MIGUEL Tabuena sets out fresh after a much-deserved rest, shooting for another crown against a tough field in the US$60,000 ICTSI Manila Southwoods Championship starting on Wednesday at the Legends course in Carmona, Cavite.
Tabuena rallied from seven down in the final round then nipped South African Mathiam Keyser in sudden to snatch the crown in the ICTSI Luisita Championship the other week but opted to skip last week’s Orchard tournament to rest after a grueling campaign that included stints in the Asian Tour and Japan PGA Tour.
He expects to put up a hot start and build some momentum and confidence as he battles an elite field led by Orchard runner-up Clyde Mondilla, Luisita leg winner Tony Lascuña and perennial contenders Jay Bayron and Elmer Salvador.
American John Catlin resuming his hunt for the elusive Philippine Golf Tour title as he sees action in the 72-hole championship sponsored by ICTSI.
The 26-year-old shotmaker from Sacramento has put himself in contention in the early going of the past PGT legs but just couldn’t come up with a strong finish and he hopes to change that at Southwoods.
Former Singapore amateur hotshot Choo Tze-Huang, Dutchman Guido Van der Valk, James Bowen of the US, Swede Oskar Arvidsson, Aussies Chris Carey, David Gleeson and Jason Dawes, Korean Park Jun Sung and American Nicolas Paez are also seeing action.
Some of the top pros test the bunker-laden layout in Tuesday’s pro-am tournament where they will be grouped with officials and guests of the event’s chief backers including ICTSI, BDO, KZG, Custom Clubmakers, Meralco, Sharp, Champion, Summit Mineral Water and PLDT.
The event, organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc., also serves as a prelude to next week’s revival of the ICTSI Philippine Masters.
Also tipped to contend this week are Keanu Jahns, who turned in a strong third place finish at Luisita but missed the cut at Orchard, Jhonnel Ababa, Ira Alido, Ferdie Aunzo, Rufino Bayron, Michael Bibat, Jobim Carlos, Cassius Casas, Marvin Dumandan, Mhark Fernando, Mars Pucay and Frankie Miñoza.
Other foreigners in the field are Shakawat Hossain of Bangladesh, Paul Harris and Josh Salah of the US, Japan’s Kento Nakai and Yuta Sudo, and Englishman Jake Shepherd.