Tony Lascuña pulled through with a near-impeccable closing two-under 70, beating American Nicolas Paez by two for the ICTSI Wack Wack crown as erstwhile joint leaders Zanieboy Gialon, Thai Pasavee Lertvilai and Justin Quiban crumbled in a pressure-packed finale at Wack Wack’s East course yesterday.
Lascuña, who missed forcing a four-way tie for the lead with a final-hole bogey Friday, surged ahead with back-to-back birdies from No. 2 in second-to-last flight then held sway to the finish, banging in a clutch birdie putt on No. 14 then rattling off a slew of gutsy pars to match the rallying Paez’s two-under card.
He wound up with a two-under 286 and pocketed the top $17,500 purse, keeping the Filipinos’ domination of the first four legs of the inaugural Philippine Golf Tour Asia put up by ICTSI after Miguel Tabuena (Southwoods), Rene Menor (Splendido) and Clyde Mondilla (Riviera).
“It’s nice to win again. But I had to work hard to put myself back into contention,” said Lascuña, who rushed back to the range after trailing Gialon by five halfway through the $100,000 event organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
“I also polished my putting stroke, medyo magalaw kasi. And when I pulled to within one after the third round, I knew I had a chance,” added the multi-titled veteran campaigner, who bounced back from a missed green bogey on No. 12 with a birdie from six feet on No. 14.
As Gialon, Lertvilai and Quiban all broke down in their hunt for birdies and pars in the featured flight and tumbled down the leaderboard, Paez took the challenger’s role but ran out of holes after stringing three straight birdies from No. 15. He settled for second with an even 288 and snatched the $11,500 runner-up prize.