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Miguel Tabuena sizzles in the rain, captures TCC Match Play crown


Miguel Tabuena departed from his usual narrative of dramatic come-from-behind victories, opting for an aggressive stance early on as he dethroned Tony Lascuña with a masterstroke, securing a 4&3 victory for the ICTSI The Country Club Match Play Invitational crown in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, on Friday.

Unlike his quarterfinals and semifinals escapes on Thursday, where he rallied from a four-hole deficit with eight to play to stun Angelo Que, 1-up, and fought back from two holes down after 13 holes to edge Justin Quiban on the 20th, Tabuena took control from the onset against the inaugural champion, going 2-up after six holes in a rainy final round battle.

He won No. 7, yielded the next, and maintained his dominance until the 11th, seizing the opportunity to extend his lead and leaving Lascuña struggling to regain his earlier form.

Lascuña, who had previously disposed of Marvin Dumandan, 3&1, in the quarters and dominated Elmer Salvador, 3&1, in the semis, faced a formidable challenge even if he had managed to reclaim his rhythm.

Despite facing the seasoned Davaoeño campaigner, Lascuña was unable to match Tabuena’s remarkable shotmaking and putting.

Tabuena added the finishing touches to an extraordinary week, conquering the elements and mastering one of the country’s most formidable courses while fighting off fatigue.

He came through with another amazing chip-in birdie on No. 14 to go 4-up and matched Lascuña’s output on the next to wrap up the championship worth P280,000 in a victory that augured well for his LIV Golf qualifying bid in Abu Dhabi next month.

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“Right now, I am currently tired; it’s been a long week with 38 holes yesterday. So it’s important for me to recover well last night,” said Tabuena. “But I’m happy to come out on top; it’s definitely a confidence-booster heading to my last tournament of the year in Abu Dhabi in a week’s time.”

“So I’m pretty happy with where I’m hitting it. I tried out some shots today that I could use next week,” added Tabuena, who also relished the chance to play with the four-time Order of Merit winner again.

“I haven’t played with Tony in over a year, so it’s nice to share the round with him today,” said Tabuena.

2023-ICTSI-The-Country-Club-Match-Play-Invitational-Miguel-Tabuena-2 Miguel Tabuena sizzles in the rain, captures TCC Match Play crown Golf News PGT  - philippine sports news

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Lascuña, who romped off with a 4&3 win over Keanu Jahns in last year’s inaugurals of the event, put up by ICTSI and organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc., took home P200,000.

“This course fits me,” said Tabuena, who won the TCC Invitational and the 100th Solaire Philippine Open, both in 2018. “It suits the longer hitters, and this year has been a pretty good year for me.”

“I was happy with the way I was hitting coming into this event. It’s been a great year on the Asian Tour, especially; I’m ranked No. 2 now, so I believe in my game now and I had an edge this week,” added the 29-year-old ace, who thanked God and his team, including his sister-caddie Dani, for his latest feat.

Earlier, Justin Quiban shook off a shaky start before winning five in a six-hole stretch from No. 8 as he turned a 1-up lead to a 6&5 victory over Elmer Salvador in their battle for third in the P2 million championship backed by the PGT’s official golf apparel Kampfortis Golf.

#ReadMore  PGT: Caliraya-record 66 nets Lascuña 3-shot cushion

The South Pacific leg champion received P150,000 while Salvador earned P100,000 in a strong finish for the multi-titled campaigner making a comeback after a two-year absence.

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