Tabuena seeks redemption

Tue 06 May 2014

Tabuena seeks redemption

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Manila, May 6: Young Filipino prospect Miguel Tabuena is itching to tee up in next week’s ICTSI Philippine Open after his close brush with fame two years ago.
The 19-year-old Tabuena, who has been touted as one of the future stars of the game on the Asian Tour, will be aiming for a winning breakthrough on the region’s premier Tour when he tees up in his home championship at Wack Wack Golf and Country Club from May 15-18.
The Philippine Open, Asia’s oldest national championship, is making a welcome return onto the Asian Tour Schedule following a year’s lapse but it has felt like an eternity for young Tabuena who endured a roller-coaster ride at the event two years ago.
Tabuena had entered the final round at Wack Wack just one off the lead and hopes were high that he would emerge as the youngest ever champion of the ICTSI Philippine Open. Unfortunately, he stumbled to a disappointing 81 and finished joint 11th.
“I’ve been wanting to redeem myself for the past two years,” said Tabuena, a fourth-grader who is currently home-schooled.
“Playing at Wack Wack brings back good and bad memories. But I’m glad I went through what I went through because I wouldn’t be the player that I am now. I try to not think about what happened but whenever I set foot in Wack Wack, people will bring it up again! So I guess you have to ignore that and focus on the present. It gives me more motivation because I love proving people wrong.”
Tabuena will be amongst a strong group of Filipino golfers who will be out to dethrone defending champion Mardan Mamat of Singapore from his title. The other local stars in next week’s elite field include Angelo Que, Frankie Minoza, Antonio Lascuna, Jay Bayron and Elmer Salvador.
The ICTSI Philippine Open will be the second of three tournaments to feature on the Asian Tour’s Schedule this season following the conclusion of the Solaire Open in March. Tabuena was also in contention then before settling for a share of seventh position.
Without a full card in 2014, the slightly-built Tabuena knows he must seize the playing opportunities at home to establish himself on the Asian Tour after first breaking onto the scene as a 16-year-old amateur at Qualifying School.
“It is good to have more and more Asian Tour events in Manila so that the local players have a chance to get on Tour. There is always added pressure playing on home soil but I’ve proven to myself that I can perform well no matter where I play,” said Tabuena.
“I do not want people to think about only the good things which I’ve done because I want to them to remember what I had to go through to get to where I am. I do not want people to think it was just a lucky break.”
With his growing maturity, the teenage star reckons he understands his golf swing much better now and knows how to fix it whenever there is a flaw during a tournament.
“I understand my swing more and I know what to check if I’m not swinging it at my best. I was averaging 15 to 16 greens in Jakarta (at the recent CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters) but I was putting very well. If I make a couple of putts then I’ll be happy with my game even more,” he said.
Ends.
About the Asian Tour
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), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Sponsor), Oakley (Official Eyewear and Footwear Sponsor), Saxo Capital Markets (Official Statistics Partner), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Srixon (Official Ball), Subway (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.