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For Lascuña, a shot at redemption

DASMARINAS, Cavite – Tony Lascuña hopes to rebound from a failed bid at Luisita and ride the momentum of a pro-am victory as he heads the local charge against an elite foreign cast in the ICTSI Orchard Golf Championship reeling off today at the Orchard’s Player course here.

“This is a big morale boost but I still have to play quality golf in the next four days. The field is strong and anything can happen here at Orchard,” said Lascuña, who ruled Monday’s pro-am tournament of the $60,000 event put up by ICTSI with amateur partners John Laurel, Juanchit Jose and Siegfried Ramos.

The foursome pooled a 17-under 55 to nip 2014 Orchard Championship winner Rufino Bayron, Arnel Paras, Paul Griba and David Astejada, who assembled a 56, while Michael Bibat, Alex Dy, Amy Dy and Bien Cerbo placed third with a 57.

Lascuña, the reigning Philippine Golf Tour Order of Merit winner, actually moved within one of Micah Shin halfway through the Luisita Championship last week but closed out with a pair of 71s to settle for joint fourth with Jhonnel Ababa and American Brett Munson.

He rued his poor putting in the last two rounds but the veteran campaigner vowed to make up for the slack in this week’s event organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. which offers a top purse of $10,500.

“I’m ready and I feel good now with my stroke. I just hope it will click in all four days,” said Lascuña, who drew Bayron and last week’s playoff loser Mathiam Keyser of South Africa in the 7:45 a.m. flight on No. 1.

Keyser, who lost to absentee Miguel Tabuena in sudden death in Tarlac, also vowed to complete an unfinished business with a triumphant campaign here, along with a slew of foreign aces, including Solaire Philippine Open champion Steve Lewton, John Catlin, Nicolas Paez and John Michael O’Toole of the US and Korean Park Jun Sung.

Keanu Jahns, who rallied with a solid, eagle-aided 65 to snare solo third at Luisita, is also expected to figure prominently along with fellow locals Ababa, Mars Pucay, Frankie Miñoza, Mhark Fernando, Gerald Rosales, Cassius Casas, Jay Bayron, Rufino Bayron and Elmer Salvador.

After missing the action last week, the crack Thai group is back on the local circuit, all gunning for a crack at the crown, led by Panulat Muenlek, Nitithorn Thippong, Kasidit Lepkurte, Donlapachai Niyomchon, Natthapong Niyomchon, Annop Tangkamolprasert, Poosit Supuramai and veteran Wisut Arjanawat.

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