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Golf: Himmat Rai zooms to 3rd place finish at Philippine Open

Himmat Rai rounded off the season with a flawless nine-under 63 on the final day to zoom to a third place finish in the Philippine Open.

Press Trust Of India

Updated:December 20, 2015, 7:04 PM IST
Golf: Himmat Rai zooms to 3rd place finish at Philippine Open
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Tarlac: Indian golfer Himmat Rai rounded off the season with a flawless nine-under 63 on the final day to zoom to a third place finish in the Philippine Open here on Sunday.

One-time winner on Asian Tour, Himmat, who had lost in a play-off two weeks ago in Vietnam, had no less than nine birdies, including four birdies in the last five holes.

Himmat, who had modest rounds of 71 and 70 in the first two rounds and was lying Tied-32nd, rocketed to third place by the finish in a tournament that was shortened to 54 holes over three rounds.

While Himmat was the best Indian, the other two Indians also finished in Top-10. Gaganjeet Bhullar (71) and Khalin Joshi (70) dropped to Tied-10th place.

Bhullar, lying third overnight, had a very rough start with three bogeys in first four holes, while Joshi, despite a great start of three birdies in first holes, gave away the gains with three bogeys in four holes between fifth and eighth holes.

At the top, Miguel Tabuena of the Philippines fired a superb six-under 66 to claim a stylish win at the Philippine Open, presented by ICTSI. He became the first Filipino to win his National Open since 2008.

The 21-year-old fired six birdies on his homeward nine to seal the deal with a winning total of 14-under-par 202 in the USD 300,000 Asian Tour event.

Scott Barr of Australia missed out on winning his first Asian Tour title following a 68 but his lone second place result ensured that he would retain his Tour card for 2016 after jumping 15 spots to 49th place on the Order of Merit.

Himmat said he was happy with his fine run.

"I didn't have a number in my mind. I was thinking of eliminating my errors in round one and two. I wanted to play percentage golf and hitting it near the hole. I putted aggressively and that made a difference today," he said.

Himmat finished the season in 31st place, after being in danger of missing his card three weeks ago.

Himmat produced the round of the week at the Luisita Golf and Country Club with a sparkling 63 to share third place with Chinnarat Phadungsil (67) of Thailand on 204, two shots from the champion.

Lindsay Renolds of Canada, who held the lead in the opening two rounds, fired a disappointing 73 to finish in tied 10th place in the final Asian Tour event in 2015.

Chinnarat was delighted to hold on to his Asian Tour card. He was ranked 62nd on the Order of Merit at the start of the week but moved to 56th place thanks to his result at the Philippine Open. The top-63 players on the final Order of Merit secured playing rights on the 2016 season.

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