Tabuena seizes command
MIGUEL Tabuena roared to a three-stroke lead over Elmer Salvador by shooting a flawless 8-under-par 64 yesterday in the third round of the ICTSI Palos Verdes Classic in Davao.
As two-day leader Michael Bibat collapsed with a 75, Tabuena gunned down five of his eight birdies on a six-hole stretch bridging the two nines to wrest top spot with a 20-under 196 total going into today’s final round.
Salvador kept Tabuena, who is seeking a second title this year, within striking distance after a 66 but the other pursuers seemed out of it with three-time Merit winner Antonio Lascuña now nine adrift despite a 66—his best round of the week.
“I have gained momentum playing five weeks in a row, so I’ve been hitting it well,” Tabuena said.
Clyde Mondilla was tied with Lascuña at 205 after a 68, with Bibat another shot behind.
Bibat scored a 64 and a 67 in the first two days and was looking ripe for a second career title before stumbling with four bogeys against a single birdie in the third round.
Ferdie Aunzo, one behind Bibat after the first round, didn’t crack par for the first time, his 72 leaving him 12 shots off and without a shot at the championship.
Tabuena, who won the Splendido leg last March, actually slowed down on his final five holes by settling for pars, ruing close chances on the 14th and 18th holes after admittedly getting over-eager.
“I should have let them (birdies) happen, he said. “I tried too hard.”
Musong R. Castillo
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