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Tabuena 2nd in Malaysia

MIGUEL Tabuena failed to sustain his final-round charge yesterday and settled for a share of runner-up honors in the inaugural $3-million Maybank Championship Malaysia at the par-71 Royal Selangor Golf Club course in Kuala Lumpur.

Just eight days after being cited by the Philippine Sportswriters Association as one of its Athletes of the Year, Tabuena shot six birdies to offset three bogeys on the way to a three-under-68 and a four-day total of 271.

The 21-year-old pro pocketed a whopping $260,658 (approximately P12.25 million) in finishing tied for second with overnight leader Soomin Lee of South Korea who slumped to a two-over 73.

Tabuena improved on his joint fourth place finish in the Singapore Open two weeks ago.

Surging Australian Marcus Fraser, who closed out with a 68 and a 269 total, had a bogey-free final round spiked by three birdies. He pocketed the first prize of $488,979 in the tournament co-sanctioned by the European and Asian tours while securing No. 1 pot in the Asian Order Merit with total earnings of $500,000.

Tabuena, who was No. 5 in the Order of Merit entering the event, wheeled into second place with combined earnings of $310,658 (P14.6 million) after just three legs and is bound to move up once again in the International Golf Federation Olympic rankings.

He stood 44th last week in the ranking system that determines the top 60 golfers in the men’s and women’s divisions that will compete in the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games golf tournament in August.

Anthony Lascuna checked in with a 68-273 and finished tied for 31st with four others while Angelo Que had a 69-281 and wound up deadlocked at 40th place with four other golfers.(Malaya)