Razor sharp Tabuena shoots 63 to set pace in Hong Kong
Miguel Tabuena wasn’t kidding when he said that he was playing some of his best golf of late.
Four days removed from his third Asian Tour win, Tabuena on Thursday gunned down eight birdies to shoot a seven-under-par 63 and take a one shot lead over Taichi Kho in the $1 million World City Championship at Hong Kong Golf Club.
Tabuena had his only hiccup on the par-4 16th after missing the fairway and green, otherwise, it was another sterling round for the 27-year-old, who rallied in India last Sunday with a seven-under-par 65 for The DGC title in New Delhi, India.
“I am riding some of the momentum from last week,” Tabuena told the Asian Tour website. “It was a nice feeling going bogey-free for 34 holes since last week, but I had an errant tee shot on No. 16. Other than that, I am playing great golf.”
After making the turn at 30 with four of his birdies, Tabuena was set to truly turn the well-manicured layout upside down with four straight birds from the 12th, only for that bad hole to come.
“It is very early in the week to even think about the finish line but if I play the way I am playing I know I will give myself a good chance, on the back nine on Sunday.”
Kho, a tour rookie, gunned down an eagle and five birdies that also went against a bogey and looks safe to making a third straight cut since coming out of Q-School last January.
“Just an incredible start,” said 22-year-old Kho. “I went out there with no expectations. I was quite nervous, there has been a lot going on with media. I was really nervous waking up this morning but once I stepped onto the tee it kind of flowed.”
The veteran Scott Hend, who won the HK Open on this same layout, fired a 65 despite a bum stomach to trail by just two.
“The golf course is playing a little different to what we are used to, just got to be a bit patient and figure the greens out. Felt like I had a better handle on them on the second nine,” said Hend.
Kho has played here many times and became a member in January and so was able to draw on his extensive local knowledge of the Composite Course—which uses the best of the holes from the New and Eden courses.