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Lascuña and Ababa Dominate as Top Seeds Advance, Jahns Crashes Out

Antonio Lascuña, the relatively short-hitting defending champion who isn’t giving himself much of a chance to repeat, on Tuesday demolished young Gab Manotoc, 5&4, to advance to the second round of the ICTSI The Country Club Match Play Invitational that was stirred up by Elmer Salvador’s upset win.

The 54-year-old Lascuña got out of the gates hard for early control and then showed some short game magic that resulted in five birdies against just a bogey to win with plenty to spare and set a second round match with Zannie Boy Gialon.

“I just played so well,” Lascuña told the Inquirer in Filipino as he didn’t mince words praising Manotoc for his length. “I think I just was able to minimize my mistakes and capitalize on the breaks I had scrambling.”

Salvador, meanwhile, showed Keanu Jahns, last year’s runner-up, the door with a 4&3 win highlighted by a four-hole win in a seven-hole stretch from No. 8 of the windswept TCC layout that took the fight out of the long-hitting Filipino-German.

Jonel Ababa, the top seed, Miguel Tabuena, Justin Quiban, Angelo Que and Rupert Zaragosa also bundled out separate foes to advance, with Ababa took out Ferdie Aunzo with ease, 3&2, with Tabuena showing LJ Go the door with a 3&2 decision.

“I don’t know how I won that one,” Salvador, who came out of semiretirement this year, said in Filipino.

Zaragosa bundled out the veteran Mars Pucay 3&2 to set up a second round clash with Tabuena, who is running No. 2 in the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit race.

Que, meanwhile, ripped Korean Min Seong Kim with an early burst, going 3-up after six holes and then coasting to a 7&5 triumph. INQ