Ababa leads Lascuña by a stroke
Jhonnel Ababa found a new pursuer in Tony Lascuña entering the final round of the ICTSI Pradera Verde Classic in Lubao, Pampanga.
An eagle-aided two-under-par 70 enabled Ababa to keep top spot, but Lascuña did better with a 69 to trim the gap to just one shot with 18 holes left to play in the $100,000-seventh leg of Philippine Golf Tour Asia.
Counting his earlier rounds of 71, 68, Ababa pooled a 209, towing Lascuña, who was at 210, in the chase for the $17,500-champion’s purse.
Ababa, who had an eagle 3 on No. 12, and Lascuña, who birdied three of the last holes, will be joined in the championship flight by American Josh Salah, who scored 71-70-71 for a 212.
PGT Order of Merit king Clyde Mondilla also remained in contention with a third straight 71 that put him in a bind with Jay Bayron, who shot 72, and American Andrew Campbell, who carded 70, at 213, four shots off Ababa.
Erstwhile coleader Nicolas Paez fumbled with a 75 that pulled him down to joint seventh with fellow American Lexus Keoninh, who carded 70, at 214.
A shootout is expected as Ababa is gunning for a second straight title after a record seven-shot triumph at Eagle Ridge last week while Lascuña is seeking a follow-up to his Wack Wack victory last November. —ROY LUARCA