Former champs headline TCC tourney
It will be a battle among former champions and last year’s Order of Merit pacesetters when the P5 million The Country Club Invitational launches the new ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour season on Wednesday at the testy TCC course in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.
Reigning titlist Miguel Tabuena sees another wild finish similar to last year, when he pooled a wind-blown 13-over 301 and won by one over three-time champion Juvic Pagunsan, who tumbled with a closing bogey.
“TCC’s only defense is the wind, which creates a lot of problems for us,” said Tabuena, bracing for new challengers after Pagunsan begged off at the last minute, complaining of noise-induced hearing loss following a stint at the firing range.
The crack 30 players have been divided into twosomes. Tabuena is expected to face stiff challenge from the likes of Frankie Miñoza, Tony Lascuña and Angelo Que.
The chase for the top P1.5 million purse is expected to be tight as the less fancied players are raring to prove their worth.
They include Americans Micah Shin and Nicolas Paez, Japanese Toru Nakajima, Dutch Guido Van der Valk, veterans Jay Bayron and Elmer Salvador, and other young guns.
“Nobody is a sure bet to win here,” said Lascuña, a four-time PGT Order of Merit winner. “The course is long and tough and the greens are so sleek and undulating. It would require a solid game overall to score and contend.” —ROY LUARCA
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