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Tabuena, Lascuna target success at $1-M Manila Masters

Miguel Tabuena and veteran Antonio Lascuna have set their eyes on winning the $1 million P48.5 million) Resorts World Manila Masters next month.

With Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club, host venue of the event, being their home course, the local favorites are hoping to enjoy the rub of the greens when the country’s richest golf tournament returns from November 10 to 13.

Miguel Tabuena

Miguel Tabuena

Tabuena, 22, has enjoyed a stellar season where he is currently ranked in the top-five of the Asian Tour Order of Merit.

The reigning Philippine Open champion also featured in the Olympic Games in Rio in August and will later represent the country again at the World Cup of Golf in Melbourne.

“It would be great if I have the opportunity to win the Resorts World Manila Masters,” said Tabuena. “There’s always added pressure whenever you play at home. We’re expected to do something out of the ordinary but I guess we’ll have to treat it like any other event.

“It is the biggest tournament in the Philippines and it’s good for the local golfers to compete in it. We have world-class talent and it would be great for them to perform well.”

Tabuena finished 50th, 47th and 18th in the first three editions of the Resorts World Manila Masters and he hopes the trend continues to improve as he seeks to acquire two of the biggest golf tournaments in the Philippines.

“I play at Manila Southwoods almost every day. We know all the conditions that can happen, and we know all the pin placements and the nuances of the greens. The club changed some of the greens so it’s nice to get a first look at some of them,” he said.

“The course is demanding off the tee and it will be tighter as I’m told the rough will be grown. You’ve got to be sharp off the tee and you’ve got to know where to hit it.”

Since breaking through for his maiden Asian Tour victory on home soil last December, Tabuena has grown in stature, with two runner-up finishes in Malaysia and Chinese Taipei being amongst the highlights this season.

A second win is what he is after and achieving it at the Resorts World Manila Masters would cap a memorable season.

“I’ve always wanted to win an Asian Tour event. To do it back home especially at the Philippine Open last December has been a great boost. I wouldn’t be where I am today if I had not won. It gave me a lot of confidence. It’s not easy to win an Asian Tour event especially at home and it’s been really good for my career,” he said.

Lascuna has made all the cuts at the Resorts World Manila Masters with a top-25 finish being his best.

A consistent performer, he has missed only one cut all season but knows he must convert his chances better if he is to contend for a first Asian Tour victory at home next month.