Duo Carry Local Dreams

Fri 10 Feb 2012

Duo Carry Local Dreams


Manila, February 10: Local duo Antonio Lascuna and Ferdinand Aunzo battled into the joint clubhouse lead with American Ben Fox in the early stages of the second round of the ICTSI Philippine Open on Friday.

Aunzo fired a two-under-par 70 for a two-day total of two-under-par 142 at the demanding Wack Wack Golf and Country Club’s East course, which did not yield too many red numbers on an overcast day in the Philippines capital city.


Veteran Lascuna scrambled to a 71 while Fox carded a 73 in the US$300,000 Asian Tour event which is Asia’s oldest national championship. The ICTSI Philippine Open is being beamed live on the Asian Tour’s global television platform of over 200 countries.

The treacherous Wack Wack claimed more victims on Friday. Joint overnight leader Anthony Kang of the United States was five under for the tournament with two holes to play but double bogeyed the par three eighth hole and tripled bogeyed the next hole after finding water to settle for an even par 144 total.

Another local hope Mars Pucay was also four under with three holes to play but ran up a seven at the par four seventh hole and bogeyed the eighth coming home.

The 41-year-old Lascuna is chasing a first victory on the Asian Tour and put himself in position for a dream victory with a battling performance. He traded three birdies against two bogeys which left him beaming from ear to ear.


“I’m very happy. My driving is okay and I putted good. Pins were difficult today. Even par today, one under is a good score,” said Lascuna, who spent most of the pre-season preparation on his putting technique.

Competing on home soil attracts immense pressure, especially when he is chasing a first major professional victory but Lascuna is determined enjoy his presence on the leaderboard.

“I think I have a chance. I’ll just enjoy the game. I’m playing good now,” he said.  “It’s exciting. Every Philippine Open, I have been contending. Last year, I was even par after two rounds but was hit by gout at the weekend and couldn’t play well in the weekend. I finished third in 2002 when Rick Gibson was the champion. After the last round, I’ll answer your question on how it feels if I can win it. I need a couple of two under par rounds over the weekend. Six under will be a good score. I’ve kept my Asian Tour card for the last five years. So there’s no’s pressure on me”.

Fox was in contention in the season-opening Zaykabar Myanmar Open last week before finishing equal sixth. He put himself in good shape for a maiden Asian Tour victory despite not being on top of his game.


I just played terrible today. I know I happen to be up there but it didn’t feel like I played well. I was sloppy tee to green, made some good up and downs in the middle of the round which was important and it kept me in it. Short game saved me, minus a couple of three putts,” said the 24-year-old American, who is playing in his third season on the Asian Tour.

“My biggest goal coming into the year was to get into contention more often. It was nice to get the lead in the first round last week and I was up there the whole way and again this week. I’m in good shape. It’s nice to be in the thick of things for two weeks in a row.”

Filipino teenager Miguel Tabuena battled to a level par 72 with one birdie against lone bogey.It was a good grind for me. Although I hit a lot of greens, my putts weren’t easy. I had big breaks and downhill putts. I’m glad I shot even par. I’m playing solid. My goal was to make the cut and now that I’ve done it, I will be more aggressive,” said the 17-year-old.

“It’s exciting for me. It’s my second time being in contention as a pro. I like being in contention. It’s a lot of fun.”

But he conceded that he would need to focus well during the weekend to stay in contention. “It’s very difficult (to focus). The Filipinos expect us to compete for our own national Open but it’s good as we have a lot of support, especially my family who is here every day and that’s why I’ve been playing well. I’ve got a lot of support on twitter as well,” he said.

Korea’s Mo Joong-kyung carded a 71 to stay one off the clubhouse lead. “The course is really tough and this course never goes low. You just try to make a putt,”