MIGUEL Tabuena faces the biggest test in his career as he makes his first-ever appearance in a golf major on a course ranked among the toughest in the US Open rotation.
Defending champion Jordan Spieth and world No. 1 Jason Day headline the 156-player field, all bracing for a tough week at Oakmont Golf Club in Pennsylvania starting on Thursday (Friday, Manila time).
The 21-year-old Tabuena golfer expressed excitement when he topped the qualifying event in California last week, saying he is looking forward to having fun in his major debut.
But even the top players seem to expect more hard labor and little fun.
Spieth turned professional in 2012 and wasn’t there when Oakmont last hosted the US Open in 2007, but the American star played it in May and dubbed the course featuring thick rough and lightning fast greens as “potentially the hardest test in all of golf.”
The winning score in the US Open 2007 — 5-over with Angel Cabrera taking the trophy.
The 21-year old Tabuena starts the first round at midday on No. 10 with Lee Slattery of the UK and Daniel Summerhays of the US. The trio is scheduled to start first on No. 1 for the second round.
Top money earner on the Philippine Golf Tour last year and on track for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Tabuena is running third on this year’s Asian Tour money list.
Spieth will also start on No. 10 but in the morning with Zach Johnson and Bryson Dechambeau, while Jason Day has an afternoon tee time with with Louis Oosthuizen and Adam Scott on No. 1.