A HANDFUL of the ICTSI Tour’s big guns are entered in the P1 million Tagaytay Midlands Challenge blasting off today at the bending, well-manicured course south of Manila.
Resurgent Angelo Que, Order of Merit leader Miguel Tabuena and leg winners Jay Bayron, Elmer Salvador and Antonio Lascuña are tagged the favorites in the event with Que itching to bounce back after close calls in the Aboitiz and Malarayat legs, respectively, of the Asean Development Tour recently.
Que finished second to Salvador at the Cebu Country Club and wound up in the top five in Lipa City.
He could find the Midlands layout to his liking, since it could be considered short to his standards with its greens resembling the best championship courses in Asia.
Que is one of the longest hitters in the strong field who can easily play over the bends and trees that provide defense for the layout.
Lascuna is the runaway winner at Calatgan while Jay Bayron rallied to thwart Tabuena at Camp John Hay.
Also expected to contend are veteran Mars Pucay, Cassius Casas, Charles Hong and Rufino Bayron.
Rufino Bayron, who won an ICTSI leg as an amateur several years back but is still winless as a pro, led his team composed of Windy Imperial, Ruel De Castro and Young Jun-oh to a 15-under-par 57 to win the traditional pro-am event that ushered the tournament proper yesterday.
Que and teammates Ariel Rivera, Jenz Tecson and Joey Solis landed second a shot behind.
Jay Bayron helped the team of Greg Young, Sonny Bitong and Peter Unlay shoot a 59 for third place.
Other backers of the event are Nike Golf, Srixon, Custom Clubmakers, Pacsports, Cleveland Golf, Callaway, Ping, Mizuno, Empire Golf and Sports Shop, FootJoy, Titleist, Sharp and BMW.