Tabuena cards 70, trails by 3 in Korea Open

Jan Veran - Philstar.com
Tabuena cards 70, trails by 3 in Korea Open
This handout photo taken on May 5, 2024 and provided by GS Caltex Maekyung Open Organizing Committee shows Philippines' Miguel Tabuena teeing off at the first hole during the final round of the Asian Tour's GS Caltex Maekyung Open golf championship in Seongnam.
Photo by Handout / GS Caltex Maekyung Open Organizing Committee / AFP

MANILA, Philippines – Miguel Tabuena turned in a respectable three-birdie, two-bogey round of 70, placing him three strokes behind leaders Sangmoon Bae and two others at the start of the Korea Open at Woo Jeong Hills Country Club in Cheonan, South Korea Thursday.

Tabuena faced challenges with his drives and approaches, hitting only six fairways and missing seven greens in regulation. However, he compensated with a strong putting performance, requiring just 28 putts to navigate the demanding par-71 course, resulting in a 36-34 round.

The ICTSI-backed Tabuena, who is looking to add another Asian Tour title to his win in India last year, secured a position tied for 16th in the host country’s premier championship.

Meanwhile, Sangmoon Bae turned back the clock with a remarkable six-birdie, two-bogey round of 67, tying with Kyungnam Kang and Sungyeol Kwon for the lead in the 72-hole, $1 million championship, marking the Asian Tour’s return.

The trio leads by one stroke over former Philippine Open champion Steve Lewton, Jinjae Byun, Chan Shih-chang, and Chonlatit Chuenboonngam.

In the Asian Development Tour, Angelo Que started strong with a two-under on the back nine but stumbled on the front, ending with a two-over 72 in the first round of the Selangor Masters at Kelab Golf Seri Selangor in Malaysia Wednesday.

Que, a three-time former Asian Tour winner and recent Philippine Masters champion, is four strokes behind leader Rahil Gangjee, who shot a 66 to take a one-stroke lead over Amir Nazrin and Runchanapong Youprayong, both of whom carded 67s.

As the second round of the $175,000 tournament progresses, Que hovers just above the projected cut line at three-over.

Competing alongside Que, Gabriel Manotoc and Sean Ramos, fresh off a victory at the ICTSI Lakewood Championship two weeks ago, faced early setbacks with identical rounds of 77. However, both are determined to mount a comeback and fight for contention in the second round.

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