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Hot putter sparks Lascuña surge

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TAGAYTAY – Tony Lascuña rode on a hot putter and explosive windup to shoot a six-under 66 and storm past former national teammate Rey Pagunsan, seizing a two-stroke lead at the midway point of the ICTSI Splendido Classic here yesterday.

Recalling the form and putting touch that netted him three straight championships at Eagle Ridge, Forest Hills and Bacolod, Lascuña turned the Splendido Taal Golf Club’s backside into a virtual playground, gunning down seven birdies, including five straight from No. 10 as he moved from joint fourth to the top of the heap at nine-under 135.

“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.

A pair of seven footers on Nos. 10 and 11 sparked his fiery backside finish and the ace Davaoeño shotmaker strung up three more inside eight feet to get past Pagunsan, who had earlier turned in a 70. Lascuña did fumble with a bogey on No. 15, missing a seven-footer, but birdied No. 16 for the second straight day and holed out with another eight-footer for that 30 and a 66.

Pagunsan birdied two of the last four holes at the front to save a 70 and looked headed to grabbing the lead at 137 until Lascuña came in with that six-under card that tied Korean Seok Jun Min’s opening round feat.