Miguel Tabuena of the Philippines stayed accurate off the tees to post a four-under-par 66 and storm into the outright lead at the penultimate round of the Queen’s Cup hosted by Jaidee Foundation on Saturday.
The 24-year-old Miguel drew encouragement from his father Luigi watching him on the sidelines, to birdie three of his closing four holes and seize the lead late in the day by two shots over defending champion Jazz Janewattananond at the US$500,000 event held at Legacy Golf Club.
“I do draw encouragement from my father coming to watch me,” Miguel said.
“It’s always such a pleasure having him around because he travels a lot and I rarely see him. But it also adds a little bit of pressure because I really want to do well in front of him.”
Miguel, who stayed bogey-free for 37 holes till his scorecard was marred by a bogey on hole 2, traded six birdies against two bogeys for a 16-under-par 194 total, at the event hosted by three-time Asian Tour No.1 Thongchai Jaidee.
Two-time Asian Tour winner Jazz, who had a hot putter to thank for, only needed 21 putts in his round of 68 to take second place on his own and remain on course for a successful title defence.
“I do draw encouragement from my father coming to watch me … But it also adds a little bit of pressure because I really want to do well in front of him.” – Miguel Tabuena
Thailand’s Natipong Srithong, who started the round with a five-shot deficit, put his foot on the gas pedal and shot a 65 to share third place on 197 with overnight leader, American Johannes Veerman, who battled to a 72.
Natipong’s solid bogey-free round highlighted by five birdies set him up nicely for a second title charge since his maiden victory in the Philippines in 2015.
American Sihwan Kim, currently ranked eighth on the Habitat for Humanity Standings, was among three bunched in fifth place at the 11th edition of the event held in honour of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit.
Andrew Dodt is the leading Australian (T16th) after his two-under 68 moved him to six-under-par for the tournament.