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Lascuña sinks winning putt

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BACOLOD – Tony Lascuña came back from three shots down to win his third straight championship following a bogey-free, five-under par 65 yesterday at the ICTSI Bacolod Golf Challenge at the Bacolod Golf and Country Club in Binitin.

It was an remarkable comeback for Lascuña, who on Friday squandered a three-shot lead with a catastrophic 9 on the par-4, 13th hole where he hit two out-of-bound shots.

Lascuña edged Dutch Guido Van der Walk and American Micah Shin in the first playoff hole after the three finished 72 holes at 10-under.

He made birdie off the fringe at No. 9 to complete the win worth P270,000.

“I just got lucky my putt off the fringe went in,” said Lascuña who hiked his season-earning to P2,143,115.

“I played perfect golf at the back, hit all the fairways and greens and made two birdies,” said Lascuña who made par on the 13th hole.

The win moved Lascuña two victories shy of matching his 2014 success that netted him a third straight Order of Merit crown.

Shin missed winning the title outright when he bogeyed No. 17 for a 68 while Van der Valk also had a 65 that included a double-bogey mishap on No. 15.

Shin and Van der Valk received P145,000 each.

Three down at the start of the day, Lascuña strung up three birdies in the first nine holes to catch up with Shin and Van der Valk.

Three others stood just two shots behind in what proved to be the tightest finish after nine legs of the circuit backed by Custom Clubmakers, adidas, KZG, Summit Mineral Water, Srixon, Pacsports, TaylorMade, Sharp and Champion.

Truly, six stayed in contention heading to the backside with Shin slugging it out with Jay Bayron and Orlan Sumcad in the final group and Lascuña, Van Der Valk and Mhark Fernando keeping it close in a flight behind.

Van der Valk birdied three birdies in the first four holes coming home to go 10-under but hit an errant drive on the par-5 No. 15 for a double bogey.

He got back to 10-under following back-to-back birdies from No. 16.

Lascuña hit two more birdies at the back to finish at 10-under while Shin reached 10-under with a birdie on No. 13.

The young Davao-based American three putted No. 17 for bogey, but birdied the closing par-3 to force a three-way playoff.

Jay Bayron, who seized control halfway through the R1.5 million event organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments Inc., struggled all day with three birdies against the same number of birdies to finish solo fourth at 272 while Casus Casas failed to sustain a solid 32 start and a birdie on No. 15 with two bogeys in the last three holes, ending up with a 68 for joint fifth with Mhark Fernando, who rallied with two birdies in the last five holes to fire a 68, at 274.

Zanieboy Gialon turned in a bogey-free 66 to tie Jhonnel Ababa and Jerson Balasabas, who closed out with identical 67s, and Sumcad, who stumbled with a 71 for seventh at 276.