Thai humbles Lascuña, local aces, tops ICTSI Classic

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Thai Sattaya Supupramai CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Thai Sattaya Supupramai turned a two-man duel into a one-man show, closing out with a five-under 67 and overwhelming Tony Lascuna and the cream of the local crop to capture the ICTSI Classic crown at Mt. Malarayat Golf and Country Club in Lipa City, Batangas.

Tied with Lascuna at the start of the final round, Supupramai eagled the par-5 No. 9 for the second straight day on a superb 6-iron second shot from 180 yards that landed just two feet off the cup for a two-shot cushion. He then recovered from a bogey-bogey start at the back with four birdies against one more bogey in the last seven holes to beat Lascuna by three and pocket the Asian Development Tour leg win on his very first try.

He totaled a whopping 21-under 267 and took home the top $10,500 purse in a victory that served as a big morale boost following a series of so-so finishes on the Asian Tour.

“I didn’t expect to win. I was down by five in the first round but played hole-by-hole, not thinking of the score,” said Supupramai, who sizzled with a 64 in the third round to tie Lascuna and set up a two-man showdown.

“I am very happy to win considering this is my first ADT tournament,” added Supupramai, who could only churn out a joint 15th place effort at Sail Open in India for his best finish in six legs in this year’s Asian Tour campaign marred by two missed cuts in Chiang Mai Classic and Queen’s Cup.

Lascuña, who said Saturday that the backside will be key to his title bid, fell back early then failed to sustain a birdie-birdie windup at the front with a so-so one-birdie, one-bogey finish. He wound up with a 70 and settled for another runner-up finish at 270 worth $6,900 (P296,700).

“My putting just didn’t click at the back for the second straight day,” said Lascuna, who actually struggled at the Mt. Malipunyo side throughout the $60,000 tournament, hitting just five birdies against two bogeys in four days while feasting with 17 birdies against two bogeys at Mt. Lobo.

Angelo Que, four off the joint leaders after 54 holes, made a charge with a 33 at the front but went on a rollercoaster finish of two birdies against two bogeys for a 69. He ended up third with a 273 and took home $4,200 (P180,600).

“I tried but I was too far off. But if I only made a birdie on the 11th, it would’ve given me a chance,” said Que, referring to his putt on the par-3 hole that lipped out.

Miguel Tabuena rallied with the day’s best eagle-spiked eight-under 64 and snatched solo fourth at 274 worth $3,360 in the event sponsored by International Container Terminal Services, Inc.

Elmer Salvador, who beat Lascuna in last week’s Aboitiz Invitational in Cebu, also bounced back with a 66 to salvage joint fifth at 276 with Canada’s Lindsay Renolds and Korean Park Il-Hwan, who both had 69s, and Australian Darren Tan, who carded a 70. Each got $2,070.

Anthony Fernando turned in a 70 for a 277 and shared ninth place with Americans James Bowen and Greg Moss, who fired 66 and 70, respectively, Aussie David Lutterus, who made a 71, and Englishman Ian Keenan, who matched par 72. Each received $1,146.

Bracing for a shootout, Supupramai birdied the opening hole to go one-up then seized a two-stroke lead as Lascuña fumbled with a bogey on the fifth. The local ace rebounded with three birdies in the next four holes for a 34 but the Thai bet matched that windup with a birdie on No. 7 and an eagle on the ninth for a 32.

A bogey by Supupramai on the 10th kept Lascuna within but after both players bogeyed the next, the Thai birdied No. 12 to regain a two-shot lead then went three-up with another birdie on the par-5 No. 14 to virtually wrap up the match and the crown.

Not even a bogey on the 15th could slow down Supupramai as he rebounded with back-to-back birdies from No. 16 to preserve a three-stroke lead as Lascuna could only come up with a birdie in the last four holes.

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