Tabuena wrests one-shot lead over Lascuña
MIGUEL Tabuena upstaged veterans Antonio Lascuña and Cassius Casas on the back nine to fire a second straight 6-under-par 66 yesterday and grab a one-stroke lead in the third round of the P3.5 million ICTSI Pilipinas Invitational at Manila Southwoods’ Legends course in Carmona, Cavite.
Tied with Casas while trailing Lascuña by one at the start of the round, Tabuena fumbled with an early bogey and even fell behind by four before the 19-year-old stunned his fancied flightmates with a mind-boggling five-birdie splurge from No. 13 to move on top at 15-under 201.
Impressive at the front, Lascuña turned mediocre in the last nine holes where he settled for pars for a 68 but still stayed in the hunt for a third straight victory on the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour with a 202 total.
Casas missed joining Lascuña at second with a missed-green bogey on the 18th, but his second 68 in three days kept him in the thick of the fight for the top P650,000 purse at 203 going into the final 18 holes.
“I didn’t let my early bogey bother me,” said Tabuena, who failed to rescue par from the bunker on No. 5. He bounced back with birdies on the two par-5s on Nos. 6 and 8 before he caught fire coming home.
Seeking to clinch the second of four P3.5 million titles after beating Elmer Salvador at ICTSI Manila Masters at Eastridge last June, Tabuena buried four of his back-nine birdies inside five feet and highlighted his blistering finish with a 20-footer on No. 16.
“I’ve really been working hard on my putting,” said Tabuena.
Lascuña did finish without a bogey yesterday but after gunning four birdies at the front, failed to hit any birdie on the final nine.
Anthony Fernando also moved into contention with a 66 for 204.