Lascuña nails it by a shot
ANTONIO Lascuña drained two critical birdies in the stretch for a closing four-under-par 68 yesterday and ruled the ICTSI Eagle Ridge Invitational by a shot over Japan’s Ryoma Miki at the complex’ Aoki course in Trece Martires, Cavite.
Lascuña fended off all local pursuers on the front nine before thwarting the hard-charging Miki with birdies on Nos. 16 and 17. He settled for a 273 total no thanks to a three-putt bogey on the 72nd hole.
It was the second victory this year for the 44-year-old Lascuña, who was working on a flawless round until that last-hole hiccup.
Miki shot a tournament-best 64 and seized second spot on 274.
“I wasn’t really aware that someone had made a move until I was on the 16th tee,” Lascuña said in Fllipino. “I just went for a birdie.”
The champion at Luisita in Tarlac in April, Lascuña holed another one from the fringe on the next and restored a two-shot lead over Miki, who was at the clubhouse hoping for a double bogey by the eventual champion at the last hole to forge a playoff.
Orlan Sumcad, who started the day just a stroke behind Lascuña, carded a 72 and finished five shots behind in third spot—one of his best finishes in a long, title-less pro career.
Zannie Boy Gialon ballooned a 75 and finished out of the top 10 on 282. The Davao shotmaker lay just two behind Lascuña overnight.
Former National Caddies Open champion Jessie Balasabas, who shared the first-round lead here, carded a 70 like Clyde Mondilla as the duo led three others with 279 tallies.
Playing two flights ahead of the final group, Miki, a rookie pro, had five birdies on his first nine holes, got it to six under on No. 11 and breathed down Lascuña’s neck with an eagle 3 on No. 16.
Sumcad gave up three shots on the last four holes on the front and dropped out of the fight, his hopes for a breakthrough title in tatters.
Jay Bayron carved out a 66, his third successive sub-par round, and tied Balasabas and Mondilla at 279. An opening 74 did him in here.