TARLAC – Miguel Tabuena won a pivotal two-shot swing on No. 12 to take control, then outlasted Ira Alido in a clash of skills and nerves to card a 65 and retain the ICTSI Luisita Championship crown by two here Friday. .
On the outside looking in most of the way, Tabuena fell even by two shots on Alido with a bogey on the first hole, but found his touch and rhythm in time to draw the third-round leader into a shootout after the duo split from the cage. leaderboard with furious frontal assaults on the Luisita Golf and Country Club course.
When the smoke cleared, Tabuena emerged almost unscathed and again won the Robert Trent Jones-designed layout, just as he did when he ousted Clyde Mondilla in sudden death here last year.
“The turning point was actually when I caught Ira on the ninth hole, we were even behind No. 9. But there were still so many holes left,” said Tabuena, who after a torrid start rattled off five birdies in the next eight. holes and tied Alido, who shot four of his birdies in the same stretch for a 12-over total.
But after Alido regained the lead with back-to-back birdies to start his comeback race against Tabuena’s birdie on No. 10, the latter countered with a feat of his own on the par-4 12th, which Alido cheated by two shots for the crucial swing. which pushed the winner of the last Asian Tour DGC Open for the first time.
He never relinquished the lead, taking the next one to within two with another birdie, then after the duo traded bogeys on the tough No. 15, Tabuena birdied the par-5 16th all but put the result in doubt.
He bogeyed the last two and finished with brilliant closing rounds of 32-33 for a 72-hole total of 14-under 274 on a course he calls home.
“It’s just something about this course that I feel very comfortable with. This is my fifth win in Luisita alone,” said Tabuena, who bagged P360,000 of the P2 million total prize money in the fourth round of this year’s Philippine Golf Tour.
“It’s something about the green, the atmosphere, the history, the people watching every year. It feels like home and I hope I have time to come back next year,” said Tabuena, who also saw a lot of promise from the 22-year-old Alido.
“Iran is a hell of a player, he just won a few months ago and he’s got a lot going for him,” added the former Philippine Open champion here in 2015, who also thanked ICTSI, Monde Nissin and Lexus for his to support the campaign.
Alido carded a final-hole 68 and 276, with second place still well in store for the young expeditioner who rallied from five shots under to capture the PGT Bacolod leg crown last March. He pocketed P236,000.
“Nothing really went wrong. I just had a few bad breaks. Overall it went really well. Miguel just played better,” Alido said. “We went back and forth, but there were shots I wish I could take back.”
Fidel Concepcion also developed a promising career with a third-place 66 to go with three birdies on No. 13 for a 279, while Mondilla birdied five of six holes. No. 10 shot 66 and tied for fourth at 281.
Zaniboy Giallon and Michael Bibat tied for fifth at 282 after 69 and 70 respectively, while recent Kaliraya Springs leg winner Tony Lascuna was tied for seventh at 284 with Frankie Minoza, who slipped with a 75.
Minoza, who continued to impress with his good form and strength to join Tabuena and Mars Puka for second, just one stroke behind Alido, remained in the mix on 35 after 54 holes by ICTSI. But the severity. Playing in hot conditions for the fourth straight day took its toll on the 63-year-old’s campaign, who bogeyed No. 11, two-shotted No. 17 and fell short of another error.
Jonelle Abeba also shot a 68 for ninth at 285, while Angelo Kue missed the card after 14 holes. The three-time Asian Tour winner shot six over the final four holes, marred by double bogeys on Nos. 16 and 18.
He tied for 10th at 286 with a 74 with Japan’s Atsushi Ueda and second-round co-leader Jay Byron, who shot 73 and 76, respectively.
Pukei, meanwhile, birdied the first hole to tie Alido, but a wet bogey on the par-2 par 3 put him out of the lead. He stayed in contention with a 10-par run, but like Quae, the former national rallied in the final stretch, making seven bogeys over the last six holes, including a 7 on No. 17. 22nd at 290 with Francis Morilla and Albin Engino making 72 and 75 respectively.
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