Marcus Both captures PH Open by 2 | Inquirer Sports

Marcus Both captures PH Open by 2

Antonio Lascuña, Jay Bayron tie for 2nd
By: - Reporter / @MusongINQ
/ 03:12 AM May 19, 2014

MANILA, Philippines — Australian Marcus Both had given himself until the end of this Asian Tour season before deciding whether to continue playing or give up golf altogether.

Making the most out of a Tour invite with one of the most memorable performances of his career this week to rule the 97th edition of the ICTSI Philippine Open, the 34-year-old from Melbourne will be sticking around a bit longer, however.

“This is massive for me,” said Both, who closed out with a 2-under-par 70 Sunday at Wack Wack East to nip Filipino stars Antonio Lascuña and Jay Bayron and three others by two strokes for Asia’s oldest national title presented by the MVP Sports Foundation and PLDT.

Both overhauled a one-stroke overnight deficit early before fending off Lascuña and the others by using a four-shot lead going into his final two holes as a buffer to win for just the third time in his career and assure his spot on the Tour until the end of next year.

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The second-round leader after firing a 66, Both finished with a 6-under-par 282 over the dreaded tree-lined layout and pocketed $54,000.

He was the first Aussie to win the Open since Adam Le Vesconte triumphed at Malarayat in Lipa City in 2005.

Lascuña also closed out with a 70 like Arnond Vongvanij of Thailand and Nathan Holman of Australia, with Siddikur of Bangladesh shooting a 69 as the quartet caught Bayron in second at 284 after Bayron returned a level 72.

Of those who tied for second, it was Lascuña who rued the lost opportunity most.

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Lascuña tied for the lead with Both at 6-under after making the fourth of his six birdies on No. 7.

He made the turn at 32 to keep in step with Both, only to bogey the 10th and double bogey the 12th and fall behind. “I completely lost my focus after that (double on 12),” Lascuña said in Filipino.

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“I sort of played the final holes aggressively because I wanted to attack all the pins from there.”

His aggressiveness resulted in a bogey on the 18th, where he failed to get up-and-down from the right greenside trap to practically give away around $15,000 in prize money.

The tie for second gave him a $17,838 (about P780,000) payday. Finishing second alone would have been worth $33,000 (about P1.4 million).

With his first top 10 finish in five tournaments, Lascuña moved two notches up to eighth place in the Asian Order of Merit with total earnings of $79,737.

“How big is this? It was so bad for me at the end of last year that I even thought of quitting the game,” Both said, almost breaking down.“I had to return to Qualifying School earlier this year and I missed the cut by one.”

Both lost his card for the first time at the end of last year but now stands at 11th in the Asian OOM with total take of $65,084.

Chan Kim, the American-Korean who held the third round lead, opened with a bogey and closed out with a triple bogey 7 for a 76, tying for 10th spot at 287 along with five others.

Miguel Tabuena was the next best Filipino after Lascuña and Bayron.

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He tied for 22nd spot along with four foreigners, eight shots back, after firing a 73.

TAGS: Antonio Lascuna, Golf, Jay Bayron, marcus both, Philippine Open

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