Dabawenyo Tony Lascuna went on a birdie-binge at the back and fired a five-under 67, pulling away by six over a stunned field headed by Angelo Que halfway through the P2.5 million ICTSI Wack Wack Championship at Wack Wack’s East course yesterday.
Lascuna, who banked on a three-birdie string at the front for a lead-sharing 70 in a late tee-off Wednesday, came through with another three-birdie feat on a windless early morning flight, this time from No. 16 that capped his sterling backside start of 31 that included birdies on Nos. 11 and 14.
He went six-under with a birdie on the third hole for the second straight day but settled for a 67 after missing a par-putt from six feet on seventh.
Still, Lascuna broke away from Que with a 137, moving 36 holes away from winning the richest event on the ICTSI-Philippine Golf Tour and formalizing his claim on the coveted Order of Merit crown.
“My swing, iron and woods have been great, I’m just really feeling good right now,” said Lascuna, coming off a joint fifth place finish with Que in last Sunday’s Johor Open in Malaysia, in Filipino.
“I hope I can sustain my form in the last two rounds and hopefully win this tournament,” said Lascuna, who impressed flightmates Frankie Minoza and Miguel Tabuena.
Que, who matched Lascuna’s opening 70, couldn’t keep in step with the leader on a late start where the wind started to blow hard, fumbling with three bogeys with an eagle to show in a 37-36 round that dropped him to second at 143.
“While he (Lascuna) went for birdies because there was still no wind, I was forced to just go for pars because of the wind, which was coming from all directions,” said Que.
But no lead is safe at Wack Wack with Minoza battling from seven strokes down in the final round to capture last year’s staging of the final leg of the circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
But the two-time Philippine Open champion fell behind by 11 with a four-over 76 and a 148 in a tie with Orlan Sumcad, who skied to a 77 after a 71.
Zanie Boy Gialon, a two-leg winner like Lascuna, shot a two-under 70 and moved to solo third at 144, seven strokes behind Lascuna, while Elmer Salvador, who trails Lascuna in the OOM race, carded a 73 for a 145.
Mhark Fernando and James Ryan Lam stood at 146 after a 73 and 75, respectively, while Tabuena turned in a 71 to join Clyde Mondilla (72) and Carl Santos-Ocampo (75) at seventh at 147.
Juvic Pagunsan rebounded with a 74 after a 79 for a 153 as he safely made the cut at 159 but the outgoing Asian Tour No. 1 lay 16 shots off the pace with two rounds left in the event sponsored by ICTSI.
Other backers of the event are Empire Golf, Titleist, Footjoy, Callaway, TaylorMade, Mizuno, Srixon, Nike Golf, Custom Clubmakers and Sharp with Balls, Studio 23, Pinoygolfer.com and Inquirer Golf as media partners.(pr)