Rookies eye title raid at PH Open | Inquirer Sports

Rookies eye title raid at PH Open

/ 06:06 PM May 11, 2011

MANILA, Philippines—Indian Sujjan Singh, Thailand’s Thitiphun Chuayprakong and American Berry Henson lead the rookies’ charge as they aim to strike a blow for the new kids on the block at the ITCSI Philippine Open.

The trio have enjoyed solid runs on the Asian Tour so far but hope to go the extra mile by winning the US$300,000 showpiece starting on Thursday at the Wack Wack Golf and Country Club in Manila.

Thitiphun, 18, enjoyed the experience of a lifetime when he played with world number one Lee Westwood in the final round at the Indonesian Masters last month and believes the encounter has made him a better player.


“You don’t get many opportunities to play with the best in the game. I enjoyed my time playing with him and learned a lot from the experience which I will use this week,” he said.


Henson won his first international title on the second-tier Asian Development Tour at the Clearwater Masters in Perak a fortnight ago and plans to build on his progress in his debut appearance in the Philippines.

“I played very well in Clearwater and with the way I played, I would have probably won in any tournament. I had a week off after winning and I hope to continue to play like how I did two weeks ago,” said the 31-year-old.

India’s Singh, 30, enjoyed a solid start to the tour when he finished tied in fifth place at the Avantha Masters on home soil but admits his form has taken a dip.

“I haven’t been scoring well but I’m not too worried about it. I have been experimenting with a few changes to my game and it has been working out,” said Singh, a talented drummer who has recorded more than eight albums in India.

But they could all be eclipsed by Filipino Miguel Tabuena who, at just 16, has the backing of Philippines legend Frankie Minoza to challenge for the title alongside a wealth of young local talent.

“The current Philippine field is good and these young kids have no fear. They are very good and I think one of the Filipinos have a chance of winning this week,” said Minoza, 51, who plays on a sponsor’s invitation.


Defending champion Artemio Murakami, 27, will lead the local charge alongside Minoza.

Rikard Karlberg of Sweden, who won two titles to be named Rookie of the Year in 2010, will also be among the favorites alongside Thailand’s Chapchai Nirat and Bangladeshi Siddikur.

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