LOCAL tour’s No. 1 Tony Lascuña will be a marked man in a stellar field gunning for the top prize in the P5 million The Country Club Invitational starting Feb. 7 at the TCC layout in Laguna.
The reigning Order of Merit winner in the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour has been flashing the best form recently and is highly favored to pocket the record P1.5 million top purse in the four-day championship.
Lascuña dominated the elite local field from start to finish to rule the ICTSI Wack Wack Invitational, the local circuit’s final leg last December, then came from behind to snatch the Sabah Masters plum on the Asean PGA Tour in Malaysia early last month.
But the 42-year-old ace Davaoeño shotmaker has opted to downplay his chances in the upcoming top-level 72-hole event which features the top 36 players of last year’s ICTSI-PGT, saying “the field is strong and talent-laden.”
“I’ve been training very hard during the off-season, trying to keep my form and stay in shape,” said Lascuña. “But since the event serves as the kick-off leg of the local circuit, we need to figure out well at TCC not so much for the prize but to gain confidence for the rest of another busy season.”
Meanwhile, the traditional 18-hole pro-am event, featuring the leading pros and ICTSI’s guests from various sectors, will be held on Feb. 6.
Tipped as the other early contenders are heavyweights Juvic Pagunsan and Angelo Que and former champions Cassius Casas (2003), Jerome Delariarte (2005) and Artemio Murakami (2009).