Filipino Tabuena wins DGC Open as India's Rashid Khan finishes second
Miguel Tabuena of the Philippines overturned a six-shot deficit to edge past overnight leader and home favourite Rashid Khan to win The DGC Open golf tournament on Sunday.
It was Tabuena's third Asian Tour win and the first since 2018.
A closing par on the 18th hole was good enough to give the young Filipino a one-shot win on 12-under par 276 (68-71-72-65), while Rashid returned an 11-under total of 277 (67-70-68-72). Tabuena also became only the second Filipino to win in India since Ben Arda, who won the Indian Open in 1969 at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club.
There were three Indians at the top five but Tabuena did not put a foot wrong on the final day, even surviving a missed three-footer for an eighth birdie on the 18th, to clinch the title.
Thai veteran Chapchai Nirat took sole third place at 10-under par 278 (68-71-71-68). Two-time Indian Open winner SSP Chawrasia was fourth on seven-under 281 (72-70-71-68), finishing with a four-under bogey-free round that matched Tabuena's feat of keeping the round error-free.
Making it a fine day for India overall were Gaganjeet Bhullar (69), Om Prakash Chouhan (72) and Honey Baisoya (72), all tied for sixth place at six-under 282 along with Thailand's Suteepat Prateeptienchai (69).
The 29-year-old Tabuena fired seven birdies in a bogey-free card of 65 to rein in overnight leader Rashid Khan.
Chapchai, who made a run in the middle of the round, was unable to maintain the momentum in the closing stages and carded 68 to finish third at 10-under.
S Chikkarangappa (72), who was lying second after 54 holes, finished fourth, while Chawrasia fired a bogey-free 68 to finish sole fifth.
Tabuena was in full flow on the back nine as he birdied 10th, 12th, 15th and 16th. Rashid, who had just one birdie in the first 14 holes and missed a bunch of possible birdies, dropped his first shot on the 15th and at that point Tabuena was suddenly looking good with a birdie on the same hole a few minutes earlier.
Tabuena made back-to-back birdies with one on the 16th and as Rashid dropped a second bogey on 17th, the Indian was left with the unenviable task of going broke for an eagle on 18th to force a play-off. He managed only a birdie.
It was the sixth runner-up finish for Rashid in his pro career, and the fifth since his last title in 2014. Tabuena, playing in the group ahead of Rashid, Chikkarangappa (280) and Honey Baisoya (282), had three birdies to make the turn on three-under 33 and then picked up a further four shots on his way home.
''Nerveless was the last thing I was out there today,'' Tabuena said.
''The DGC is one of the toughest courses we get to play on the Asian Tour. I've played it many times before and it is still a test every time, plus Rashid is the kind of player you can never relax about. I know him very well, he is very aggressive so overall, I'm very glad with this result.'' Rashid said, ''I gave it my best shot. There was nothing more I could have done today. Finishing second is not that bad a result and I'm quite happy to take that away from here. ''I have had a problem with my swing which I'm working on and I played this week only on my putter. And I just didn't hole my putts today, that's it,'' he added.
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