THE South looks to retake the title it won two years ago, while the North eyes back-to-back triumphs as the Philippine Golf Tour’s Duel 3 tees off Wednesday at the Cebu Country Club.
“Our team is very balanced and eager to make up for last year’s loss. We need a strong start and with luck on our side we have a very good chance of taking it back,” said Team South skipper Jerome Delariarte.
With reigning back-to-back ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour Order of Merit champion Tony Lascuna and fellow Davaeono aces Elmer Salvador, Jay Bayron, Cassius Casas, Mhark Fernando, Jhonnel Ababa, Elmer Saban and Marvin Dumandan spearheading the team, the Southerners appear to be the stronger team on paper with ace Frankie Minoza and fellow Del Monte shotmaker Clyde Mondilla and Cebuano Charles Hong backstopping the squad.
“Everyone says we have the strong team but anything can happen in this format of team match play and last years loss is the evidence of that,” added Delariarte after Tuesday’s pro-am tournament where the pros teamed up with their amateur partners and guests from the event’s chief backer International Container Terminal Services, Inc. and Nike Golf, Pacsports, Srixon, Callaway, Sharp, FootJoy, Mizuno, Callaway and Custom Clubmakers with Balls, ABS-CBN Sports+Action and Inquirer Golf as media partners.
Team North also boasts of talented shotmakers including three-time Asian Tour leg winner Angelo Que and young gun Miguel Tabuena with Carl Santos-Ocampo, Michael Bibat, Mars Pucay, Edward Reyes, Gerald Rosales, Benjie Magada, Jun Bernis, Randy Garalde, James Ryan Lam and ICTSI John Hay winner Jun Rates completing the squad.
“I think we have a very good chance to make it back-to-back,” said North squad team captain Artemio Murakami. “But we can’t take them for granted since they are all good.”
The four fourball (best-ball) matches kick off hostilities at 8 a.m., with the foursomes (alternate shot) to be played in the afternoon. The event will switch formats on Thursday with the deciding 12 singles matches set Friday.
The Duel 3 also serves as a break for the pros after five legs of the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour. Asian Development Tour events are set May 28 to 31 at Riviera and June 4 to 7 at Orchard.