Tony Lascuña kept the heat up and sustained the momentum from his great performance in the third round to pull away from contenders Ira Alido and Rupert Zaragosa and win by four on a 68 in the ICTSI Riviera Invitational Challenge at the Couples course in Silang, Cavite on Friday afternoon.
The multi-titled Lascuña broke away from a tied duel with Zaragosa with birdy makes on holes no. 3 and 6 then pulled away with three more birdies in the first four holes at the back to capture another championship.
“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 8-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 the match.
After a pair of mediocre rounds coming off a long layoff, Lascuña found his bearing and rhythm and shot a bogey-free 69 on Thursday to tie Zaragosa on top then kept 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 golfer, 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 pandemic-hit season is held Dec. 8-11 at the adjacent Langer layout along with the 54-hole Ladies PGT championship, headed by Thursday’s winner Princess Superal. (JNP)