‘Duel’ tees off today; South heavy favoriteBy Musong R. Castillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
TALENT-HEAVY South sets out as the heavy favorite over the North when the Philippines’ version of the Ryder Cup, named simply as “The Duel,” kicks off today at the Alabang Country Club course.
Bannered by past and present stars from Davao, the South has the decided advantage on paper when foursomes and four-ball action gets the event going today.
Five foursomes (alternate shots) matches are set starting at 7:30 a.m. before four-ball (best ball) matches are played starting at 12:30 p.m. This will be the schedule for the first two days before the all-interesting singles are played on Friday.
The first squad to win 16.5 points wins the first edition of “The Duel,” and South skipper Charles Hong, a rookie pro, has made it no secret that he would want a dominating performance from his boys in the first two days.
“We would like to finish it off before the singles matches start on the last day,” said Hong.
Former Philippine Open champion Elmer Salvador, recent Eagle Ridge champ Antonio Lascuña, Jay Bayron, Cassius Casas, Jonel Ababa and Marvin Dumandan are just some of the southern aces.
“They are in trouble if they think they are going to run away with this,” North team captain Cookie La’O said.
La’O’s team will be headed by Asian Tour campaigners Angelo Que, Mars Pucay, Artemio Murakami and the prodigious Miguel Tabuena.
“I am relying on Angelo, Mars and Miguel to get us to a fast start,” said La’O.
Mark Fernando, Anthony Fernando, Elmer Saban, Ferdie Aunzo, Rufino Bayron and Richard Sinfuego round out the South squad, while Gerald Rosales, Carl Santos-Ocampo, Michael Bibat, Gene Bondoc, Benjie Magada, Joenard Rates and Jun Bernis complete the North side.
TaylorMade, Balls, Inquirer Golf, Studio 23, Pinoygolfer.com, Impact, Events Captain, Omnisource and TPGAP are the other backers of the event organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments Inc.