Quiban, Tabuena waver in Mercuries Taiwan

Jan Veran - Philstar.com
Quiban, Tabuena waver in Mercuries Taiwan
Justin Quiban
PGA Tour

MANILA, Philippines — Justin Quiban scrambled for a second straight 73 Saturday to slip to joint 32nd while Miguel Tabuena tumbled from a share of eighth to tied 42nd on a horrible 80 in the third round of the Mercuries Taiwan Masters heading to a two-man duel at the Taiwan Golf and Country Club.

Tabuena’s game went on a downswing after a birdie on the first hole as he stumbled with three double bogeys and four bogeys against one more birdie for that eight-over card, his worst round in a long while.

With a 219 total, the ICTSI-backed Tabuena fell way down at 42nd, now 14 strokes behind local ace Chan Shih-chang and Rashid Khan, who pooled identical 205s after 69 and 73, respectively.

Quiban, who tied for 14th in last week’s Yeangder TPC, also struggled with a three-birdie against a double-bogey and two-bogey round at the challenging par-72 layout, his 217 aggregate dropping him to 32nd and virtually out of the race even for another Top 15 finish.

But the title chase turned to be a toss-up between Chan and Khan as the former hit five birdies against two bogeys to catch the latter at the helm as the Indian wilted under pressure and fumbled with a 73 after seizing a four-shot lead halfway through with a solid 65 Friday.

He parred the first six holes but as the pressure mounted, Khan cracked and made bogeys on Nos. 7, 10 and 14 although his birdies on Nos. 13 and 15 put him back in the title hunt.

Over in Japan, Juvic Pagunsan also floundered with a three-over 74 and stayed out of the title race with a 213 for a share of 32nd in the third round of the Vantelin Tokai Classic still controlled by Yuto Katsuragawa in Aichi Prefecture Saturday.

Pagunsan, who moved to joint 19th with a 69 Friday, birdied the first hole but yielded three strokes on the par-5 No. 2 and made four bogeys in the next seven for a frontside 41.

He did recover with four birdies in the first six holes at the back but holed out with a bogey for a 33 at the par-71 Miyoshi Country Club layout.

Katsuragawa moved in the threshold of a second victory this year despite slowing down with a 67 after a 63 in the second round, his 198 total putting him four strokes clear of Riki Kawamoto, who took the challenger’s role at 202 after a 66.

The 23-year-old Katsuragawa, a former Manila Southwoods stalwart, scored a breakthrough on the Japan Golf Tour in the ISPS Handa in Ibaraki last April. He also dished out three top three finishes, including a third place effort in the Panasonic Open in Hyogo last week.

He finished solo second in the Token Home Mate Cup at Mie Prefecture last March and tied for second in the Asia Pacific Open Championship, also in Ibaraki last May.


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