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    Migs Tabuena seizes three-shot lead at Ranchos Palos Verdes after fiery 64

    Jul 3, 2015
    Miguel Tabuena hits his approach shot on No. 3 at Rancho Palos Verdes.

    DAVAO – Miguel Tabuena put on a dazzling show of shotmaking and stormed ahead by three shots after a bogey-free eight-under 64 as two-day leader Michael Bibat bombed out with a 75 in the third round of the ICTSI Rancho Palos Verdes Classic on Friday.

    Staying within striking distance with back-to-back 66s, Tabuena finally took the lead with a torrid start capped by a stirring five-birdie string linking both nines before slowing down with pars in the last six holes for a 31-33 card.

    With a whopping 20-under 196 aggregate, the 21-year-old Tabuena seized a three-shot lead over Elmer Salvador and moved 18 holes away from his second win on this year’s ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour.

    A win will move him past absentee Angelo Que in their spirited battle for the Order of Merit crown.

    “I’ve gained some kind of momentum playing five weeks in a row. So, I’ve been hitting it really well,” said Tabuena, who won the kickoff leg at ICTSI Splendido and finished runner-up or tied for second in three tournaments after seven legs of the circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.

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    Salvador, also in top form following his repeat win at ICTSI Riviera last week, nearly matched Tabuena’s hot round but bogeyed the final hole and settled for a 66. His 199 aggregate, however, kept him within range of Tabuena, who has 19 birdies and an eagle against just one bogey after 54 holes of the P1.5 milion event.

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    He could’ve actually churned out a lower output but turned a bit impatient in the last six holes and missed at least two birdie opportunities.

    “I tried too hard to get birdies from Nos. 13 to 18 and missed pin-length chances on Nos. 14 and 16. I should’ve let it just happen,” said Tabuena, who birdied the first three odd number holes to wrest control then pulled away with a five-birdie string from No. 8.

    Tony Lascuña also fired a 66 but the reigning three-time OOM champion, winner of five legs last year but still winless this year, stood too far behind at 205, nine strokes behind Tabuena, in a tie with Clyde Mondilla, who carded a second 68.

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    Bibat, whose impressive 64-67 start kept him on top of the stellar field, cracked when ranged against Tabuena and Salvador, making two bogeys against a birdie at the front and blowing it all with three bogeys in the last seven holes after birdying the par-5 12th for the third straight day.

    His three-over 75 pulled him down to fifth at 206, 10 strokes adrift, while Ferdie Aunzo continued to struggle after an opening 65, matching par 72 for a 208, and Anthony Fernando and Randy Garalde shot identical 68s and Orlan Sumcad turned in a 70 for identical 210s.

    Korean Gyuha Park missed moving to solo seventh with two bogeys in the last four holes, finishing with a 72 and tumbling to 10th with a 211.

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    Miguel Tabuena hits his approach shot on No. 3 at Rancho Palos Verdes.
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