Philippine Daily Inquirer
Davaoeños out to stop Pagunsan’s title bid
JUVIC PAGUNSAN will be gunning for back-to-back titles when the ICTSI Apo Golf Invitational unfolds July 14 at the Apo Golf and Country Club in Davao.
Pagunsan humbled the homegrown pros in last year’s staging of the event, posting a wire-to-wire romp over Artemio Murakami and Jerome Delariarte with Elmer Salvador emerging as the top Davaoeño finisher at fourth.
This time, the local bets are determined to shine at their turf.
“We need to win at Apo this time although it will be tough since there are so many good players around, not just Juvic,” said Asian Tour veteran Antonio Lascuna, who is coming off a playoff loss to Benjie Magada in the recent ICTSI Orchard Classic and should be in top form heading into the 54-hole event serving as the eighth leg of the 13-stage circuit sponsored by International Container Terminal Services Inc.
“I’ve been hitting it well lately. Although I have never won at Apo, I think Iwill have a good chance,” said Cassius Casas, one of themost popular products of Davao.
Casas actually contended for the crown at The Orchard, starting the final round just one stroke behind Magada and Lascuna. But Casas, who dominated the local tour in the late ’90s and early 2000, sputtered and dropped to joint sixth.
Jay Bayron, who figured in the threeman playoff at The Orchard, is also tipped to take the cudgels for the Davaoeños in the event organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments Inc. along with Marvin Dumandan, who won the ICTSI-Apo leg in 2008, and Salvador, the reigning Philippine Open champion.
With the likes of Angelo Que, Mars Pucay, Murakami and Magada, young guns Ferdie Aunzo and Antonio Asistio II and unheralded but equally talented bets in Orlan Sumcad, Ramil Bisera, Elmer Saban and Omar Dungca also in the fold, the battle for the top purse of P200,000 could be headed for another playoff.