Still sizzling Tabuena paces Manila Masters by 3
Miguel Tabuena gunned down six birdies on the way to a 5-under-par 67 Wednesday and a three-shot lead over Japan’s Toru Nakajima and Korean Anthony Kim and two local bets after the opening round of the ICTSI Manila Masters at Eastridge in Binangonan, Rizal.
The 20-year-old Tabuena, the defending champion who is seeking a second straight victory after ruling the Splendido leg last week, carved out a 34-33 card under the lift, clean and place rule and could have pulled farther away if not for a bogey on the par-4 17th hole.
Nakajima, the first foreigner to win on Tour, and Kim, a namesake of the long-hitting American who is a former Philippine Open champion, assembled nines of 37-33s. Rufino Bayron and Jun Bernis also carded 70s.
“My game held despite the muddy fairways,” Tabuena, already a five-time winner on Tour, said.
Sophomore pro Keanu Jahns shot a 71 in his strongest start so far. Also shooting 71s were Clyde Mondilla, Dante Becierra, Ryan Lam, Miguel Ochoa and Carl Santos-Ocampo.
Angelo Que, the runner-up by a stroke to Tabuena in Tagaytay, assembled a 72 like Elmer Salvador and Antonio Lascuña, a last-minute entry who skipped the pro-am on Tuesday.
Frankie Miñoza, the revered veteran, led a four-man group that shot 74s.