Tabuena slips to tied 30th after 73

Jan Veran - Philstar.com
Tabuena slips to tied 30th after 73
Miguel Tabuena

MANILA, Philippines – Miguel Tabuena holed out with a birdie to avert an impending skid, enduring a two-over 73 to secure his place in the weekend play of the Korea Open, now led by Kyungnam Kang, in Cheonan, South Korea Friday.

Tabuena, who sizzled with an eagle-spiked front nine 33, faced a series of errors on the back nine, conceding six strokes over an eight-hole stretch. But a birdie on the par-5 closing hole salvaged what could have been a disastrous finish for the Filipino ace at the Woo Jeong Hills Country Club.

Adding his first-round 70, the ICTSI-backed campaigner slipped from a joint 16th position to a tie for 30th with 11 others at 143. While this was well above the three-over cut, it left him significantly behind Kang, who showcased remarkable consistency from tee to green, firing a second straight 67 to lead by two strokes at 134.

Minkyu Kim shot a 66 to secure second place at 136, while Younghand Song posted a 138 after a 68.

Tabuena had positioned himself to challenge the frontrunners with back-to-back birdies from Nos. 4 and 5 and an eagle on the par-5 eighth, offsetting a miscue on No. 6. However, the par-71 layout’s back nine proved more challenging, with three strokes lost in the first two holes, including a double bogey on the 11th. Subsequent bogeys on Nos. 13, 15, and 17 pulled him down the standings, but a birdie on the final hole placed him back in the middle of the pack.

In the Asian Development Tour, Angelo Que matched par 70 after back-to-back 72s although he stood way behind Rahji Gangjee after three rounds of the Selangor Masters at the Kelab Golf Seri Selangor in Malaysia Friday.

Que managed three birdies but fumbled with an equal number of bogeys, resulting in a 34-36 and a 54-hole total of 214.

He tied with 10 others for 18th place, 15 strokes behind Gangjee, who pulled away by five with a 199 after a 67. Deyen Lawson posted a 204 after a 64, while Rucnhanapong Youprayong rallied with a 66 to share third spot with Marcus Lim, who carded a 71, at 205.

Que was the lone Filipino player to advance in the $175,000 event as Justin Quiban (71-148), Sean Ramos (74-151), and Gabriel Manotoc (84-160) missed the cut at 144.

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