Minoza joins ICTSI Rancho title hunt

Frankie Minoza gets to see action again on the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour as he joins the three-leg southern swing of the circuit beginning with the ICTSI Rancho Palos Verdes Classic on Wednesday, June 26, at Rancho Palos Verdes Golf and Recreational Estates in Davao City.

Minoza, who finished joint 16th in this year’s kickoff leg of the tour at ICTSI Sherwood won in runaway fashion by Miguel Tabuena, signed up for the 54-hole tournament serving as the fifth leg of the 15-stage circuit, hoping to contend for the crown in any of the three legs lined up in the region for the next three weeks.

But the veteran campaigner, the former Asian Tour No. 1 and two-time Philippine Open champion, will be up against a talent-laden field headed by a slew of ace Davaoeno shotmakers, including reigning ICTSI PGT Order of Merit (OOM) champion Tony Lascuna and Jay Bayron.

Lascuna and Bayron, in fact, are gunning for a second leg crown after topping the Calatagan and Baguio stages, respectively, while a host of others are out to nail their first win, guaranteeing a fierce battle for top honors in the P1-million event sponsored by International Container Terminal Services Inc.

Carl Santos-Ocampo, who nipped James Ryan Lam and Randy Garalde on the second playoff to post his breakthrough win here last year, is all geared-up for a back-to-back victory following a strong third place finish in last month’s ICTSI Orchard Championship of the circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments Inc.

The Andy Dye-designed all-weather championship layout, overlooking a vast banana plantation along the Davao river banks, is also expected to test the field’s shotmaking and putting skills with its elevated, undulated terrain and unpredictable greens.

With current OOM leader Miguel Tabuena opting to play on the Asian Development Tour in Malaysia together with Mars Pucay, second running Bayron and No. 3 Lascuna are expected to go all out for a win to boost their respective bids in the event backed by Nike Golf, Empire Golf and Sports Shop, Mizuno, Titleist, Srixon, Foot Joy, Callaway, Pacsports, Custom Clubmakers, Cleveland Golf and Sharp.

Others tipped to crowd the favorites for the crown are Edward Reyes, Jhonnel Ababa, Richard Sinfuego, Charles Hong, Rufino Bayron, Michael Bibat, Clyde Mondilla, Ferdie Aunzo, Mhark Fernando, Rey Pagunsan and Cassius Casas.

Dutch Guido Van der Valk is also in the fold along with Jun Bernis, Christopher delos Santos, Marvin Dumandan, Anthony Fernando, Zanie Boy Gialon, Benjie Magada, Joenard Rates, Elmer Saban, Ruben Sasutil, Lam and Garalde.

Next up for the men of the tour is the ICTSI Del Monte Championship on July 3 to 5 at Del Monte to be followed by the ICTSI Pueblo de Oro Championship on July 10 to 12 at Pueblo de Oro.

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