Manila, November 11: Philippines’ Miguel Tabuena put himself in prime position to become the first Filipino to win the Resorts World Manila Masters when he fired a flawless eight-under-par 64 to share the third round lead with India’s Jyoti Randhawa on Saturday.
Tabuena’s last Asian Tour victory was won on home soil in 2015 and the prospect of adding another on his home course at the Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club remains real after he signed for a three-day total of 15-under-par 201 at the US$1 million event.
Randhawa, an eight-time Asian Tour winner, also had his title hopes raised when he moved into contention for his first Tour victory since 2009. Like Tabuena, the 45-year-old also had a bogey-free card which was marked by five birdies on holes six, seven, 14, 15 and 18.
Asian Tour rookie, Micah Lauren Shin of the United States bounced back into contention with a 66 to share third place with Philippines’ Justin Quiban, Thailand’s Namchok Tantipokhakul and Arnond Vongvanij.
Shin, who took a share of the first round lead, struggled on the second day with a 72. But he showed great resolve by battling back into the fray with his 202 total.
Arnond’s modified swing change continued to pay dividends as he remained in the mix, trailing Tabuena and Randhawa by a single shot.
Malaysia’s Gavin Green, who currently leads the Asian Tour Order of Merit, is four shots back of the leaders in a share of 10th place after rounds of 71, 67 and 67.
The other sponsors of the Resorts World Manila Masters Presented by Philippine Department of Tourism include Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club (Host venue), Marriott (Hotel Partner) Konami, Scientific Games, Aristocrat, Levelwear, IGT Asia Pte Ldt, Empire Automation, VYCON RGD LTD, PLDT Enterprise, Ecco Golf and Dalmore.
Did you know?
- Tabuena is a one-time winner on the Asian Tour. He claimed his maiden title when he won his National Open in 2015.
- Tabuena is playing on his home course at the Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club. His round of 64 is the best 18-hole score he has shot on the Masters course. It was also the best round he has capped at the Resorts World Manila Masters since 2013.
- No Filipino player has won the Resorts World Manila Masters since its inauguration in 2013.
- The 23-year-old Tabuena emerged as the best-placed Filipino when he finished tied-13th at the 2016 Resorts World Manila Masters.
- Tabuena amassed 29 putts in total and only missed one greens in regulation in his round of 64.
- Randhawa has stayed bogey-free for his last 49 holes at the 2017 Resorts World Manila Masters.
- Randhawa led the first two rounds of the Resorts World Manila Masters last year and eventually finished in tied-fourth position.
- Randhawa became India’s first ever Asian Tour number one when he won the Order of Merit in 2002.
- The 45-year-old Randhawa holds eight career wins on the Asian Tour, joint highest as an Indian winner with Arjun Atwal and Gaganjeet Bhullar. His last victory came at the Thailand Open in 2009.
- Namchok is a one-time winner on the Asian Development Tour. The 30-year-old Thai enjoyed his first top-10 on the Asian Tour this season at the Indonesia Open last month.
- Namchok’s 63 is the lowest round recorded so far this week.
Miguel Tabuena (Phi) – Third Round 64 (-8), Total 201 (-15)
This is exactly what I needed. My plan today was to get myself into contention for tomorrow and I managed to do it. I had aimed to shoot four-under on the front nine but I did one better than that so I told myself to just stick to my game plan and keep playing like that and more opportunities will come. My game is in a good shape and it’s anyone’s game now. I will just play my game tomorrow. Whatever happens, happens. There is still plenty of golf to go. It would mean everything to me to win this event tomorrow. I have only won once on the Asian Tour.
It will be nice to win on home soil again. I believe I have the game. I took advantage of the par-fives today. This is the lowest score I have ever played on this course.
Jyoti Randhawa (Ind) – Third Round 67 (-5), Total 201 (-15)
I didn’t take my chances today. I am not hitting my long-irons too good. All the par-fives today, I sought of laid up to the front of the greens and made up and downs for birdies. It was just a strategy of mine. I didn’t want to take too much risks today and I did that. The course is getting drier I think, conditions are much better today. The fairways have improved a lot. The greens are always good here, if not for the rain this week. I will be glad if I can continue to do the same thing for the final round tomorrow. It’s good to be in this position for tomorrow. There are a lot of good players in contention so everybody has a chance tomorrow. I will stick to my game plan and continue to do what I have done today and yesterday.
Micah Lauren Shin (Usa) – Third Round 66 (-6), Total 202 (-14)
I was kind of disappointed with my round yesterday because I wasn’t putting well and I didn’t play my wedges really well too. But today, I hit it a little bit better and I just keep hitting the fairways and gave myself a lot of chances for birdies. I hope I can putt better tomorrow. I told myself to forget about what happened yesterday and focus on today’s round. I went to the range after the round yesterday and hit a lot of wedges shots. I changed a new putter today actually. I have a different putter in my bag today.
Arnond Vongvanij (Tha) – Third Round 70 (-2), Total 202 (-14)
It was very hot out there today. I got tired on my back nine. I was just trying to stay hydrated. My goal for today was to hang in there and stay in contention to give myself a chance tomorrow. I did just that and there’s still one more round to go. Tomorrow, it’s going to come down to whether I trust my swing or not and trust the hard work which I have put in for the last one and a half years. I just want to stick to that and not revert to my old swing. If I can do that, it’s mission accomplished for me.
Namchok Tantipokhakul (Tha) – Third Round 63 (-9), Total 202 (-14)
I putted really well today. Everything was good for me. My caddy helped me a lot too. I sank the birdie putt from about 35 feet on the 10th hole and I think it was the highlight for me today. I had a good finish in Indonesia a few weeks ago so I am hoping to better that result this week.
S.S.P. Chawrasia (Ind) – Third Round 69 (-3), Total 203 (-13)
I shot a 69 today and I think it’s still alright. It’s a good round actually although I missed a couple of putts. I was hitting the ball really well but I just can’t seem to make any putts, especially on my front nine. I am only two shots behind so I still have a chance to win tomorrow. We will see how it goes. I will stick to the same game plan tomorrow.
Leading scores after round 3 of the Resorts World Manila Masters being played at the par 72, 7317 Yards Manila Southwoods GcC course (am – denotes amateur):
201 – Miguel TABUENA (PHI) 68-69-64, Jyoti RANDHAWA (IND) 70-64-67.
202 – Namchok TANTIPOKHAKUL (THA) 74-65-63, Micah Lauren SHIN (USA) 64-72-66, Justin QUIBAN (PHI) 66-66-70, Arnond VONGVANIJ (THA) 65-67-70.
203 – S.S.P. CHAWRASIA (IND) 66-68-69, Jarin TODD (USA) 68-66-69, Phachara KHONGWATMAI (THA) 67-65-71.
205 – Gavin GREEN (MAS) 71-67-67, LIU Yan-wei (CHN) 69-67-69, Richard T. LEE (CAN) 66-69-70, Arjun ATWAL (IND) 67-67-71.
206 – Jbe KRUGER (RSA) 69-70-67, Paul PETERSON (USA) 69-67-70, Pavit TANGKAMOLPRASERT (THA) 69-67-70, Suradit YONGCHAROENCHAI (THA) 71-65-70, Steve LEWTON (ENG) 67-68-71, Natipong SRITHONG (THA) 67-67-72.
207 – Gaganjeet BHULLAR (IND) 67-71-69, LEE Chieh-po (TPE) 68-73-66, Keith HORNE (RSA) 71-66-70, Danny CHIA (MAS) 68-68-71.