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Tabuena makes Oman cut

MUSKAT, Oman (Asian Tour News) — Miguel Tabuena righted the ship in the last 12 holes to salvage a two-over-par 74 and make the cut in the $2-million International Series Oman Friday.

The 28-year-old Filipino dropped three shots in the first three holes following a bogey on 2 and a double bogey on 3 and added another bogey on 6 to go 4-over but rallied with birdies on 8 and 12 while avoiding bogeys the rest of the way.

He moved into a tie for 12th with five other players on even-par 144, just four shots off the pace.

Angelo Que, the only other Filipino in the field, missed the cut by two after an 82. He wound up on 152.

Takumi Kanaya, one of Japan’s most exciting young prospects, made the most of slightly easier conditions in the morning to take the halfway lead.

The world’s former No. 1 ranked amateur shot a one-under-par 71 to reach four under par for the tournament, an unassailable lead with the wind getting progressively stronger and blowing the field off course at Al Mouj Golf.

Another up-and-coming Japanese player Ryo Hisatsune, who also competed in the morning, is one shot back after carding a 70. They were two of only nine players to break par on a truly testing day.

Scores soared in the afternoon with wind speeds close to 30 km per hour at times — in what is the second event of the season on the Asian Tour and the first of 10 International Series tournaments.

Canada’s Yonggu Shin, who led after the opening round with a 66, came in with a 76 to share third with Chilean Joaquin Niemann, Australia’s Zach Murray, and Berry Henson from the United States.

Niemann showed his class by firing a 70 in the afternoon while Murray and Henson, who also played later, returned rounds of 72 and 73 respectively.

“It was a really good round. I played really well. I probably could have actually scored even better but there were a couple of short putts I missed. Very happy though, conditions were tough so can’t complain with two under. The wind was blowing, and the greens were firm so I’m happy,” Niemann said.

He was paired with Spaniard Sergio Garcia today, a close friend.

“You want to see him (Sergio) playing well, as well as yourself so it is always fun playing with Sergio,” Niemann said.

“We have played a lot of practice rounds together but it is nice to have tournament rounds as it is different to practice rounds. He didn’t play his best golf today but Sergio is Sergio, so I need to keep an eye on him over the weekend!”

Garcia made a triple on the fourth hole and worked hard to stay in the hunt but shot a 76 and is three off the lead along with Thailand’s Itthipat Buranatanyarat (71), Australian Todd Sinnott (73), American Andy Ogletree (75), and Sadom Kaewkanjana (76) from Thailand.

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