Lascu├▒a bags Sabah Masters in playoff
MANILA, Philippines - Antonio Lascuña scored his breakthrough championship in the ASEAN PGA Tour on an incredible final-day performance netting him the rich Sabah Masters crown at Sutera Harbour Golf and Country Club course in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia yesterday.
Lascuña rallied from five shots down in the closing round and beat Singaporean ace Mardan Mamat on the third hole of a sudden-death playoff for the stirring victory worth $12,918.
The Filipino shotmaker made a brilliant sand save on the 72nd hole and when they returned to the 18th for the play-off he made superb up-and-downs for pars on the first two extra holes.
Mamat found water with his second shot on the third extra hole to yield the crown to Lascuña.
“It was a great battle with Mardan and it’s a relief to finally win (in the ASEAN Tour),” said Lascuña, a multi-titled campaigner on the local circuit.
Another Filipino, Anthony Fernando, joint second here in 2011, shot a 65 for third place.
Lascuña started the day five shots off Mamat, but forced the sudden death with a five-under-par 66 for a 273 total.
Lascuña’s magical short game towards the end carried him to victory.
“I always told myself to be patient and not force things. I felt a win would come eventually,” said Lascuña, shooting four birdies on the front and one on the homeward stretch on his bogey-free final round.
Mamat, chasing his third ASEAN PGA title, stumbled on the back with bogeys on 14 and 18.
“I ran out of steam a bit but it has been a great week and a good start to the year. We are all happy Antonio finally got the monkey off his back,” said 45-year-old Mamat.
Malaysian Nicholas Fung finished eighth after a 74 but still emerged as the season’s Order of Merit champion with winnings of US$31,884. He won the Palembang Musi Championship in Indonesia.
The next event on the ASEAN PGA Tour is the season-opening Singha Esan Open from Feb. 14-17 at Singha Park Golf Club in Khon Kaen.