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Hot local parbusters in North-South fairway battle in cool Baguio

An epic fairway battle among the country’s hotshot parbusters in the North-South Duel tees off Wednesday (July 5) at the pine-clad Camp John Hay Golf course in Baguio City.

According to organizer Philippine Golf Tour, the event will pit golfers from Luzon against the top guns from Visayas and Mindanao.

The top 28 players in the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour Order of Merit rankings will make up the two teams, including two alternates from each side, in the three-day tournament sponsored by ICTSI.

Reigning OOM champion and current leader Tony Lascuña and No. 2 Clyde Mondilla banner Team South, which is seeking a third straight championship and fourth overall in the fifth staging of the event.

Miguel Tabuena, on the other hand, will lead Team North that also includes young guns Jobim Carlos, Justin Quiban, Ira Alido and Keanu Jahns, all hard-pressed to stop the talent-laden South squad and score a follow-up to their first and only win in 2013.

The Foursomes (alternate shot) matches will kick off The Duel on Wednesday then play shifts to four-ball (best ball) Thursday with the deciding singles (12 matches) set Friday.

Aside from Lascuña and Mondilla, the two hottest players on the tour, coach Charles Hong also boasts of Jay Bayron, Elmer Salvador, Zanieboy Gialon, Orlan Sumcad, Jhonnel Ababa, Jessie Balasabas, Cassius Casas, Rufino Bayron, Rene Menor and Mhark Fernando with Marvin Dumandas as assistant coach.

However, Team North, under coach Artemio Murakami with Miko Alejandro as assistant, is out to stop its counterpart’s domination, although it must draw the best in team play and individual skills from Benjie Magada, Joenard Rates, Randy Garalde, James Ryan Lam, Mars Pucay, Michael Bibat and Gerald Rosales.

Team South ruled the event’s inaugurals via a 16-12 decision but the North squad fought back with a thrilling 14 1/2-13 1/2 win the following year.

Primo P. Agatep/PNA