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Lascuña rides birdie flurry to lead

Tony Lascuña made true his vow and took command with a strong frontside start, shooting a five-under 67 and wresting a one-stroke lead over an equally charging Elmer Salvador halfway through the P3.5 million ICTSI Tournament Players Championship at Wack Wack East yesterday.

Lascuña turned a fumbling start into a scorching finish, bucking a bogey mishap on No. 1 with six birdies in a nine-hole stretch from No. 3 behind a near-impeccable show of driving, iron play and putting. He actually slowed down with a run of pars after ramming in his sixth birdie from 40 feet on No. 11 that however proved enough to put him on a familiar place at six-under 138.

“Since this is the last leg, I might as well take it,” said Lascuña, who earlier vowed to win it all despite needing just a fourth place finish this week to claim the Order of Merit title of this year’s ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour.

With OOM rivals No, 2 Clyde Mondilla and No. 3 Jay Bayron failing to mount their charge and fell way behind with over par rounds, Lascuña moved 36 holes away from winning his fourth OOM title in the last five years.

Mondilla, the three-leg winner, hobbled with a 75 and slid to joint 14th at 147, while two-leg winner Bayron hardly recovered from a disastrous 78 Wednesday with a 73 and barely made the cut at 151 in the event backed by Custom Clubmakers, adidas, KZG, Summit Mineral Water, Srixon, Pacsports, TaylorMade, Sharp, Champion, Ping and Yamaha.

“I had a good run from No. 3. Every approach shot landed to spots where I wanted them, where I knew I could sink a birdie,” said Lascuña.