Miguel Tabuena finally broke a two-year disappointment and made the cut in the prestigious Sony Open in Hawaii after carding a second round five-under-par 65 yesterday at the Waialae Country Club in Honolulu.
The 22-year-old Filipino star was at eight under par overall, tied for 13thplace, nine strokes behind leader Justin Thomas of the United States.
Thomas, who won last week’s Tournament of Champions also in Hawaii, shot a 64, a brilliant follow up to his 59 in the first round and his two-round total of 123 set a PGA record for lowest 36-hole score.
While Thomas was doing what seemed like his normal thing, Tabuena was also making a history of sorts for himself.
He was twice invited here and missed the cut. But organizers felt they should continue encouraging the Filipino golfer and invited him a third time this year.
Tabuena finally did not disappoint. He followed his first round 67 with his 65 yesterday and though he is nine strokes behind, he could make a chargeSaturday and stay within breathing distance of the leaders going to the final round Sunday (Monday in Manila. The PGA Tour is shown live on Cignal.)
By making the cut, Tabuena had already achieved what no other Filipino golfer has done by becoming the first to play the weekend in a full-player PGA Tour event.
Among those tied with him at 8 under par was former world No. 1 Jordan Spieth, while at 10-under-par, chasing Thomas, were Justine Rose and Zach Johnson, major golf winners, tied for third. In second place at 12 under was Gary Woodland.
Starting on the 10th tee, Tabuena quickly birdied his first hole and then added another on the 12th. He also birdied the 14th, 15th, 18th and second holes. When he rolled in another birdie on the third hole, Tabuena went nine under for the tournament.
But a costly bogey on the seventh reeled him back briefly and he stayed at 8 under par. He also bogeyed the 11th hole.
The scoring was hot for the second straight day and to illustrate, the cut was at 3 under par.
But some stars failed to make it to the weekend. Among them were major winners Jason Dufner, Jimmy Walker and Keegan Bradley. – Ding Marcelo