BINANGONAN, Rizal – Guido Van der Valk humbled local ace Tony Lascuña in the frontside then bucked a shaky windup to shoot a 71 at Eastridge Golf Club and move on the threshold of a breakthrough victory in the ICTSI Manila Masters on Friday.
The Manila-based Dutchman, a perennial contender but never a winner on the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour, followed his bogey-free 69 in the second round with three birdies in the first nine holes, turning a two-shot deficit into a four-stroke lead as Lascuña faltered with a 39.
But Van der Valk bogeyed the two par-3s at the back, finishing with a 38 and a 71 that proved enough to net him a three-shot with a four-under 212 aggregate.
Lascuña skied to a 76 and slipped to joint second with a charging Jay Bayron, who also fired an eagle-spiked 71, at 215.
“I played pretty well. My putting, irons and short game were simply good,” said the Lelystad, Amsterdam native who is married to a Filipina and has made the country his home the past 13 years.
Nicolas Paez, the third player in the featured flight, scored an 83 and tumbled from joint third to 33rd at 225.
Despite falling off the lead and trailing by three, the 47-year-old Lascuña, who had three three-putts and muffed four makeable birdie chances, remains confident about his title bid in the P3 million event sponsored by ICTSI.
“He should watch out for me. He’ll crack up the way he did when I beat him (Van der Valk) in a playoff last year,” said Lascuña, who edged the 37-year-old Dutch and the young Micah Shin in a playoff to rule the Bacolod stop, one of his five-leg victories last year.
“We’ll see. It depends on the wind,” said Van der Valk.
Three players also made their charge in the scorching pivotal round with American Paul Harris carding the day’s best 69, Jhonnel Ababa firing a 70 and Shin turning in a 71 for even 216s, four shots adrift.