Lascuña moves up by 4 as Tabuena hits rut
Brandishing the game that made him a byword on the ICTSI Tour for most of the last four years, Antonio Lascuña turned what looked like a lost cause just a day before into a tournament that’s his to lose.
Going bogey-free for the first time this week on the way to an eagle-aided seven-under-par 65 yesterday, Lascuña turned an eight-stroke overnight deficit into a four-shot lead over erstwhile leader Miguel Tabuena going into the final round of the Anvaya Cove Invitational in Morong, Bataan.
Lascuña caught fire just when practically everyone in the talented field were left eating Tabuena’s dust after 36 holes, his nines of 33-32 giving him a three-day total of 205 as Tabuena ballooned to an uncharacteristic 77.
“Everything worked out there for me, from my driving, my irons and my putting—it was a great day,” Lascuña said as he guns for the headstart over Tabuena in the Order of Merit race he lost for the first time in four years last year.
Tabuena scorched the picturesque seaside layout with a course-record and career-round 62 on Wednesday and had a 70 in the second round. He opened with a birdie yesterday before his agony started.
The reigning tour OOM champion dropped five strokes in a six-hole stretch from No. 4 for a 40 going out and then signed for a triple-bogey 7 on the 17th for his ugliest round since ruling the Philippine Open at Luisita last December.
“Golf is unpredictable, it always happens. Sometimes you play good, sometimes bad,” rued the 21-year-old Tabuena, who has dropped five strokes in three rounds on the 17th, counting a double bogey on Thursday.
But Lascuña knows that he has to be on his toes all day today against his closest pursuer.
“A four-shot lead is not safe over a course like this,” said Lascuña, who paced the first round of the Myanmar Open last week with a seven-under 64.
Japan’s Toru Nakajima, the first foreigner to win on the Philippine Golf Tour, fired a 71, and Jay Bayron, who lay six shots off Tabuena overnight, returned a 73 to be six shots behind Lascuña.
Dutchman Guido Van Der Valk shot a 70 for 213, with Clyde Mondilla firing a 71 to be another shot back.
Korean Park Min-ung carded a 73 for 215, two up on Cassius Casas (70), Omar Dungca (73) and Charles Hong (74). Another Korean, Anthony Kim, came next at 219 after a 71, in a tie with Orlan Sumcad, who matched par.
Canadian Rick Gibson shot a 73 and led a three-way tie at 220, one in front of defending champion Angelo Que who finally broke par with a 71 but lay in a six-way tie for 16th. Musong R. Castillo