Lascuña new Country Club leader after gutsy 72 | Inquirer Sports

Lascuña new Country Club leader after gutsy 72

By: - Reporter / @MusongINQ
/ 05:15 AM January 26, 2024

Antonio Lascuña —FILE PHOTO

Antonio Lascuña —FILE PHOTO

Antonio Lascuña drained a 12-foot putt for birdie on the 18th hole on Thursday, capping a demanding test in the third round of the rich The Country Club (TCC) Invitational, which toasted a new leader in the 53-year-old veteran at the wind-buffeted layout in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.

The brutal 7,735-yard layout didn’t yield a sub-par card for the second straight round, and Lascuña stood out in the crack field after returning a level-par 72 that unseated Miguel Tabuena at the top after completing a climb from six down on Tuesday and four at the start of the day.


“We played in extreme elements,” Lascuña said in Filipino after a 35-37 effort for 216 overall, one shot ahead of Tabuena, the 36-hole leader who skied to a 77. “Good thing my short game worked again.”


Two-shot swing

The champion 20 years ago, Lascuña, who lost to Tabuena in the Match Play finals here last month, 4&3, still believes that he is the underdog owing to the sheer length of the TCC.

“The course is just too long for me, compared to 20 years ago,” he said. “Yes, I can still play the game at a high level. But I will need everything to work in the final round.”

Tabuena, meanwhile, signed for three of his five bogeys in the last five holes, counting one on the 18th where he failed to rescue par from 15 feet. That two-shot swing resulted in Lascuña taking the lead as the duo practically assured a two-man race for the P2 million top prize.

That’s because Jonel Ababa is seven shots back like LJ Go after a 75 and 72, in that order, with Clyde Mondilla another stroke adrift after stumbling to a 79.

“I putted the ball well but I wasn’t happy with the way I struck it (ball). My long game wasn’t to my standards,” rued Tabuena, who bogeyed three of the last five holes for a 38-39.

Korean-American Micah Shin, who nipped Tabuena to become the first non-Filipino winner of this event in 2018, shot a 76 join Keanu Jahns and Korean Min Seong Kim, who made 79 and 80, respectively, at sixth at 229.

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TAGS: Antonio Lascuna, Golf

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