Khim Iglupas knocked off second seed Edilyn Balanga in a thrilling three-setter, 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-4, to capture the ladies Open singles crown in the fifth Olivarez Cup Open Tennis Championship at the Olivarez Sports Center in Sucat over the weekend.
Army carried out the Shakey’s V-League mission in grand fashion, holding Cagayan Valley to another single-digit output in the second frame before battling back from two points down late in the third to carve out a 25-14, 25-7, 25-23 victory and complete a sweep of the Season 11 Open Conference crown before a full-house crowd at The Arena in San Juan yesterday.
They swept the Air Force spikers in the semis then clipped the Rising Suns in the opener of the title playoff, highlighted by holding last year’s champions to a finals low out of five in the fourth, 25-19, 18-25, 25-18, 25-5.
SILANG, Cavite – Davao’s Tony Lascuna blew his two-shot lead early but hit two clutch birdies then pounced on Angelo Que’s shaky finish to snatch a three-stroke victory with a closing 66 for his first Aboitiz Invitational crown at Riviera’s Couples course here yesterday.
The margin of victory didn’t actually reflect the manner by which the country’s top guns slugged it out in virtual mano-a-mano right from the start with Lascuna recovering his touch with an eagle and a three birdie-binge in a five-hole stretch linking both nines to wrest control and Que bouncing back with his own eagle on the 16th only to reel back with a disastrous bogey on the next for a 67.
In the end, it was the winningest player on the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour who nailed his fourth leg victory while extending the other’s winless spell in the season.
“Angelo and I played many times over in the final round that’s why we really know each other’s game well. We match up pretty much even and it was only a question of who will make a mistake first,” said Lascuna.
He actually blinked first, bogeying No. 5 which Que birdied to wipe out Lascuna’s overnight two-shot lead. Que birdied the next to go 1-up, but Lascuna quickly evened things up with a chip-in eagle from the fringe on the par-5 7th off a superb 4-iron shot from 210 yards then birdied the next to wrest a one-stroke lead at the turn.
Lascuna opened the backside with back-to-back birdies and threatened to pull away by three as Que settled for five straight pars but the latter closed within two again as Lascuna bogeyed No. 15 then moved within one with after a solid 6-iron shot from 220 yards that stopped within six feet for eagle.
But it was Que who cracked in the end, hitting a poor drive and missing the green for bogey on the 17th. Two-up and all pumped-up, Lascuna reached the par-4 18th in regulation then capped his victory by drilling in a 30-foot birdie putt to the delight of the big crowd that ringed the 18th green.
“It was a tough win. It could’ve gone either way,” said Lascuna, who wound up with a 268, that included a 66, 69 and 67, worth $17,500 (P752,500) although the 20-under total didn’t go into the record books since preferred lies rules were used for the tournament, sponsored by Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc. for the fourth straight year.
“No problem with the record. I’ll take the win any time. I worked hard for it,” said Lascuna who thanked his supporters, particularly wife Cheryl Alferez, set to give birth to their second child two weeks now, and daughter Shanryl Antonette, who hugged him on the 18th green.
“That’s the beauty of playing against Tony (Lascuna). I always have to dish out my A-game as well. I love being paired with him because I feel so relaxed with him around,” said Que, the three-time Asian Tour winner who remained winless in the season.
Like Lascuna, Que ended up with a run of under par cards for a 271 (65-71-68-67) and won $11,500 then immediately left to catch his flight to France on his way to the European Masters in Switzerland set next week.
Lascuna’s triumph, his first on the ADT, this being the 14th leg of Asian Tour’s farm circuit and co-staged by the ADT and Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc., also capped the Filipinos’ sweep of the three ADT titles held in the country this year with Elmer Salvador winning the ADT ICTSI Riviera Classic at Langer last May and Rufino Bayron clinching his maiden win at ADT ICTSI Orchard Championship last June.
It was also Lascuna’s fourth win this season, including his romps at ICTSI Eagle Ridge, ICTSI Valley Golf and ICTSI Negros Occidental legs of the Philippine Golf Tour.
Thai Pijit Petchkasem, who joined Lascuna and Que in the championship flight with a 68 Friday, lost his way while trying to match the local aces’ hot start, fumbling with a 38 and finishing with a 73, enabling compatriot Rattan Wannasrichan to seize third place at 275 after a 70 worth $7,000.
Petchkasem slid to joint fourth with compatriot Poosit Supupramai, who had a 68, and second round leader Brett Munson of the US, who made a 71, for 277. Each got $4,566. Ireland’s Niall Turner took solo seventh at 279 after a 67 while Jhonnel Ababa, who shared the lead with Que in the first round with a 65, rallied with a 70 to finish tied for eighth at 280 with Miguel Tabuena, who carded a 71, Singapore’s Koh Deng Shan, who shot a 69, and Taiwanese Hsieh Tung-shu, who turned in a 71.
The other backers of the event were Nike Golf, Pacsports Phils. Inc., Srixon, Callaway, Mizuno, Empire Golf, Footjoy, Titleist, Custom Clubmakers, Sharp and KZG, the Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. with ABS-CBN Sports & Action, Balls and Inquirer Golf as media partners.(pr)
SILANG, Cavite – Davao’s Tony Lascuna flubbed a birdie try from 12 feet on the last hole but still held on to a two-stroke lead over Angelo Que and Thai Pijit Petchkasem as erstwhile leader Brett Munson wavered coming home to close in on his first Aboitiz Invitational crown at the Riviera Golf and Country Club here yesterday.