Just when it appeared Rashid Khan had the DGC Open title firmly secured in his hip pocket, Miguel Tabuena picked it up.
The dramatic twist to the finale of the $750,000 event came after Tabuena’s birdies on the 15th and 16th holes coincided with Rashid’s bogeys on the 15th and 17th holes.
Minutes later, Tabuena’s stunning 7-under 65 for a 12-under 276 proved enough to fetch him $135,000. An exasperated Rashid, who aggregated 277, collected $82,500 after paying heavily for those late errors in judgement.
If Rashid managed to avoid sharing the second spot with Thailand’s Chapchai Nirat, it was due to the final-hole birdie, after missing an unlikely eagle-putt needed to force a playoff with Tabuena.
Moments after Rashid missed his eagle putt, a relieved Tabuena celebrated his first title on the Asian Tour in five years with a quick video call to his wife.
For the better part of Sunday, Rashid stayed at least two shots ahead after starting the round with a three-stroke lead.
The turning point was Tabeuna’s back-nine 32 dotted with birdies on the 10th, 12th, 15th and 16th holes that saw him catch up with Rashid at 12-under. Within minutes, Rashid dropped a shot on the 15th to lose his lead for the first time. He went on to bogey the par-3 17th after landing his tee shot in the greenside bunker and failing to reach the green with his second shot. Rashid two-putted, much to the relief of a nervous Tabuena who watched the action on the TV screen in the scoring room.
“I was solid off the tee and with him iron-play,” said the champion while reflecting on his final round. “I’ve played several times on this course and I know that one has to be patient here. All week, I did not shoot an over-par score. I really played well.”