Lascuna wins 1st ASEAN PGA Golf TournamentPosted on January 13th, 2013 under Sporting Gold
Antonio Lascuña, the hottest Filipino golfer last year, started 2013 in even more brilliant form, nipping Singapore’s Mardan Mamat in sudden death playoff yesterday to rule the $75,000 Sabah Masters Sutera Harbour Golf and Country Club.
The unassuming 42-year-old from Davao, No. 12 in the 2012 Asian Tour and runaway winner of the Philippine Golf Tour’s Order of Merit, beat Mamat on the third hole of their playoff after firing a 5-under-par 66 to tie the Singaporean after 72 holes at 273. Lascuña started the day five shots adrift of Mamat, who led after each of the first three rounds before closing with a 71 in the final event of the 2012-2013 season on the Asean PGA Tour.
It was the first Asean PGA Tour win for Lascuña, who actually nailed his second title in as many months. He topped the ICTSI Wack Wack championship three days before Christmas by nine shots. Lascuña’s magical short game carried him to victory on the par-four 18th. He made a brilliant sand save on his 72nd hole to tie Mamat and when they returned to the 18th for the playoff he made superb up-and-downs for par on the first two extra holes. Mamat found water on his second shot on the third extra hole to hand victory to his Filipino opponent, who earned $12,918.
Anthony Fernando, joint second here in 2011, shot a 65 to claim solo possession of third place. He won $4,726. “I am really excited. It is a relief to finally win,” said Lascuña, who has won 18 times on the Philippine domestic circuit. The Filipino, who tied for third when Mamat won the ICTSI Philippine Open last February, first started playing on the Asean PGA Tour in 2008 and accumulated two second place finishes, a couple of third places and a total of nine top fives. “I always told myself to be patient and not force things. I felt a win would come eventually,” added Lascuña, He carded a bogey-free round with four birdies on the front and one on the homeward stretch.
Mamat, chasing his third Asean PGA title, surprisingly stumbled on the back with bogeys on 14 and 18. Rufino Bayron closed with a 72 and finished at 284, a shot ahead of Mark Fernando, who rallied with a 67. Jonel Ababa and Jay Bayron wound up at 287. Malaysian Nicholas Fung ended in eighth position after carding a 74 and finished the season as the Order of Merit champion with winnings of $31,884.