REUTERS – Home favourite Miguel Tabuena made his decisive move on the back nine to secure a one-stroke victory, his first on the Asian Tour, at the weather-shortened Philippine Open on Sunday.
The $300,000 event teed off a day later than its scheduled Thursday start and was reduced to 54 holes due to persistent rain caused by Typhoon Melor, which hit central Philippines.
Tabuena, 21, holed five birdies after the turn for a six-under-par 66 and a three-round total of 14-under at the Luisita Golf and Country Club north of Manila to finish a shot ahead of Australian Scott Barr.
“I’m glad the Philippine Open is my first Asian Tour title,” Tabuena told reporters. “I’m really happy that my name will be on this prestigious trophy alongside some of the legends in golf in Asia’s oldest National Open.
“I gave myself a goal at the start of the day which was to shoot a 66 or lower. There are a lot of birdie chances and people can make a move.
“I was one-under after the turn and I thought I lost some ground. I knew I needed to go out with all guns blazing.”
Barr’s 68 was not enough to claim a first Tour win but his second-place finish ensured he retained his card for the next year by jumping 15 spots to 49th place on the Order of Merit.
India’s Himmat Rai scorched the course with a blemish-free 63 to share third place alongside Thailand’s Chinnarat Phadungsil (67), two strokes behind the winner.
Canadian Lindsay Renolds, who held the lead after the opening two rounds, suffered a Sunday meltdown, carding a 73 to finish in a tie for 10th place.
(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; Editing by John O’Brien)