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Lascuña nips Salvador for title

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Tony Lascuña capped another dominant season yesterday by edging Elmer Salvador in sudden death to win the P3.5-million ICTSI Tournament Players Championship at the Wack Wack east course.

Lascuña rallied from three shots down with a closing 70 to tie Salvador at eight-under 280 and secured the victory with a routine par on the first playoff hole at No. 18.

Salvador opened the door for Lascuña with an errant tee shot on the final hole in regulation and missed the fairway again in his second trip on the 18th.

“I was very lucky in the last two holes. It was uncharacteristic for Elmer (Salvador) to hit back-to-back bad drives so it came as a surprise and also a blessing because it opened an opportunity for me,” said Lascuña who pocketed P650,000.

The victory was Lascuña’s fifth this season and boosted his earnings to R3.7 million. He regained the Order of Merit title he lost to Miguel Tabuena last year.

“It’s a nice feeling closing out the season with a win – and securing the OOM crown,” said Lascuña.

It was a sorry finish for Salvador who led by one shot going into the final hole.

“I thought I landed on the fairway,” said Salvador, who settled for P430,000. “But when I saw it, the ball was plugged in a muddy spot under the trees.”

In the playoff hole, Salvador hit his drive to the right, forcing him to play out and get on the par-4, hole in three shots. He missed a 15-footer to save par.

Jerson Balasabas, the third man in the final group, finished with a 74 for a 286.

Zanieboy Gialon also rallied with a 69 to tie American Micah Shin (74) at 287 while Frankie Miñoza ended up solo sixth at 288 after a 73.

Cassius Casas bounced back with a 70 for seventh at 290, Toru Nakajima of Japan carded a 71 to share eighth place with compatriot Ryomi Miki, who hobbled with a 75, at 291 while Benjie Magada matched par 72 for a 292 and wound up 10th.

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