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Lascuña battles tough challenge

Tony Lascuña shoots for a second straight Philippine Golf Tour victory next week in Tarlac but faces a formidable cast of local and foreign rivals in his title-retention drive in the ICTSI Luisita Championship slated May 3-6 at the Luisita Golf and Country Club.

The veteran Davaoeño shotmaker is brimming with confidence heading to the $60,000 event, which also features a crack roster of international players. Not only did he break the Luisita jinx with a two-stroke victory over Korean Park Jun Hyeok last year but also ruled the last PGT stop at Eastridge last month, also his first at the Binangonan layout.

“I think I’m good and confident heading to Luisita,” said Lascuña, who campaigned in Japan during the month-long break on the local circuit sponsored by ICTSI. “But the field is strong with a number of talented foreign players competing.”

They include Brett Munson of the US, former PGT winner Itthipat Buranatanyarat of Thailand, veteran Indonesian Rory Hie and regular PGT campaigners Nicolas Paez, Jack Jackson and James Bowen of the US, South African Mathiam Keyser, Swede Oskar Arvidsson, Aussie David Gleeson and Jake Shepher of England.

Manila-based Guido Van der Valk of the Netherlands, Korean-American Micah Shin and Japanese Toru Nakajima are also in the fold, completing what promises to be a star-studded cast chasing the top $10,500 purse in the four-day championship organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. backed by BDO, KZG, Custom Clubmakers, Meralco, Sharp, Champion, Summit Mineral Water and PLDT.