A very good year.
Antonio Lascuña put the finishing touches to a season like no other Saturday, shooting a closing level-par 72 for a runaway nine-stroke victory over Elmer Salvador in the ICTSI Wack Wack Championship at the fabled East layout in Mandaluyong.
The unassuming 42-year-old from Davao played with unmatched brilliance over one of the toughest courses in the land, tallying an eight-under-280 for his third title of the year and his first Order of Merit crown.
“This is definitely the best year of my life ever since I started playing golf at the age of 12,” Lascuña said in Filipino after seizing the P450,000 top prize and finishing his Philippine Golf Tour campaign with over P2.2 million in earnings.
Lascuña, winner of the Eagle Ridge and Southwoods legs, is also the leading contender for the season’s top pro golfer award from the Philippine Sportswriters Association after finishing 12th in the Asian Tour’s OOM.
The legendary Frankie Miñoza, who won the Japan Senior Open more than a month ago, is the other top candidate for the prestigious honor.
Miñoza fired a final-round 73 and finished 12 strokes behind Lascuña.
Lascuña failed to crack par for the first time in the 72-hole event, but that hardly mattered as no one was able to make a dent on the seven-stroke lead he took into the final round.
He actually broke away in the second round, when he blitzed the field with a 67 that opened up a six-stroke lead over Angelo Que, the former PH Open champion over the same course in 2008 who earlier tied Lascuña for the lead with an opening 70.
Salvador, a former PH Open champion who was the only man capable of dislodging Lascuña for the OOM title, stumbled with a 74 for a 289 and second worth P320,000. Salvador finished the year with more than P1.6 million from the local circuit.
The Final Scores:
280—A. Lascuña 70-67-71-72; 289—E. Salvador 72-73-70-74; 291—Z. Gialon 74-70-74-73, C. Mondilla 75-72-72-72; 292—F. Miñoza 72-76-71-73; 293—R. Lam 71-75-72-75, C. Santos-Ocampo 72-75-69-77, A. Que 70-73-72-78; 295—A. Villacencio 73-78-74-70, R. Sinfuego 78-72-71-74.