PH Open tees off today; faves eye big start | Inquirer Sports

PH Open tees off today; faves eye big start

By: - Reporter / @MusongINQ
/ 04:35 AM December 18, 2015
Miguel Tabuena. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Miguel Tabuena. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

TARLAC—Everyone will be gunning for a torrid start when the $300,000 Philippine Open presented by ICTSI, reduced to 54 holes because of foul weather, tees off today at soggy Luisita here.

The shortened tournament will give any fast starter a huge edge, especially with play likely to be lift-clean-and-place.

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No Filipino has won Asia’s oldest national championship since 2008, when Angelo Que pulled it off at Wack Wack East. This time, Juvic Pagunsan, Antonio Lascuña and the in-form Miguel Tabuena will shoulder the local hopes.

The 21-year-old Tabuena will try to shake off the effects of a high fever as he shoots for his first international victory.

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“I’m lucky that the first round was moved to (today). Otherwise, I would have withdrawn,” said Tabuena. “If this wasn’t the Philippine Open, I would have packed my things. This is such a special event for me and I feel like I have a slight advantage because I like this course.”

Tabuena, the Order of Merit champion of the Philippine Golf Tour, stands out as one of the favorites, having ruled a local event with a 22-under total.

Que, meanwhile, has decided to skip the event, opting to rest a sore shoulder.

A crack foreign contingent, led by defending champion Marcus Both of Australia, Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand and former titlist Mardan Mamat of Singapore, will play the Robert Trent Jones Sr.-designed course with little knowledge of it.

“I have seen the course, but how much it will change after the rains, we will see,” said Both, who got nine holes in on Monday and another nine on Tuesday.

Rains also washed out the practice round on Tuesday and the pro-am on Wednesday with the course soaking in more than 10 inches of rain brought by Typhoon “Nona.”

Mamat and Both, together with some of the other campaigners, were allowed to walk the course yesterday and putt on many greens as staff went about cleaning the course and making it close to perfect as possible.

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TAGS: event, PH Open, rains, shoulder
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