TONY Lascuña ends the year atop the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour Order of Merit for the third straight year even as he skips the season-ending Tournament Players’ Championship at Southlinks Golf Club in Las Piñas next week.
Boosted by his five victories on the ICTSI-sponsored circuit, including three straight in Bacolod, Riviera and Southwoods, Lascuna has earned P3,181,565, way ahead of second running Miguel Tabuena, who has winnings of P1,705,168 on the strength of his runaway win in the Manila Masters at Eastridge.
Elmer Salvador, winner at Riviera, is in third with P1,686,425 while Sherwood Hills leg champion Charles Hong is running fourth with earnings of P1,364,850 followed by Cassius Casas (P1,108,769), Rufino Bayron (P1,059,808), Jay Bayron (P934,145), Clyde Mondilla (P933,910), Marvin Dumandan (P926,453) and Angelo Que (P884,366).
Lascuna topped the Eagle Ridge leg in April and Valley Challenge in May before stringing up three straight wins at Negros Occidental in Bacolod, Aboitiz Invitational at Riviera and Pilipinas Invitational at Southwoods.
Lascuna, Tabuena and Salvador are set to play in the Chiangmai Classic also next week, leaving the other top pros to battle for the top prize of P650,000 in the P3.5 million TPC set Nov. 11 to 14.
“It’s going to be close, given the depth of the field and the motivation to win the final leg of this year’s circuit,” said Casas, reeling from a loss to Mondilla in the circuit’s last leg in Canlubang.
Mondilla hopes to keep the momentum of his breakthrough four-shot win at Cangolf, as he goes for back-to-back in the 72-hole championship organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
Arnold Villacencio is also looking to score a second title after nipping Tabuena in a playoff to for his maiden pro win at ICTSI Summit last month.
Hong, who dominated the field to win the tour’s first P3.5 million event at Sherwood last April, is also out for a big finish along with the tour’s other leg winners, including Rufino Bayron (ICTSI ADT Orchard), Jun Rates (John Hay) and Zanie Boy Gialon (Northwoods).
Others confirmed to play in the TPC, backed by Nike Golf, Pacsports Phils. Inc., Srixon, Callaway, Mizuno, Empire Golf, Footjoy, Titleist, Custom Clubmakers, Sharp, KZG and Rudy Project, are Jhonnel Ababa, Ferdie Aunzo, Jessie Balasabas, Dante Becierra, Michael Bibat, Mhark Fernando, Anthony Fernando and Gerald Rosales.
Mars Pucay, an Asian Tour campaigner, is also seeing action along with Artemio Murakami, Robert Pactolerin, Rey Pagunsan, Elmer Saban, Benjie Magada, Micah Shin and Jun Bernis.