JUVIC Pagunsan goes for back-to-back titles and four wins overall in The Country Club Invitational starting on Thursday in Laguna.
Angelo Que, also a three-time champion, and 31 other shotmakers try to steal the show and grab the P1.4 million top prize from the P5 million purse staked in the 72-hole tournament.
The 34-year-old Pagunsan plays the first round with Jay Bayron, who topped the Asian Development Tour Order of Merit last season, and former amateur hotshot Clyde Mondilla.
Que, out to rebound from a disappointing joint fourth place finish last year, will tee off with last year’s Philippine Golf Tour money list topnotcher Tony Lascuna and power-hitter Marvin Dumandan.
The 43-year-old Lascuna, winner at TCC in 2004, says the big hitters have the edge on the long and windy course.
“It’s a tough course, long and windy,” said Lascuna during Wednesday’s pro-am of the event put up by International Container Terminal Services Inc. chair and CEO Ricky Razon in honor of his father ICTSI founder Enrique “Don Pocholo” Razon Sr.
Lascuna said focus will definitely be on three-time champions Pagunsan and Que, but also among those to watch are Clyde Mondilla and Orlan Sumcad.
“I’m ready and in top condition although this course is for the long hitters,” Lascuna said.
Meanwhile, ICTSI board member Chito Alarilla and ICTSI PR manager Narlene Soriano launched on Wednesday the 17-leg ICTSI PGT during the awards rites of the pro-am tournament.
The 2013 season will start at Sherwood Hills in Cavite on March 18 to 23 and will again end at Wack Wack on Nov. 19-23.
The ICTSI PGT Qualifying School is slated March 4-8 at the Splendido Golf Club in Tagaytay.
Also seeing action are ICTSI-TCC mainstays Dottie Ardina, Cyna Rodriguez, Lovelynn Guioguio and Jayvie Agojo, who surprised the pro field by leading the first round last year before ending up joint 11th.
Elmer Salvador is grouped with Miguel Tabuena and 2009 champion Artemio Murakami, while Frankie Miñoza will tee off with Jhonnel Ababa and Charles Hong.
Inaugural winner Cassius Casas, Mars Pucay and Richard Sinfuego were drawn together, while 2005 champion Jerome Delariarte tees off with James Ryan Lam and Sumcad.