CARMONA, Cavite— Length off the tee and pinpoint approaches will be the premium when the P2.5-million ICTSI Manila Southwoods Championship tees off today at the Legends course here.
Antonio Lascuña will try to win the event for the second straight year, although he pulled off last year’s triumph at the adjacent Masters course.
Lascuña has a slight edge. As a member of the club he knows every bump and bounce of the layout that survived the onslaught of heavy rains and the floodings two weeks ago.
A low-scoring fight is expected in the chase for the P450,000 champion’s purse.
Frankie Miñoza, Elmer Salvador and Carl Santos-Ocampo are the other fancied bets in the field with the likes of yesterday’s pro-am winner Jonel Ababa, Jessie Balasabas, Mark Fernando and Ferdie Aunzo also tipped to contend.
The three finishing holes could determine the winner on Saturday.
The 16th is a par-3 that is more than 200 yards with a huge lake on the left and deep bunkers on the right guarding the small green.
Hole No. 17 is a par-5 that can stretch close to 600 yards with a green that is also guarded by water on the right and bunkers on the left.
The 18th is a par-4 that requires solid drives to be able to have a looping shot to the green’s small opening.
Ababa, the former National Caddies Open champion, led a team composed of Jun Lacson, Gil Angeles and Jay Valdez to the pro-am win over Santos-Ocampo’s squad with a 21-under 51.
Santos-Ocampo and partners Richie Santos, Romy Yao and Felix Cortez placed second via a countback with a 54 over Aunzo’s team made up of Erich Lingad, Vincent Marquez and John Romero.
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, BMW and Gergia Energy Foods.