• Lascuna holds off Japanese, clinches PGT crown

    Tony Lascuna hoists his trophy after scoring another victory at ICTSI Eagle Ridge Invitational. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

    Tony Lascuna hoists his trophy after scoring another victory at ICTSI Eagle Ridge Invitational. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

    Tony Lascuña picked up another victory on the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour, outgunning Orlan Sumcad and Zanieboy Gialon in the early going before thwarting a hot-charging Japanese Ryoma Miki in the closing holes to capture the ICTSI Eagle Ridge Invitational crown on a closing 69 at the Aoki course in Gen. Trias, Cavite on Friday.

    Just one up over Sumcad and two ahead of Gialon at the start of the final round, Lascuna flashed vintage form at the front to take full control with a 34 but needed to hit a pair of clutch birdies to fend off Miki, who charged back from five down to tie Lascuna at 14-under with an eagle on No. 16.

    But the veteran Davaoeño shotmaker birdied the par-5 hole two flights later to regain a one-stroke lead, putted from the fringe on the par-3 17th for another birdie and a two-shot cushion before fumbling with a three-putt mishap on the final hole to settle for a pair of 34s and a one-shot victory on a 15-under 273 total.

    “I wasn’t aware that somebody was making a charge until someone told me before I teed off on No. 16. So I did the next best thing – go for a birdie,” said Lascuña after scoring a follow-up to his runaway triumph at Luisita Championship, where he beat Korean Park Jun Hyeok by four, last April.

    Two flights ahead of the championship group, Miki, a rookie pro from Saitama, took the challenger’s role when Sumcad and Gialon faltered with over-par cards at the front, rattling off five birdies in a six-hole stretch to move within two. The 25-year-old shotmaker then gunned another birdie on the 11th, flubbed a couple of chances in the next four before eagling No. 16.

    But he settled for pars in the last two for a tournament-best 64 for a 274, snatching the runner-up purse of P260,000, still his best finish in five tournaments in the circuit sponsored by International Container Terminal Services, Inc.

    Sumcad, who seized control halfway through the P2 million championship organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc., recovered from a disastrous opening 39 with a 33 for a 72 and finished third at 278.

    Clyde Mondilla, who had moved within a win to duplicating Lascuna’s three-straight win romp in 2014 with victories at Eastridge and Calatagan, fueled his bid with a hot 33 start to close within two. But the Del Monte rising star stumbled with a double-bogey on No. 13 and wound up with a 37 for a 70, ending up at joint fourth at 279 with Jerson Balasabas, Joenard Rates, Jhonnel Ababa and Jay Bayron.

    Bayron rallied with a 66, Rates rebounded with a 69 while Balasabas and Ababa matched Mondilla’s 70 in the seventh leg of the circuit backed by Custom Clubmakers, adidas, KZG, Summit Mineral Water, Srixon, Pacsports, TaylorMade, Sharp and Champion.

    Dutch Guido Van der Valk shot a 68 to finisih tied at ninth with Japanese Kei Takahashi, who matched Miki’s closing eight-under card while Gialon never recovered from a 41 start and hobbled with a 75 despite a birdie-birdie feat from No. 16 and wound up 11th at 272.

    “It’s nice to win again and this will surely bolster my confidence as I resume my campaign abroad,” said Lascuna, who birdied No. 3 for the fourth straight time to go 2-up over Sumcad and kept that cushion heading to the last nine holes despite Miki’s scorching start.


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