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Lascuña shoots 67, grabs lead

ANTIPOLO CITY – Tony Lascuña birdied No. 9 for the second straight day for a four-under 67 then pounced on Ferdie Aunzo’s late miscues to grab a one-stroke lead halfway through the P3 million ICTSI Forest Hills Championship yesterday at the Forest Hills Golf and Country Club here.

Aunzo looked headed to grabbing the second day honors after a fiery start that saw him gunning down an eagle but bogeyed two of the last three holes for a 66.

That enabled the reigning Order of Merit titlist to take charge at seven-under 135 as erstwhile leader Arnold Villacencio failed to match his hot birdie-laden 65 start with a bogey-riddled 74 despite the absence of the dreaded wind at the hilly layout.

“I just played my usual game,” said the 46-year-old Lascuña, one of the winningest players on the circuit. He added that he has nothing more to prove although he moved 36 holes away from nailing a follow-up to his one-shot win over Jay Bayron at Manila Masters at Eastridge last April and snapping a string of runner-up finishes at least in the last four legs of the tour sponsored by ICTSI.

“I’m not getting any younger and easily get tired unlike before,” added Lascuña, who birdied four of the first 11 holes from the back then holed out with that six-footer to negate his second straight bogey on the difficult par-4 No. 5.

While Lascuña savored his big finish, Aunzo rued his bogey-par-bogey windup that ruined what had been a remarkable start for a player who last won way back in 2009.

He birdied two of the first three holes, dropped a shot on the fourth but rolled in an eagle-putt from 20 feet off a solid rescue shot from 230 yards. He kept his charge with birdies in the next two and after a routine par on the ninth, he gunned down another pair to launch his backside bid.

Miguel Tabuena likewise rebounded from an opening 72 with an eagle-aided 68 although the European Tour campaigner still stood five strokes back at 140 with Joenard Rates, who also fought back with a 69.