Fri. May 27th, 2022


Miguel Tabuena celebrates his latest win

Miguel Tabuena celebrates his latest win. —CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Pushed to the wall by a hard-charging foe, Miguel Tabuena on Friday responded like champions do, birdying the second playoff hole from six feet to nip Clyde Mondilla and provide a thrilling finish to the P2 million ICTSI Luisita Championship in Tarlac.

A former Philippine Open winner also at Luisita, Tabuena found company at the top after regulation when Mondilla blitzed the final 14 holes with eight birdies, as both wound up with 275 tallies over the majestic, traditional layout before Tabuena provided the fireworks two holes later under scorching heat.

“I’m pretty happy with the outcome, obviously,” said Tabuena after closing out with a two-under-par 70 and be the only player to break par all four rounds. “A win is a win and it’s my first win as a married man, so thank you Lord.”

Mondilla returned a week-best 65 and posted his best finish since ruling the Pradera leg before the pandemic started.

“Getting to the playoff was something, considering that I was down by five [at the start of the day]. My putting just clicked and I was in the hunt,” said Mondilla, who actually fell by as many as seven with a bogey on No. 2 which Tabuena birdied in the flight behind.

Michael Bibat, the first round leader and joint pacesetter at the start of the final round with Tabuena, skied to a 75 and finished five shots behind at 284, tied with amateur Josef Bucay, who submitted a 70.

Reymon Jaraula fired a 70 for 286, catching the veteran Antonio Lascuña, who closed out with a 71.

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