TRECE MARTIREZ, Cavite— Miguel Tabuena now seems to know how to finish off tournaments.
The 18-year-old saved his best for the final round of the ICTSI Sherwood Hills Classic here yesterday, shooting a six-under-par 66 to clinch the third title of his young career by eight shots.
Tabuena, whose classic meltdown in the final round of the Philippine Open against Mardan Mamat of Singapore at Wack Wack last year remains a blot in his two-year pro career, gunned down seven birdies to wind up with a 12-under 276 total.
The victory was worth P450,000 for Tabuena, whose only bogey came on the 17th when he was beyond reach.
“I am very happy with the way I played the whole tournament,” said Tabuena, who had earlier rounds of 71, 69 and 70.
Rookie Edward Reyes, who vaulted into contention with a 66 on Thursday, closed with a 69 to finish two strokes ahead of Charles Hong and Japanese qualifier Toru Nakajima.
Hong shot a 72, while Nakajima, second placer to Dutchman Guido Van Der Valk in the Q-School, floundered with a 75 for 286.
The veteran Mars Pucay was the last player to finish under par, carding a 70 for 287 even as Ferdie Aunzo and Tomo Yoshinaga, another Japanese who came from the Q-School, submitted a 72 and 68, respectively, for 288.
Jay Bayron, the first-round leader who ballooned to an 82 in the second round, returned the tournament’s best score, a 65, to tie for eighth at 289 together with Van Der Valk (70) and Mark Fernando (71).
Tabuena, who started the day with a one-shot lead over Nakajima, hit the turn seven ahead of the Japanese after birdies on the fourth and fifth holes with Hong emerging as the closest pursuer after a front nine 35 moved him within five.
The final scores (Filipino unless stated): 276—M. Tabuena 71-69-70-66; 284—E. Reyes 78-66-71-69; 286—C. Hong 70-72-72-72, T. Nakajima (JPN) 73-70-68-75; 287—M. Pucay 74-70-74-70; 288—T. Yoshinaga (JPN) 73-76-71-68, F. Aunzo 70-73-73-72; 289—J. Bayron 68-82-74-65, G. Van Der Valk (NED) 74-76-59-70, M. Fernando 74-71-73-71; 291—R. Sasutil 73=71-76-71.