Lascuña seeks to break long spell in Bacolod

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Winless in over a year, multi-titled Tony Lascuña hopes to end the drought on the very course where he posted a thrilling victory two years ago as he spearheads the stellar cast in the ICTSI Bacolod Golf Challenge unfolding tomorrow at the Bacolod Golf and Country Club in Binitin.

The former three-time Philippine Golf Tour Order of Merit winner has never tasted victory since ruling the PGT Forest Hills Championship in June last year, blaming his poor form, particularly putting, and the endgame breaks that had seemed not to go his way plus the surge of the young guns, led by Jobim Carlos.

Though he has put himself in contention in a number of tournaments both in the PGT and PGT Asia this year, the veteran campaigner could not seem to unleash the strong finishing kick that has anchored his past victories in the circuit put up by ICTSI and organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.

“I think it’s about time for me to win again,” said Lascuña, who even had a rare missed cut stint at PGTA Forest Hills last month. “It’s been a long while but I feel good of my chances this week.”

He will be among the 18 pros testing the tight, tree-lined par-70 layout in today’s (Tuesday) pro-am tournament where they will be paired with guests and officials of the event’s chief backers, including ICTSI, BDO, KZG, Custom Clubmakers, Meralco, Sharp, Champion, Summit Mineral Water and PLDT.

Lascuña nipped Dutchman Guido Van der Valk and Korean-American Micah Shin in a playoff here two years ago and though he expects a tougher, fiercer challenge from the rest of the field, the ace Davaoeño shotmaker is hopeful of seeing a familiar finish on Saturday as it was in 2016.

Van der Valk and Shin are also back in the roster, both seeking to complete an unfinished business while Carlos is out to sustain a superb run of victories and top five finishes in the last seven tournaments on the combined PGT and PGTA circuits.

Others tipped to contend for the crown in the P2.5 million event are Phl Masters champion Jerson Balasabas, PGTA leg winners Jay Bayron and Jhonnel Ababa, veterans Elmer Salvador, Joenard Rates, Mars Pucay, Mhark Fernando and Arnold Villacencio along with foreign aces Lexus Keoninh of the US and Japanese Keisuke Takahashi.

Meanwhile, the Negros Occidental Golf and Country Club (Marapara) will host the next PGT tournament on Aug. 15-18 before action shifts to Iloilo for the ICTSI Iloilo Golf Challenge at the Iloilo Golf and Country Club on Aug. 22-25. The four-leg Visayan swing wraps up at the Cebu Country Club for the ICTSI Cebu Invitational on Aug. 29-Sept. 1.

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