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Lascuña keeps Order of Merit rivals at bay

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Four-leg winner Tony Lascuña stays on track to regaining the Philippine Golf Tour’s Order of Merit crown but a surging Jay Bayron and Clyde Mondilla moved threateningly close, making it a three-way battle for the coveted plum with four legs left in the season.

Bayron’s back-to-back wins at Aboitiz Invitational and ICTSI Riviera Classic the last two weeks have put the former Asian Development Tour topnotcher within the pacesetting Lascuna in the money ranking, piling up earnings of P2,043,028.

Lascuna, who won the Luisita Championship last April and strung up three straight at Eagle Ridge, Forest Hills and Bacolod, has earnings of P2,470,948.

Mondilla, who scored back-to-back wins at Eastridge and Calatagan and placed second at Riviera, firmed up his hold of third place with P2,005,687.

Defending OOM winner Miguel Tabuena, who won the circuit’s kickoff leg at Anvaya but skipped a number of PGT tournaments to campaign abroad as part of his buildup for his stint at the Olympics, has slipped to No. 4 with P976,058.

Dutch Guido Van der Valk, who has had a number of late-round foldups that stymied his bid for a breakthrough win in the circuit sponsored by ICTSI and organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc., is at No. 5 with P773,456 while Zanieboy Gialon has pooled P711,454 for sixth.

Jobim Carlos, who missed nailing his maiden win with a playoff loss to Mondilla at Eastridge, is at No. 7 with earnings of P683,336 while Japanese Toru Nakajima has P671,506 despite missing the action the last eight tournaments.

Orlan Sumcad and Jhonnel Ababa round up the Top 10 with winnings of P659,604 and P630,761, respectively.

Action resumes this Wednesday (Aug. 24) with the ICTSI Classic at Mt. Malarayat on Aug. 24-27 with Lascuña, Bayron and Mondilla bannering the elite field before Splendido hosts the 14th leg for the ICTSI Splendido Classic on Aug. 31-Sept. 3.

Luisita will stage another PGT leg on Sept. 14-17 for the second Central Azucarera de Tarlac Open before the circuit winds up at Wack Wack for the ICTSI Tournament Players Championship on Sept. 21-24.