Back-nine birdie binge propels Tony Lascuna to top spot at Splendido Classic
Tony Lascuna looks to add to wins at Eagle Ridge, Forest Hills and Bacolod. 

TONY Lascuña fired seven birdies on the back nine to score a six-under 66 on Thursday for a two-stroke lead after the second round of the ICTSI Splendido Classic in Tagaytay.

Looking to add to titles won at Eagle Ridge, Forest Hills and Bacolod, Lascuña hit five straight birdies from No. 10 as he moved from joint fourth to the top of the leader board at nine-under 135.

Seven footers on Nos. 10 and 11 sparked his fiery finish.

“I always thought that putting is the key to winning so I practiced for one week at Southwoods during the break. Just putting, to polish and firm up my stroke. I’m glad it paid off,” said Lascuña.

Rey Pagunsan birdied two of his last four holes for a 70 and solo second.

Micah Shin of the US shot a second straight 69 for a 138.

First-round leader Seok Jun Min carded a 73 and slipped to joint fourth at 139 with Jay Bayron (69) and Jhonnel Ababa (70).

Focus in the third round will be on former national teammates Lascuña and Pagunsan, the former piling up victories since they turned pro in 1997 and the latter still in search for the big victory.

“I can’t remember when I last contended in a tournament. Actually, I can’t believe seeing my name up there in the leaderboard,” said Pagunsan, adding that a slight shoulder injury also proved to be a blessing, keeping him from trying to hit it long.

“I’ve been putting so well and it also helps that I play quite conservatively off the tee. My gameplan is to hit the fairway and give myself good chances for birdies on my approach shots,” said Pagunsan.

Paul Echavez fired a five-under 67 to grab solo seventh at 140, while Australia’s Peter Stojanovski had a 70 for a 141 in a tie with Elmer Salvador, who rallied with a 68 in the P2 million event sponsored by ICTSI, organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. and backed by Custom Clubmakers, adidas, KZG, Summit Mineral Water, Srixon, Pacsports, TaylorMade, Sharp and Champion.


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