Tabuena runs down field in Delhi for third Asian Tour crown

Miguel Tabuena proudly poses with The DGC trophy. —ASIAN TOUR PHOTO

Razor-sharp for the last two weeks, Miguel Tabuena on Sunday mowed down The DGC Open leaders, shooting a flawless seven-under-par 65 to complete a comeback from six shots down at the start of the day and win his third Asian Tour crown by a shot over home bet Rashid Khan in New Delhi in India.

It was a final round effort that most saw as due Tabuena, who shared the opening round lead at the International Series Thailand two weeks ago with a similar bogey-less 64 before finishing tied for 22nd spot.

A former Philippine Open champion, Tabuena had four of his birdies in his final nine holes and, coupled with third round leader Khan’s meltdown, returned to the winner’s circle with a 276 total as the hometown bet imploded with bogeys on 15 and 17.

“I’ve been playing well the past few months and I really believe that a win was coming,” Tabuena, who pocketed $135,000 for the win, said when he faced the media. “I executed each shot the way I wanted to.”

Dream round

“It’s hard to describe, but it’s great to be back in the winner’s circle,” Tabuena said. “Going bogey-free on a Sunday is probably one of the best feelings in the world. This is one of the hardest courses we play.”

Seasoned Thai Chapchai Nirat checked in third another shot behind Khan after a 68.

Khan started the day with a comfortable lead over countryman Honey Baisoya before Tabuena gained a lot of ground with three birdies inside his first six holes. Khan was down by two heading into the 72nd hole, which he needed to eagle.

Justin Quiban closed out with a 73 and finished tied with four others eight strokes off Tabuena, with LJ Go, one of four Filipinos in the talented field for the $750,000 event, shooting a 72 to check in another two shots behind.

“This is another stepping stone for me, another learning experience,” Tabuena said when asked of his plans moving forward. “I’m here to become the best player that I can be.” INQ

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