Catlin leads by 2 | Inquirer Sports

Catlin leads by 2

American steals PH Open spotlight from local stars Tabuena, Que
By: - Editor / @RLuarcaINQ
/ 02:31 AM March 03, 2017

Miguel Tabuena. AFP FILE PHOTO

Miguel Tabuena. AFP FILE PHOTO

STA. ROSA, Laguna—John Catlin defied the winds that hounded the late flights Thursday to tally a four-under-par 68 and post a two-stroke lead at the start of the Solaire Philippine Open at The Country Club here.

The reedy 6-foot-1 American, born in Sacramento, California, combined power hitting with accurate putting to move ahead of Filipino hotshots Miguel Tabuena and Angelo Que and four others who were at 70.


“It (course) was very difficult,” said Catlin, who has played six times in the Philippines but is a first-timer at TCC. “The wind is tough in the afternoon. Shooting 4-under was a bonus.”


The 26-year-old Catlin birdied Nos. 10 and 12 before stringing birdies from No. 6 to 8, from as short as three feet to as long as 25 feet, that negated his lone bogey on No. 9. He had nines of 34-34.

Sharing second place with Tabuena and Que are American Will Cannon, Taiwanese Lin Wen-tang, Japanese Toru Nakajima and Englishman Steve Lewton.

Tabuena, winner of the rain-shortened PH Open at Luisita in 2015 and ruler of the TCC Invitationals three weeks back, and Que, the 2008 PH Open champion, fashioned out their scores in contrasting fashions.

Tabuena got stymied by missed birdie putts at the back, while Que, also the runaway winner of the Anvaya Invitational in Morong, Bataan, two weeks ago, drilled most of his.

“I couldn’t make my putts in the back nine,” Tabuena told his coach Joel Altea, who, however, expressed satisfaction with his prized ward’s performance.

“It’s harder if you will be doing the chasing,” said Altea, who bared that Tabuena could have gone 3 or 4-under had his birdie putts, particularly on No. 10, dropped.


Tabuena birdied No. 3 from four feet, No. 4 from 15 feet and No. 8 from 7 before being sidetracked by a missed green bogey on No. 9 for a 34.

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TAGS: Golf, Solaire Philippine Open

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