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AN­OTHER DAY IN THE OF­FICE FOR LASCUÑA

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Tony Lascuña kept the mo­men­tum of his third round as­sault and made it a vir­tual rou­tine in Philip­pine Golf Tour’s (PGT) re­turn in new nor­mal to wind up on top again af­ter beat­ing Ira Alido and Ru­pert Zaragosa by four on a 68 in the In­ter­na­tional Con­tainer Ter­mi­nal Ser­vices Inc. (ICTSI) Riviera In­vi­ta­tional Chal­lenge at the Cou­ples course in Si­lang, Cavite, on Fri­day.

The multi-ti­tled Lascuña broke away from a tied duel with Zaragosa with birdies on Nos. 3 and 6 then pulled away with three more birdies in the first four holes at the back to claim an­other cham­pi­onship af­ter clos­ing out PGT’S mile­stone 10th sea­son last year with back-to­back three-stroke ti­tle romps at Apo and South Pa­cific in his home­town Davao.

“It’s so nice to win again but nicer 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 eight- un­der 280 and pock­eted the top P350,000 purse.

“It’s been a long time since we last com­peted and we could only thank ICTSI and the Pilip­inas Golf Tour­na­ments Inc. for giv­ing us the op­por­tu­nity to play com­pet­i­tively again,” he added.

Af­ter a pair of medi­ocre rounds ( 71-72) com­ing off a long lay­off, Lascuña found his bear­ing and rhythm and shot a bo­gey- free 69 Thurs­day to tie Zaragosa on top then sus­tained his charge with those clos­ing five birdies and a cou­ple of scram­bling pars. A bo­gey on the 18th, how­ever, ru­ined what could’ve been a re­mark­able un­blem­ished run in the last 36 holes.

But the last-hole mishap hardly mat­tered for the veteran cam­paigner, who stayed phys­i­cally ac­tive dur­ing the lock­down and spent the long break teach­ing and train­ing at the Manila South­woods when quar­an­tine re­stric­tions eased up in May.

His im­pos­ing vic­tory should like­wise make him the marked man when the sec­ond and last PGT tour­na­ment in the pan­demi­chit sea­son is held De­cem­ber 8 to 11 at the ad­ja­cent Langer lay­out along with the

54- hole Ladies PGT cham­pi­onship, headed by Thurs­day’s win­ner Princess Su­peral.

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 ICTSI, bo­geyed the last two for a 72. Each re­ceived P187,500.

For­mer Philip­pine Open cham­pion and many-time PGT and PGT Asia ti­tlist An­gelo Que snatched fourth place at 285 worth P110,000 af­ter a 67 in a surge that came a bit late for one of the fan­cied play­ers in the fold while Justin Quiban also siz­zled late, pro­duc­ing the tour­na­ment-best bo­gey-less seven-un­der 65 to tie first round leader Joe­nard Rates, who faded with three back­side bo­geys for a 74, at fifth at 287. Each re­ceived P103,105.

Fidel Con­cep­cion shot a 71 and shared sev­enth place at 288 with Miguel Tabuena, the two-time Philip­pine Open cham­pion who had failed to re­ally get go­ing af­ter an open­ing 71, fin­ish­ing with a sec­ond 72.

Dutch Guido van der Valk, win­ner of this year’s The Coun­try Club In­vi­ta­tional be­fore the Covid-19 out­break dis­rupted play, matched par 72 for ninth at 289 while Jay Bay­ron and Michael Bi­bat tied for 10th at 291 af­ter 71 and 72, re­spec­tively.

 ??  ?? Ton y Lasc uña wins the Riviera In­vi­ta­tional Chal­lenge by four strokes.
Ton y Lasc uña wins the Riviera In­vi­ta­tional Chal­lenge by four strokes.

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