ANGELO Que gears up for a battle against top local pros as he guns for a record fourth win in The Country Club Invitational starting Thursday in Laguna.
The best-placed Filipino player at No. 13 in last year’s Asian Tour Order of Merit, Que is the top favorite in the P5 million 72-hole championship.
Que, winner of three TCC titles including back-to-back in 2010 and 2011, will be up against the top 30 players in last year’s ICTSI-Philippine Golf Tour money list.
“Anybody who is playing this week is a title contender. But I’ve always been prepared when it comes to the TCC Invitational so I can say I’m in pretty good shape going into the tournament,” said Que, who finished joint seventh in the last Asian Tour leg in the King’s Cup last month.
Que, who had to skip a number of PGT events to see action on the Asian Tour, also vowed to compete more on the local circuit in a bid to foil Tony Lascuña’s drive for a third straight money title.
“I’ll try to play more ICTSI PGT events and hopefully I can keep up with Tony (in the Order of Merit),” said Que, who wound up fifth last year with one victory and two runner-up finishes.
With 18 legs lined up by the organizing Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. and sponsoring International Container Terminal Services, Inc. this year, including four P3.5 million events, the local shotmakers are indeed in for a busy season. But Que said he is also set to play in key tournaments abroad as he tries to nail his fourth Asian Tour crown and break into the world’s top 100.
“I will try to get my fourth win on the Asian Tour and finish in the top 100 in the world golf rankings,” said the ace Filipino shotmaker, who is currently at No. 258.
The TCC event offers a top prize of P1.5 million and among the favorites are last year’s champion Frankie Miñoza, Lascuna, teen star Miguel Tabuena, Elmer Salvador and brothers Jay and Rufino Bayron.
Former Asian Tour No. 1 Miñoza beat the Bayron brothers in a playoff for the title last year.
Also in the hunt are Carl Santos-Ocampo, Mhark Fernando, Jhonnel Ababa, Elmer Saban, Charles Hong, Michael Bibat, Mars Pucay, Edward Reyes, Jessie Balasabas, Gerald Rosales, Benjie Magada, Richard Sinfuego, Dutch Guido Van der Valk, Marvin Dumandan, Clyde Mondilla, Orlan Sumcad, Rey Pagunsan, Jun Bernis, Anthony Fernando, Randy Garalde and Ferdie Aunzo and Japanese Toru Nakajima, winner of last year’s final leg at Wack Wack.
Meanwhile, the traditional 18-hole pro-am event, featuring the leading pros and ICTSI’s guests from various sectors will be held Wednesday, before the formal launch of the 2014 ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour.