TONY Lascuña has been grouped with Jay Bayron and Elmer Salvador, while Angelo Que will start with Miguel Tabuena and Clyde Mondilla as the the P3.5 million ICTSI Open Championship unreels on Wednesday at Wack Wack’s East layout.
The six occupy the top seven places in the Order of Merit, with money leader Lascuña leading Tabuena by just P28,000 and Que a further P14,000 back.
“It’s pressure right in the opening hole. There’s hardly room for mistakes here since all the OOM contenders are bunched together,” said Lascuña, who finished second in the last ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour leg at Summit won by Bayron.
Lascuña, No. 4 Salvador and the fifth-running Bayron start at 7:45 a.m. on the back nine of the tight, challenging East layout, the home of the Philippine Open.
Que, winner of three Asian Tour legs including the Philippine Open at Wack Wack in 2008, hopes to start strong in their 11:25 a.m. flight on No. 1 in the 13th leg of the circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
But while Lascuña and Que primed themselves up for the event by taking part in the pro-am, Tabuena begged off at the last minute after suffering a minor accident at home on Tuesday.
The 21-year-old shotmaker, however, confirmed he’ll compete in the tournament proper featuring Korean and Japanes shotmakers.
No. 5 Orlan Sumcad drew an 11:30 a.m. start on No. 10 with Mars Pucay and Randy Garalde, while No. 8 Ferdie Aunzo mixes it up with Artemio Murakami and Rufino Bayron in the 7:40 a.m. group on No. 1.
No. 10 Cassius Casas, who won the Philippine Open in 2001, begins his title drive at 7:35 a.m. on No. 10 with Paul Echavez and Japan’s Yuta Sudo in the 72-hole event sponsored by International Container Terminal Services, Inc. and backed by Custom Clubmakers, Titleist, Nike Golf, PacSports, Callaway, Srixon, KZG, Sharp and Foot Joy.
Meanwhile, Luisita Golf and Country Club in Tarlac will host the first Central Azucarera de Tarlac Open from Sept. 16 to 19 before the circuit winds up at Sherwood Hills Golf Club for the ICTSI Tournament Players’ Championship set Sept. 23 to 26.