Tabuena, Avaricio pace ICTSI Splendido

The Philippine Star
Tabuena, Avaricio pace ICTSI Splendido
Miguel Tabuena.
STAR / File

LAUREL, Batangas, Philippines — Far from peak form, Miguel Tabuena still flourished and got to the top with a scorching finish, birdying the last three holes to shoot a six-under 66 and get past Clyde Mondilla at the start of the ICTSI Splendido Taal Championship here yesterday.

Mondilla, in an earlier flight, took command majority of the way with a seven-under card after 14 holes before settling for a 67 on a couple of late mishaps at Splendido Taal Golf Club as the field played preferred lies in the wet course following days of rain.

Tabuena, who beat Mondilla on the second playoff hole to claim the ICTSI Luisita crown last March, also made a run of four birdies in a five-hole stretch from No. 7 but reeled back with a wet bogey on the 13th before closing out with a blistering run of birdies for a 34-32 that put him on a very familiar place.

“I didn’t really hit my best. I got to a very slow start and didn’t birdie the early holes. But I got it going on No. 8 and was able to make some grounds (after the bogey) by birdying the last three holes,” said the two-time Philippine Open champion Tabuena, also a two-time winner here at Splendido.

Mondilla, who marked his runner-up finishes at Luisita and Caliraya with final round rallies, had set his title drive in motion in the P2 million event with a fiery start but lost his momentum at the finish, bogeying Nos. 15 and 18 for a 33-34.

Meanwhile, Chanelle Avaricio looked to make another title run on the Ladies Philippine Golf Tour, firing a solid two-under 70 and wresting a one-shot lead over Sunshine Baraquiel and amateur Mafy Singson.

Putting premium on driving and ball control, the Hallow Ridge and Caliraya legs winner snapped a par-game with a birdie on No. 7 then hit two solid shots on the closing par-4 hole and drilled in a six-footer to complete a pair of 35s.

That proved to be the best as Baraquiel struggled on the unpredictable surface after hitting all greens and Singson went on a roller-coaster ride after an eagle on the par-5 second.

“I played steady with two birdies and no bogeys,” said Avaricio, who lost by three to Chihiro Ikeda in the ICTSI Mount Malarayat leg in Lipa City, Batangas two weeks ago.

Baraquiel had a tough time wrestling with her putter, ending up with 36 putts for a four-birdie against one double bogey and a bogey card and a 38-33.


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