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In new surroundings, a familiar champ emerges

/ 04:00 AM November 21, 2020

It’s just like old times.

Tony Lascuña rode the wave of his scorching third round and kept Ira Alido and Rupert Zaragosa at bay to rule by four shots the ICTSI Riviera Invitational Challenge at the Couples Course in Silang, Cavite province, on Friday.

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Lascuña knocked down birdies on holes 3 and 6, coasting past his chasers to claim local professional golf’s first tournament since a health crisis shut down the tour. And at its resumption in a new bubble environment that featured restrictions and protocols unfamiliar to the pros, it was a familiar face on the podium.

“It’s so nice to win again [and even better] for us to finally have a tournament to play in,” said Lascuña, the most dominant player in the circuit with four Order of Merit titles. He pooled an 8-under 280 and pocketed the top P350,000 purse.

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After a pair of mediocre rounds (71-72) coming off a long layoff forced by the coronavirus pandemic, Lascuña found his bearing and rhythm and shot a bogey-free 69 on Thursday to tie Zaragosa on top. A bogey on his final hold of the tournament hardly mattered except to ruin what could have been an unblemished run in the last 36 holes.

Lascuña’s imposing victory should make him a marked man when the second and last PGT tournament in the pandemic-hit season is held on Dec. 8 to 11 at the adjacent Langer layout.

The tournament will run side-by-side with the 54-hole Ladies PGT championship, where Princess Superal will also attempt a double.

Alido rallied with a three-birdie binge from No. 11 and shot a 69 and earned a share of second at 284 as Zaragosa, who surged ahead in the second round of the P2.5-million event put up by International Container Terminal Services Inc., bogeyed the last two for a 72. Each received P187,500.

Former Philippine Open champion Angelo Que snatched fourth place at 285 worth P110,000.

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TAGS: ICTSI Riviera Invitational Challenge, Tony Lascuna
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