TONY Lascuna warded off Miguel Tabuena and Jhonnel Ababa, shooting a fnal-rund 68 to finish three strokes clear in the ICTSI Manila Southwoods Championship Saturday at Southwoods’ Legends course in Carmona, Cavite.
Tabuena fired a 66 and Ababa shot a 65, not enough to overhaul Lascuna’s five-stroke lead at the start of the day.
Lascuna finished with a 21-under 267 total in the 72-hole P2.5 million event.
“I didn’t lose composure when they threatened, I told myself not to commit any mistakes,” said Lascuna.
The season’s money leader knocked down big shots, including a birdie on the ninth that restored a three-shot cushion and on the 17th that put him beyond reach again.
Tabuena was bogey-free in the last 51 holes and finished at 270, which was matched by Ababa.
“I gave him a scare in the first five holes but it was Tony I’m up against with. If it was a different guy, he would have folded up,” said Tabuena, the winner of the season opener at Sherwood.
“You can’t expect Tony to make many mistakes.”
Tabuena pressed his bid early with three birdies in the first four holes, moving within two, so did Ababa in a flight ahead, who battled from six shots down with four straight birdies from No. 2.
But Tabuena cooled down midway through and Ababa fumbled with a bogey on the par-3 No. 12.
Ababa then made three birdies in the last six holes to turn in the day’s best round. Ababa has finished runner-up to Lascuna twice this year, after also placing second in Calatagan last May.
“It’s really tough to chase a player like Tony. I really tried my best by he (Tony) also played a good round,” said Ababa.
“Jhonnel played a solid round. But when he failed to birdie the 17th, I gained more confidence,” said Lascuna, the second player to win two legs this year. Frankie Minoza won back-to-back titles at Del Monte and Pueblo de Oro.
Lascuna bagged P450,000, tightening his grip on the top spot of the Philippine Golf Tour Order of Merit, hiking his earnings after 11 legs to P1,682,332.
Tabuena shared the combined runner-up prize of P530,000 with Ababa, and stayed second in the Order with P1,456,527 heading to the last four legs of the circuit sponsored by International Container Terminals Services, Inc.
Salvador and flightmate Minoza both shot 66s to salvage joint fourth at 273, while Mars Pucay and Orlan Sumcad finished tied at 275 after a 69 and 70, respectively.
Cassius Casas lost steam after staying in the hunt for three days, finishing with a 72 and dropping to solo eighth at 276. Midlands winner Carl Santos-Ocampo shot 68 for a 277 total, while former Philippine Open champion Gerald Rosales closed with a 71 for a 278 aggregate in the tournament also backed by Nike Golf, Srixon, Custom Clubmakers, Pacsports, Cleveland Golf, Callaway, Ping, Mizuno, Empire Golf and Sports Shop, FootJoy, Titleist, Sharp, BMW and Gergia Energy Foods.