ELMER Salvador fired a four-under 68 for a three-stroke lead after Friday’s third round of the P3.5 million ICTSI Tournament Players Championship at Wack Wack East.
A pitch-in birdie from 10 yards on the par-3 16th and a bunker save on the 18th spiked Salvador’s surge.
Salvador stood at nine-under 207, while Lascuña slipped to second after a 72.
“I felt like I couldn’t do wrong despite a number of bunker visits. I had an incredible feeling each time I got out of the trap. It further boosted my confidence,” said Salvador.
Lascuña, who started the day with a one-stroke lead, failed to rescue a par from the bunker on the 16th, giving Salvador a crucial two-shot swing and a big cushion in the battle for the top prize of P650,000.
“I just got careless. I was in a hurry to putt it but I lost my focus. My game was fine, only Elmer was so good,” said Lascuna.
Salvador is looking to score another win after topping Speldido Taal three weeks ago.
“Nothing’s sure yet. Anything can happen here but I’ll give it my best shot,” said Salvador.
Jerson Balasabas, still in search for a breakthrough win, fired a 68 to move to third at 212, five strokes off the pace.
Micah Shin shot a 71 for a 213 total, while Frankie Miñoza fired the day’s best 67 for a 215 aggregate.
Minoza got to six under before suffering a bogey on the par-3 eighth.
Japan’s Ryoma Miki shot a second 70 and moved to solo sixth at 216, while while Zanieboy Gialon fired a 71 for a 218.
Benjie Magada carded a 73 and tied Cassius Casas (75), Japan’s Toru Nakajima (78), and Fredrick Park (78) of Australia at 220 in the circuit backed by Custom Clubmakers, adidas, KZG, Summit Mineral Water, Srixon, Pacsports, TaylorMade, Sharp, Champion, Ping and Yamaha.