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Scramble in Orchard

Though Miguel Tabuena won’t be shooting for another Philippine Golf Tour crown, a scramble of a finish still looms when the crack international field slugs it out for the second straight week in the $60,000 ICTSI Orchard Golf Championship beginning tomorrow at the Orchard’s Player course in Dasmariñas, Cavite.

Tabuena rallied from seven strokes down in a wild final round with a solid 66 then nipped South African Mathiam Keyser in sudden death to snatch the ICTSI Luisita Championship diadem in Tarlac last Sunday. But the former Philippine Open champion and PGT Order of Merit winner has begged off this week to honor a previous commitment.

The depth of the field, however, remains as talent-laden with Keyser seeking to redeem himself along with a slew of foreign aces, who succumbed under pressure and extreme heat and faded in the spirited title chase at Luisita.

They include John Michael O’Toole, who led by two after three rounds but crumbled with a closing 76, and John Catlin, who co-led in the first round but failed to sustain his charge as the two Americans ended up tied at seventh with Aussie David Gleeson and Paul Harris, also of the US.

Micah Shin is also out for a rebound after the Korean-American fell off the leaderboard with a woeful 75 in the third round and wound up at joint 11th while Englishman Steve Lewton, who ruled the Solaire Philippine Open last March, hopes to figure prominently this week in the 72-hole championship, backed by BDO, KZG, Custom Clubmakers, Meralco, Sharp, Champion, Summit Mineral Water and PLDT.