Quiban bounces back with solid 67; Que survives but Tabuena falls

Jan Veran - Philstar.com
Quiban bounces back with solid 67; Que survives but Tabuena falls
This handout from the Asian Tour taken and released on February 24, 2022 shows Philippines' Justin Quiban playing a shot during round one of the Royal's Cup golf tournament in Kanchanaburi.
Paul Lakatos / Asian Tour / AFP

MANILA, Philippines – Justin Quiban showcased his true potential in a remarkable turnaround following a scrambling opening round 71, coming through with a solid five-under 67 to get into the mix halfway through the International Series Oman in Muscat Friday.

Banking on his exceptional iron play, Quiban navigated the challenges of the Al Mouj Golf Course, securing birdies on two par-3s and creating birdie opportunities with precision on three par-4s, resulting in an impressive 33-34 card.

His inspiring frontside finish included back-to-back birdies from No. 8, a momentum he aims to sustain as the surviving 72-player field heads into the pivotal round of the $2 million championship Saturday.

With a 138 total, the Filipino standout surged from 37th to joint 11th with three others, five strokes behind new leader Mito Pereira of Chile, who sizzled with a bogey-free 66 to take command at 133.

He led Matthew Wolff by one as the American fired a tournament-best 63 to seize second place at 134 while Peter Uihlein of the US and Aussie Kevin Yuan assembled identical 135s after a 66 and 68, respectively, for joint third.

Meanwhile, Angelo Que fought back from the brink, shooting a 70 after a 74 as he made the cut at 144.

Miguel Tabuena, however, fell by the wayside, carding a 75 after a 71 and missing the cut by two.

The ICTSI-backed shotmaker shot three birdies but faltered with two bogeys and two double bogeys as he strung up 37-38 to end up at tied 82nd at 146.

After a 32-putt showing in the first round, Quiban finished with 29 putts, including two one-putts to save pars on Nos. 17 and 6.

The three-time Philippine Golf Tour winner birdied Nos. 11 and 18 then gained another stroke on the second before closing out with back-to-back birdies.

Facing potential elimination, Que overcame a couple of mishaps with birdies on Nos. 12, 3, 7, 8, salvaging a spot in the weekend play of the kickoff leg of the money-rich International Series, a pathway to LIV Golf.

First round leader David Puig, meanwhile, turned from awesome to awful as he struggled with a 75 after a 65, a 10-stroke turnaround that dropped him to joint 25th.

Flawless in the first 18 hopes, the Spaniard, winner of last week’s Malaysia Open, the first leg of this year’s Asian Tour, hit three birdies but fumbled with three bogeys and a disastrous triple-bogey 6 on the par-3 No. 5. 

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