MIGUEL Tabuena, coming off a four-way tie for sixth place at the Solaire Open two weeks ago, seeks a second straight ICTSI Tour win this week in the P2.5-million Camp John Hay Championship that tees off in chilly Baguio today.
Playing a course that doesn’t favor the long hitters, Tabuena looms as the player to watch together with the veteran Antonio Lascuña and Mars Pucay even as Marvin Dumandan seeks to repeat as champion and bag a bigger purse this time: P450,000.
The 18-year-old Tabuena won the circuit’s kickoff leg at Sherwood Hills last month by eight strokes over rookie Edward Reyes, and a 73 that was followed by three even-par 72s during the $300,000 Solaire Open at Wack Wack showed he is in top form.
Elmer Salvador, the best Filipino finisher at Wack Wack at fifth, is also in the field and could take advantage of the par-69 John Hay layout that is playing somewhat longer because of rains that have made the fairways damp.
Pucay, who learned the game as a teeboy at nearby Baguio Country Club, is also a player to watch. He was tied with Tabuena at Wack Wack after cracking par twice.
“This is a short course, and putting will be the key here,” said Dumandan in Filipino.
The long-hitting Dumandan carded a final-round 64 last year to deny three-day leader Carl Santos-Ocampo.