Gritty Tabuena defies sickness for fine start #MaybankChampionship

Thu 18 Feb 2016

Gritty Tabuena defies sickness for fine start #MaybankChampionship

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Kuala Lumpur, February 18: Filipino rising star Miguel Tabuena rose from his sick bed to shoot a fabulous five-under-par 66 in the first round of the inaugural Maybank Championship Malaysia on Thursday.
The reigning Philippine Open champion nearly withdrew from his 1.30pm start time at the Royal Selangor Golf Club after coming down with food poisoning on Tuesday which left him in bed the whole of yesterday.
But the 21-year-old defied his condition to sink six birdies against a lone bogey for tied eight place and two back of leader Nathan Holman of Australia in the US$3 million event sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour.
I’m really happy with my round. I wasn’t 100% and I’ll take anything under par. I think I ate something wrong on Tuesday and when I got back to the hotel, I felt really sick. I went to the clinic in the hotel and they said it was food poisoning,” said Tabuena.
“I was in bed the whole of Wednesday and the good thing was that I had a late tee time today for some extra rest. I was really, really sick both ways on Wednesday and Tuesday. I thought of withdrawing but you don’t want to miss a prestigious event like this.
“It’s one of the biggest events we have and I’m glad I shot five under. I was really weak this morning.”
Tabuena kept his swing smooth and took one club more for almost every shot to compensate for his condition. He needed to make four toilet visits during his round and thanked playing partners David Howell and Natipong Srithong for helping him through the day.
“I just told myself to keep it on the fairway and attack when I could and not force anything. Sometimes you really play well like that. I’m glad I didn’t force anything. I hit more fairways than usual which helps on this golf course,” said Tabuena, who won his home Open last December for his maiden Asian Tour triumph.
“I was like 65%. I clubbed up one in almost every shot. I felt week. It was a bit overcast and we got a bit of rain which helped. I did feel faint out there and I had to go to the bathroom four times. My playing partners were really helpful and told me to take my time as they hit ahead of me.”
The slightly built Filipino hopes to gain more rest before his second round tomorrow morning.
“I’ll be glad to shoot anything under par. Hopefully I can still be in position on Saturday and Sunday. I would like to get into position to win this