Filipino Tabuena equals birdie record at World Super 6

Two-time Asian Tour winner Miguel Tabuena flirts with the course record of 63. (AFP pic)

PERTH: Miguel Tabuena equalled the European Tour record for the most birdies in the opening nine holes to share the lead with Norway’s Kristoffer Reitan on day one of the World Super 6 in Perth.

The Filipino rattled off seven birdies in a row after starting on the 10th at Lake Karrinyup Country Club and then sunk another on the 18th to make the turn in 28 shots.

He flirted with the course record of 63 but two bogeys on the back nine saw him home in a seven-under-par 65 for a share of the lead with Reitan.

“I just got ahead of myself the last few holes,” said Tabuena, who has won two times on the Asian Tour.

“I’m not going to lie, I started to force shots that I wasn’t comfortable with. I started to go at pins that I shouldn’t have and the bogey on the par-3 (5th) cost me.”

His eight birdies by the turn equalled the record held by Marten Olander in the opening round of the 2002 France Open and Craig Lee in round three at the 2013 European Masters, according to European Tour officials.

The blitz came just a week after Australian James Nitties equalled a world record with nine consecutive birdies at the Vic Open, matching the feat first accomplished by Mark Calcavecchia at the 2009 Canadian Open.

The innovative World Super 6 is making its third appearance in the Race to Dubai, with three rounds of stroke play cutting the field before the top 24 players go head-to-head in six hole knockout matchplay on Sunday to decide a winner.

Reitan, who went through European Tour qualifying last year, followed Tabuena’s lead by plundering eight birdies in his round, offset by one bogey.

“Played some good golf tee to green very well, and holed some putts as well, so I’m really happy about the round,” he said.

The pair are two clear of New Zealand’s Ben Campbell and England’s Richard McEvoy.

Scotland’s David Law, who won his maiden European Tour title at the Vic Open last week, is five behind the leaders, alongside Nitties.