Local fever heads towards Resorts World Manila Masters

Fri 30 Aug 2013

Local fever heads towards Resorts World Manila Masters

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Frankie Minoza, Angelo Que and Juvic Pagunsan – these are some names which are instantly recognizable amongst passionate golf fans in the Philippines and around Asia.
Golf tugs the heartstrings in an endearing way and there will be no better way to witness that up close and personal than at the inaugural US$750,000 Resorts World Manila Masters at the Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club from November 14-17.
As the local stalwarts go in search of glory on home soil, they will carry the weight of the nation as national pride and patriotism often run high in the Asian Tour’s newest tournament that marks its milestone 10th season in 2013.
This year, 30 spots will be given to players from the ever-growing Philippines Golf Tour (PGT) with the aim of further developing local golf.
The Asian Tour believes that partnering the PGT is important to help grow the game domestically, especially in view of golf returning into the Olympics programme in 2016.
The names Charles Hong and Miguel Tabuena, both rated amongst the rising stars from the Philippines, may not be as synonymous as their more illustrious compatriots but history has proven that raw talents can be unearthed and moulded into household names through the opportunity to compete on the elite Asian Tour.
Just ask 18-year-old Tabuena, who earned his Asian Tour card while he was still as an amateur at the Qualifying School in 2011.
The talented teenager has made great strides in his game, being in contention twice since he made his debut on the region’s premier Tour.
Hong describes the Resorts World Manila Masters as ‘the biggest event’ in his career.
Growing up in Cebu, Hong decided to head for the bright lights and big city of Manila in pursuit of his dream of becoming a top professional golfer.
“I grew up in Cebu, so professional golf was relatively new to me since everything was happening in Manila,” said Hong.
It has been three years since Hong embarked on his exciting journey. He relates with a measure of pride of his maiden win and his position on the PGT Order of Merit where he is currently in 11th place.
“My most vivid memory would have to be my first win on the PGT last year at Pueblo de Oro. Turning pro, I really had no expectations so it was really a treat that I was able to notch a win,” said Hong.
Today, Hong plies his trade mostly on PGT as well as the Asian Development Tour, which is the feeder circuit to the Asian Tour.
He hopes that a good showing at the Resorts World Manila Masters will open new doors for him.
As players like Hong step up to the tee at the Resorts World Manila Masters, they have to convince their minds that they can compete head to head with the region’s best.
Hong believes that the upcoming Filipino players will have the self-belief that they can hold their ground against the stars from the Asian Tour.
Every shot hit, chip and putt made at the Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club is a testimony to their talents and ability that have allowed them to share the spotlight with the who’s who’s of golf in the region.
With only a few months to go before the inaugural Resorts World Manila Masters gets underway from Nov 14-17, the excitement is heating up.
“I think it’s great that we are getting events like the Resorts World Manila Masters in the Philippines. It just goes to show how golf’s status here and around Asia has improved,” said Hong.
Like the growing standards of golf in the region, Hong and the local hopefuls will be aiming to put up a show like no other at the Resorts World Manila Masters.
Ends.
About the Asian Tour
In 2013, the Asian Tour will celebrate a momentous milestone with its 10th season. As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Abacus (Official Apparel Partner), Canon (Official Imaging Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Srixon (Official Ball), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts), Subway Restaurants (Official Quick Service Restaurant)  and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf, www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf, www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf