Tony Lascuña retained the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour Order of Merit (OOM) crown despite missing the circuit’s final leg at Wack Wack as chief pursuer Miguel Tabuena failed to finish at least third to snatch the crown at the close of the rich 15-leg circuit recently.
Lascuña, who built enough lead from two victories and four runner-up finishes in 10 events, didn’t see action at ICTSI Wack Wack Championship as he and Angelo Que represented the Philippines in the World Cup of Golf in Australia, giving Tabuena a crack at the coveted individual crown.
But the young pro, who ruled the kickoff leg at ICTSI Sherwood, never recovered from a poor start and hobbled to finish 19th, enabling Lascuna to clinch his second straight OOM crown with total winnings of P1,682,332.
That despite missing the last four legs as Lascuna piled up enough earnings from his victories at ICTSI Calatagan and ICTSI Manila Southwoods and runner-up finishes at ICTSI Orchard, Palos Verdes, Mount Malarayat and Tagaytay Midlands.
Tabuena, who lost to Jay Bayron in a playoff in the circuit’s second leg at John Hay, finished with P1,506,312.
“It’s nice to win again despite missing a lot of tournaments owing to my campaign on the Asian Tour,” said Lascuna.
Elmer Salvador, a former OOM champion, wound up third with P1,152,776 while Bayron, also a former OOM winner, came in fourth with P1,117,370 and Que, the Orchard leg champion, ended up fifth with P1,036,276.
Cassius Casas, who used to dominate the local circuit in the late 90s and early 2000s, rallied toward the end of the season and won the ICTSI Canlubang stop to finish sixth with P895,718 followed by Midlands leg winner Carl Santos-Ocampo (P863,318), ICTSI Riviera champion Mhark Fernando (P857,996), Jhonnel Ababa (P796,572) and Palos Verdes leg winner Michael Bibat (P664,629).
Lascuna was also voted by his peers as the Player’s Player of the Year and also took the Custom Clubmakers award as the Player of the Year while Lloyd Go bagged the amateur of the year honors and the Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club was named the host venue for the season.
Meanwhile, a bigger, richer circuit is being lined up next year with the men’s tour to go alongside the ladies circuit also set to expand after its successful inaugural five-leg tour topped by Cyna Rodriguez.