ICTSI PH Open under way | Inquirer Sports

ICTSI PH Open under way

By: - Reporter / @MusongINQ
/ 12:28 AM May 15, 2014

MANILA, Philippines — Patience, lots of it. That’s what the big guns in the field feel is needed to win the $300,000 ICTSI Philippine Open presented by the MVP Sports Foundation and PLDT which tees off Thursday at the demanding, tree-lined Wack Wack East course in Mandaluyong City.

“You have to respect some holes here,” Mardan Mamat of Singapore, the winner the last time the Open was held here in 2012, told reporters Wednesday after sampling the traditional layout one final time during the Pro-Am. “If you are patient, things can come your way.”

Mamat is just one of a handful of former champions in the field, a small number of players who know what it takes to win over the short but tough-as-nails course serving as the sixth stop of the Asian Tour.


“You need to stay patient,” Berry Henson, the American who won in 2011, said in echoing Mamat. “It (game plan) should be fairways and greens and make the least putts possible.”


Angelo Que, the jovial Filipino seeking his second win after triumphing in 2008, admits that he hasn’t had much time to practice lately after his son was born late last month, is just plain excited to have a shot at winning Asia’s oldest national championship.

“I lack sleep and I lack practice,” Que said with a smile. “But I am pretty excited to play in front of my countrymen. I know how to win in this course, but things will have to come in place for you.”

Lin Wen-tang, the Taiwanese who won the Solaire Open here last year, is also in the field together with the ageless Frankie Miñoza, who will be shooting for his third Open coming straight from a tournament in Japan.

Several Filipinos like Antonio Lascuña and Miguel Tabuena are also heavily tipped to contend, with the length of the East course not really punishing as the layout puts premium on shot positioning and good putting more than anything else.

“I just want to get myself in position like I did in 2012,” the 19-year-old Tabuena said, referring to two years ago when he came into the final round just one shot behind Mamat only to close out with a nine-over-par 81.

“This course suits my game, it is fair for everyone,” added Tabuena. “There’s no advantage for long hitters, and I like that. You just have to make your putts.”


Lascuña will be coming off an overpowering win in the local tour’s Valley Golf Classic just last Sunday, finishing with a 16-under-par 262 total over the South course which has some similarities with the East course.

On current form, Lascuña is the player to beat. He is ranked No. 10 in the Asian Order of Merit after tying for 11th in the The Championship at Laguna National in Singapore two weeks ago following strong finishes in the Maybank Malaysian Open and the Indonesian Masters.

The win at Valley was his second straight on the local tour after topping the Eagle Ridge stop last April 11.

There are a total of 52 Filipinos in the 156-strong field, which is being led by India’s Anirban Lahiri, the current Order of Merit leader who will be shooting for a win here to enhance his chances of making the US Open next month.

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“I feel like I am at the top of my game,” said Lahiri, who is close to piercing the Top 60 in the world that will earn automatic invite to the June 12 event at Pinehurst No. 2. “This will be my US Open.”

TAGS: Golf, ICTSI Philippine Open, Wack Wack East

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