FULLY charged after a three-week hiatus, Tony Lascuña heads to the last of the two-tournament Philippine Golf Tour (PGT) reboot, confident of achieving the same kind of success he produced at the International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) Riviera Invitational Challenge at the Riviera Couples Course in Silang, Cavite.
The multi-title Lascuña chased the leaders in the first two rounds, made his move in the crucial third day to break out of control, then cruised to a four-stroke victory over Ira Alido and Rupert Zaragosa in a win that was more than a triumph of the spirit for the veteran campaigner whose work ethic, sheer determination and willpower remain the envy of his peers and inspiration for the Tour’s rising stars.
He also makes it a point to share his expertise with young and old, freeing up precious time to teach at Manila Southwoods driving range between training and practice rounds.
“I love to teach and the sport just keeps growing and growing over the years, with more and more young people willing to learn and become good, strong players one day,” said Lascuña.
But a tougher challenge awaits the four-time PGT Order of Merit winner in next week’s ICTSI Riviera Championship, where the title hunt is expected to be much more exciting and unpredictable as it will be held on the more demanding Langer layout of Riviera.
The P2.5 million event kicks off December 8 with much of the same Couples field competing in the 72-hole championship that capped the PGT’s two-tournament restart after the country’s main circuit had an eight-month hiatus because of a pandemic.
At the upcoming event, the likes of Alido, Zaragosa, Justin Quiban, Fidel Concepcion, Michael Bibat, Albin Engino and Gerald Rosales will all be pumped up not only to stop Lascuña’s sweep bid, but to drive their own respective in the event run by ICTSI was set up to also offer something to the pros for the coming holiday.
Angelo Que and Miguel Tabuena, both former Philippine Open champions and two of the country’s top players, are also eager to rid themselves of fourth and joint seventh place respectively at Couples.
However, the duo will have to tone down their power to achieve the accuracy and consistency of driving and shots required on a tight, dangerous layout like the par-71 Langer.
But there are certainly some holes that should be attacked, although this comes with the risk of falling into bunkers and hazards that come into play in most holes, especially when the wind comes into play.
Also out for a fightback are Dutch Guido Van der Valk, former OOM title list Jobim Carlos, Korean Park Jun Sung, Zanieboy Gialon, Dino Villanueva, Rico Depilo, James Ryan Lam, Jhonnel Ababa, Rey Pagunsan and Jay Bayron.
As with the PGT start, all players will revert to a set of rules and safety protocols, including mop tests and restricting players’ movements within the tournament hotel and venue. Visit for details www.pgt.ph.