Lascuña grabs 2-shot lead
ANTONIO Lascuña gunned down seven birdies on the way to a six-under-par 65 yesterday and a two-shot lead over Clyde Mondilla and three others after the opening round of the P2 million Forest Hills Invitational in Antipolo, Rizal.
Lascuña’s only bogey came on No. 1, but he was on target the rest of the way as superb iron play gave him pin-length putts as his chase for a second straight championship got off to a rip-roaring start.
Mondilla, who like Lascuña has two titles for the year, also had seven birdies but stumbled with three bogeys, settling into a tie with Michael Bibat, Nelson Huerva and young South Korean Park Min-ung, two shots adrift.
“I set myself up for short birdie putts and my putting just clicked today,” Lascuña, who came into the tournament with practically no rest after a Top 15 finish in the Asian Tour’s Queen’s Cup in Thailand last week, said in Filipino.
Joenard Rates aced the par-3 13th hole for a 68 like Marvin Dumandan and Chucky Hong.
Mars Pucay, the long-hitting veteran who won here when the Philippine Golf Tour last made a stop at this up-and-down course in 2010, fired a level 71 to mathematically remain in the hunt.
Highly-touted rookie Jobim Carlos, who lost in a playoff to Mondilla in the Manila Masters two months ago, scrambled for a 74 and would need a truly low round today to figure in the championship mix.
Forest Hills showed its toughness by yielding only 12 sub-par rounds, with Pucay and only three others matching par.
Former leg winners Zannie Boy Gialon and Mark Fernando were in the big group that shot 77s, while former Philippine Open champions Robert Pactolerin and Cassius Casas fired a 78 and 79, respectively.