Red-hot Tabuena pulls away by 3 after a 62; Ababa rises


MIGUEL Tabuena turned Camp John Hay upside down for the third straight round yesterday, firing a six-under-par 62 to zoom ahead by three shots over Jonel Ababa heading into the final day of the P2.5-million ICTSI leg in Baguio.

Bucking a bum stomach, Tabuena played bogey-free again and broke out of a tie for the lead at the start of the day with a 19-under 185 as Jonel Ababa assumed the role of new pursuer after shooting a 60 for 188.

Rufino Bayron, who was tied with Tabuena after two rounds, returned a 69—the only over-par card among players in the Top 20—and fell seven strokes behind.

Tabuena gunned down four birdies and putted from the fringe for an eagle 3 on the 17th to gain tremendous momentum in his hunt for a second straight leg win in the circuit after topping the Sherwood Hills Championship pulling away.

“How I wish that this is a 54-hole tournament,” said Tabuena, referring to this event that was played for just three rounds and won by Marvin Dumandan last year.

Jay Bayron, Rufino’s elder brother, put himself in contention by matching Tabuena’s 62 to move up just five strokes behind.

Antonio Lascuña, the Order of Merit winner last year, fired a 63 for 191, in a tie with Zanie Boy Gialon who shot a 62, Clyde Mondilla (64) and Michael Bibat (67).

Ababa, who birdied the first four holes, also had an eagle on the par-4 eighth which he almost drove, but he was slowed down by a missed-green bogey on the 11th.

“I hope to improve on my putting since this will spell the difference in the final round,” said Ababa, the former National Caddies’ Open champion who won three legs in his rookie season in 2011.

The event is being sponsored by ICTSI and backed by Nike Golf, Empire Golf and Sports Shop, Mizuno, Titleist, Srixon, Foot Joy, Callaway, Pacsports, Custom Clubmakers, Cleveland Golf and Sharp with Balls, Studio 23, and Inquirer Golf as media partners.

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