DASMARINAS, Cavite – Thanks to an eagle-spiked 67, Tony Lascuna wrested a one-stroke lead over Aussie Scott Barr in the third round of the ICTSI Orchard Golf Championship on Friday.
The Filipino hit three birdies and shot an eagle on No. 6 in a flawless 12-hole stretch, then closed out with a slew of pars to preserve a bogey-free 32-35 card.
Counting his earlier scores of 67 and 71, Lascuna pooled an 11-under 205, moving from solo fifth to the top of the heap heading to the final 18 holes of the US$60,000 event of the Asian Development Tour.
Lascuna is coming off a bitter loss to Elmer Salvador during last week’s Aboitiz Invitational after struggling on the greens of the Cebu Country Club.
“My putting finally clicked although I missed a couple more birdie chances in the closing holes,” said Lascuna, the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour Order of Merit leader.
Barr, the erstwhile leader, had a roller-coaster of a start but his frontside 35 kept him in the lead until he wavered with a closing 37 marred by back-to-back bogeys from No. 15.
He settled for a 72 and slid to second at 206.
Rufino Bayron, five down at the start of the round, dished out a solid finish of 34 for a 69 and moved to solo third at 208, three shots off Lascuna.
Peter Richardson, also of England, matched Lascuna’s 67 and bounced back into contention at 209 while Englishman GeorgeThacker limped home with a 73 and tumbled to joint fifth at 210.
Singapore’s Lam Zhi Qun also hogged the spotlight as he shot a course-record tying nine-under par 63 to jump from joint 38th to a share of fifth with Thacker.
Reigning Asian Tour OOM champion Juvic Pagunsan set the record 63 last year when he rallied in the final round to beat Elmer Salvador and Lascuna for the Orchard crown.
Pagunsan, however, did the feat while playing under summer rules while Lam made the 63 under winter rules.