THE ICTSI Calatagan Challenge in Batangas that tees off today has drawn a star-studded field after Jay Bayron, Antonio Lascuña and Elmer Salvador ditched plans to play overseas this week.
And that gives Bayron the chance to shoot for a second title in three weeks in the local tour, facing virtually the same field he conquered at John Hay in Baguio two weeks ago.
Juvic Pagunsan, the undisputed Philippine No. 1, will be a very tough nut to crack at Calatagan because of his vast knowledge of the Robert Trent Jones-designed gem.
Meanwhile, Miguel Tabuena, the loser to Bayron in the second playoff hole in Baguio, won the traditional pro-am yesterday after shooting a 56 together with teammates Toti Hernandez, Natalio Sena and club manager and former pro Dave Hernandez.
Bayron, Lascuña and Salvador all signed up at the 11th hour, with Bayron deciding to skip a One Asia Tour leg in South Korea.
The 34-year-old Bayron rallied from five strokes down in the final round at Camp John Hay to forge a playoff with Tabuena.
This tournament precedes the P2.5 million Orchard leg set in two weeks.
A Japan Tour regular, Pagunsan won a combined P2.5 million in his last two events in Japan. He will have Danny Zarate and top amateur Rupert Zaragosa as flightmates in the 6:55 a.m. group teeing off on No. 1.
Tabuena tees off next at 7:05 a.m. with Ferdie Aunzo and Charles Hong, while Lascuña starts from No. 10 with Elmer Saban and Christopher delos Santos.