TONY Lascuña fired a three-under 67 to win by four strokes in the ICTSI Negros Occidental Classic on Saturday at the Marapara layout in Bacolod.
Elmer Salvador and national amateur juniors champion Lloyd Jefferson Go pulled to within one from five strokes by making three birdies in the first five holes in separate flights.
But Lascuña rebounded from bogey on No. 4 with birdies on Nos. 6, 7 and 9 and to move three-up again.
It was cruise control from there as Lascuna came through with routine pars and a birdie at the back for a 34. Salvador and Go, who both made the turn at 31, ran out of steam and firepower and wound up with identical 35s and 66s.
“Elmer and Lloyd threatened in the early going but I made clutch birdies from No. 6 and coasted along at the back,” said Lascuna, who was right on target at 12-under 268 he had predicted to be the winning total in the P1 million event sponsored by International Container Terminal Services, Inc.
Lascuna took another P200,000 prize and the win makes it three titles for Lascuna after his victories at Eagle Ridge and Valley Golf legs of the circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
He now looks forward to the Aboitiz Invitational set next month at Riviera, an Asian Development Tour leg.
“I hope to finally contend for an ADT crown. I had near-misses in the past but never really got into contention in the final round. This time, I think I’m ready,” said Lascuna, who tied for 11th in the ADT ICTSI Riviera Classic won by Salvador in May. He didn’t see action in the other ADT event at Orchard won by Rufino Bayron last month.
Salvador missed clinching solo second with a bogey on the par-5 18th for 272 but still took the P120,000 runner-up prize, with Go ineligible for the cash prize.
Arnold Villacencio, who finished joint fourth with Lascuna last week in Iloilo, matched par 70 and placed fourth again with a 273 worth P65,000. Ferdie Aunzo fired a 67 and Fil-Am Carl Santos-Ocampo shot a 68 to share fifth place at 274.
Go, who threatened to spoil the big guns’ party with a 66 on Friday, sustained his form and even showed up Lascuna and Villacencio in the final flight with back-to-back birdies from No. 2. With Lascuna muffing a par-putt bid from seven feet on the fourth, Go birdied No. 5 to move within one.
A flight ahead, Salvador played pressure-free in the company of Aunzo and Santos-Ocampo, making birdie on Nos. 2, 4 and 5 to likewise pull within one.
But Lascuna matched Go’s birdie on the sixth then knocked down birdies on Nos. 7 and 9 to regain control at the turn in the event backed by Nike Golf, Pacsports, Srixon, FootJoy, It’s More Fun in the Philippines, Callaway, Mizuno, Custom Clubmakers, Titleist, Sharp and KZG with Balls, Pinoygolfer.com, Inquirer Golf and ABS-CBN Sports+Action as media partners.