Lascuña vaults ahead by 1 shot
ANTONIO Lascuña made a bold third-round move yesterday, gunning down six birdies on his last 10 holes for a 4-under-par 68 that lifted him on top by a stroke over Arnold Villacencio and Robert Pactolerin in the P1.5-million ICTSI Classic at Mount Malarayat in Lipa City.
Seeking back-to-back titles for the first time on the local tour, Lascuña came up with his swashbuckling windup for a 54-hole total of 207, counting his earlier rounds of 69 and 70, at the composite Malipunyo and Lobo nines.
Villacencio, the first round leader, and Pactolerin, who assumed control after a 68 on Thursday, shot 69 and 71, respectively, for 208 even as unheralded Albin Engino shot a day-best 67 to catch Jay Bayron at 209. Bayron, a multiple winner on tour, shot a 68.
Amateur Jobim Carlos, who was left out of the Philippine team that finished way out of the medal race in the Southeast Asian Games in Singapore two months ago, matched par 72 for 211, with Clyde Mondilla, Anthony Kim of South Korea and Joenard Rates bunched up at 212.
Mondilla finally cracked par, shooting a 68 to get into the mix. Kim fired a 70 while Rates struggled to a 74.
Lascuña, who won the Apo Golf Invitational in his hometown of Davao three weeks ago, had a so-so start before catching fire. He birdied four times in a five-hole stretch from the ninth before finishing birdie-birdie.
Pactolerin, winless since his victory at Marapara in Bacolod in 2012, rebounded from a two-over card after five holes and still managed to break par for the third straight round.
Interestingly, that Pactolerin win in Bacolod came at the expense of Lascuña, who lost in the fourth hole of sudden death.
Juvic Pagunsan failed to mount a rally and settled for a 73 for joint 23rd with five others at 216.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.