Honours evenly split between Tabuena and Sandhu at Mercuries Taiwan Masters

Ajeetesh Sandhu Rd 2Tamsui, Chinese Taipei: Philippines’ Miguel Tabuena and India’s Ajeetesh Sandhu will head into the final round of the Mercuries Taiwan Masters in pole position after posting a third round four-under-par 68 and 70 respectively on Saturday.

Both Tabuena and Sandhu had the opportunity to take the outright lead at the last hole, but they identically dropped a shot on the par-four 18 and had to settle for matching three-day total of nine-under-par 207.

Thailand’s Suradit Yongcharoenchai returned with a 68 while India’s Viraj Madappa signed for a 65 to share fourth place with Bangladeshi Siddikur Rahman, who posted a 68 at the Taiwan Golf and Country Club.

Tabuena started the day two shots back of Sandhu, who was the overnight leader. After making five straight pars, the Filipino started to make his move with birdies on holes six and eight. 

He continued to charge ahead after the turn with another three birdies in his next five holes before dropping his only shot of the day on 18.

Sandhu meanwhile stumbled early with a bogey on the par-three second before steadying the ship with birdies on holes nine, 11, 13 and 15. 

The Indian, who is searching for his second Asian Tour win this week, parred the 16th and 17th holes before another bogey on 18 denied him the outright lead.

Did you know?

  • Miguel Tabuena’s best result at the Mercuries Taiwan Masters came in 2016 when he finished second. He posted a final round 70 to finish one shot back of eventual champion Lu Wei-chih of Chinese Taipei then.
  • Tabuena’s best result to date this season was his fifth-place finish at the Sarawak Championship in August.
  • Tabuena won his first Asian Tour title on home soil in 2015. He became the first Filipino to win his National Open since 2008 at just 21-years-old.
  • Ajeetesh Sandhu is a one-time winner on the Asian Tour. A week after claiming his first Asian Tour title in Chinese Taipei in 2017, Sandhu went on to win the Taiheiyo Club Challenge Tournament on the Japan Challenge Tour.
  • The Indian notched three top-10 finishes in 2018 to finish in 28th position on the Order of Merit.
  • Sandhu’s second-place finish at the Bangabandhu Cup Golf Open in Bangladesh is his best result so far this season.
  • Viraj Madappa will be chasing for his second Asian Tour title this week. The 21-year-old claimed his breakthrough on home soil when he was still a rookie last August.
  • Madappa holds the record of being the youngest Indian player, at the age of 20, to win on the Asian Tour. He finished his rookie season in 35th place on the 2018 Order of Merit.
  • Madappa posted back-to-back top-25 finishes in Indonesia and Chinese Taipei before recording two top-20 finishes in India and Korea last month.
  • Siddikur Rahman became the first player from Bangladesh to win on the Asian Tour when he emerged victorious at the Brunei Open in 2010. 
  • He also became the first sportsman from his country to qualify for the 2016 Olympics on merit and was accorded the honour of becoming Bangladesh’s flagbearer during the opening ceremony in Rio de Janeiro.
  • Siddikur has posted three top-15s this season so far with his best result coming on home soil at the Bangabandhu Cup Golf Open where he finished tied-12th.