DAVAO. — Tony Lascuña kept his fiery form coming off a big Philippine Golf Tour Asia victory in Taiwan, sizzling with a seven-under 65 to open a huge three-stroke lead over surprise challenger Gerald Rosales Wednesday at the start of the ICTSI Apo Challenge at the Apo Golf and Country Club here.
Lascuña actually fumbled with a bogey on the par-3 11th when he kicked off his campaign at the backside of the quaint layout where he grew up, worked as a caddie and honed his skills. But after shaking off his early struggle, there was no stopping one of the best players to have come out of the country’s spawning ground of golf talents.
He birdied the par-5 13th from six feet, closed out his backside stint with three straight birdies, stretched his birdie-binge to four with another feat on the first hole, birdied the third next and holed with back-to-back birdies in hot conditions.
With a 32-33 start, the 48-year-old took control of the 78-player starting field which came into the P3 million event put up by ICTSI upbeat of their respective chances and ready to stop whatever momentum Lascuña had gained from his triumphant campaign abroad last Sunday that snapped a two-year title spell for one of the country’s multi-titled players.
“I played relatively good, everything’s in place,” said Lascuña, now on track to ending a two-year title spell on the PGT. “I just hope to sustain my form in the next three days.”
Rosales, a former winner of the all-local Philippine Open at Riviera in 2000, earlier found himself a bewildered clubhouse leader with a 68, highlighted by five birdies in the last seven holes at the front, until Lascuna came in with his scorching round.