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Tabuena slides to joint 31st

MUSCAT, Oman (Asian Tour News) — Miguel Tabuena fired a second-straight two-over-par 74 and slid to a share of 31st after the third round of the $2-million International Series Oman at Al Mouj Golf Saturday.

The 28-year-old Filipino limped home with a closing double bogey and a bogey after making two birdies against a bogey through 16 holes.

On 2-over 218, Tabuena is tied with nine others, 11 shots behind solo leader Takumi Kanaya of Japan.

Kanaya continued to put together one of his most impressive performances outside of Japan when he took the third-round lead.

The Japanese star led at the start of the day by one shot from compatriot Ryo Hisatsune and that is how it finished today after they both returned five-under-par 67s.

Thailand’s Sadom Kaewkanjana, such an ever-present name on the leaderboard for the past year on the Asian Tour, also shot 67 to sit in third place, three back from the leader.

Spaniard Sergio Garcia and Joaquin Niemann from Chile moved ominously into fourth, four off the top spot, after rounds of 68 and 69 respectively.

Kanaya showed why so much is expected of him today with an exceptional round that showed he is comfortable leading from the front.

Enjoying calmer conditions compared with the strong winds of Friday, the 24-year-old moved to nine under for the tournament, helped by a brilliant run of four birdies in five holes from the eighth. He made six birdies in total and just one bogey.

Surprisingly he missed a four-foot putt for birdie on 17 and another makeable birdie putt on the last.

The Japanese star, with the distinctive golf swing and quick, follow-through, has won three times on the Japan Tour — the 2019 Mitsui Sumitomo Visa Taiheiyo Masters, as an amateur, the 2020 Dunlop Phoenix and the Token Homemade Cup in 2020 — but is looking for his maiden professional title overseas.

Garcia bounced back well today after Friday’s 76 — which considering the windy conditions was more like par for the course.

“Obviously, today it was windy, but it wasn’t as windy as yesterday,” Garcia said.

“And yesterday a couple of holes kind of killed my round really. Other than that, I felt good. I played nicely today and gave myself a lot of chances. Made some really good putts, some went in, and some lipped out but really happy. It was important to put a good score out there today to have a chance tomorrow.”

A six-time winner on the Asian Tour he is trying to win for the first time on the circuit since the 2018 Singapore Open.

Two-time Australian Open champion Matt Jones fired a 67 to finish on three under to give himself an outside chance on Sunday. The Australian is an expert playing in the wind and will hope for it to blow tomorrow.

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