñoza won the President’s Cup in 1989, the last time Luisita hosted a top pro event and now the veteran shotmaker is being tagged among the favorites in the P2 million ICTSI Luisita Championship starting on Wednesday.
“Frankie is Frankie. I believe he still got what it takes to win,” said Tony Lascuña, who dominated last season with five victories but remains winless after five legs of this year’s tour organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
He finished second to Angelo Que in last week’s ICTSI Anvaya Cove Invitational.
Que, who rallied from six shots down to win by three with a bogey-free final round 64 to set the Anvaya course record, is skipping this week’s event to compete in the rich Kansai Open of the Japan PGA Tour.
“Nobody is a sure bet to win here. The course is tight with so many trees so it requires steady driving or conservative play. The unpredictable putting surface is another thing to worry about,” said Lascuna, who will start with Japan’s Toru Nakajima and Arnold Villacencio.
Miguel Tabuena, winner at Splendido, won Tuesday’s pro-am tournament with amateur partners and club regulars Iggy Clavecilla and Philippine Sports Commission chair Richie Garcia and Jojo Guingona providing solid support to their 17-under 55 winning total.
Mhark Fernando and partners Edison Yan, Tess Yap and Aaron Chua placed second with a 57 while Cassius Casas teamed up with Glenn Qui, Jose Celis and Jerry Chua to place third with a 58.
Tabuena, who tied for fourth at Anvaya, will play alongside Elmer Salvador and long-hitting Orlan Sumcad.
Minoza will start on the back nine with Ferdie Aunzo and Dante Becierra, while Fernando and Casas will start with Canlubang leg champion Clyde Mondilla.
Others vying for the top prize of P360,000 in the sixth leg of the PGT sponsored by ICTSI are Jay Bayron, Joenard Rates, Tonlits Asistio, Robert Pactolerin, Marvin Dumandan, Charles Hong, Dutch Guido Van der Valk, Michael Bibat, Anthony Fernando, Koreans Anthony Kim and Park Jun Hyeok, Jessie Balasabas, Gerald Rosales and Jhonnel Ababa.