Patience will remain a virtue for Filipino teenager Miguel Tabuena as he turns his focus on this week’s Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters.
The 19-year-old narrowly missed out on a maiden Asian Tour victory in Taipei on Sunday, losing in the Yeangder Tournament Players Championship play-off to Thailand’s Prom Meesawat. However, his runner-up cheque of US$55,000 has virtually assured him of his full Tour card for 2015.
Tabuena rose from 45th to 15th place in the latest Asian Tour’s Order of Merit and will seek another strong showing at the RM1.3 million (approximately US$410,000) Selangor Masters starting on Thursday.
The top-10 players on the rankings as of October 20 will qualify for the lucrative CIMB Classic in Malaysia next month.
The talented Tabuena was delighted with his best result yet of his burgeoning career, although he would be replaying the missed birdie putt in regulation which would have sealed a victory.
“I’ve been knocking on the door so I have to stay patient. If I keep playing the way I’ve been playing, then the win will eventually come,” said Tabuena, who has now earned US$75,185 this season.
“I think this result will help me keep my card for next year. I’m happy I can do that because it was my goal to finish inside the top-60 at the end of the year. I’ve been happy with all my results so far even though I didn’t win,” added the Filipino, who first came to prominence when he earned his Asian Tour card at Qualifying School in 2011 while he was still an amateur golfer.
Prom, whose second Tour victory shot him up to fourth position on the Merit list with US$151,833, praised Tabuena for his sterling display despite carrying the pressure of leading into the final day.
“Miguel is a very good player. I think he has a bright future ahead of him. I hope he gets his win soon,” said Prom, who moved inside the top-four bracket of the Merit list which also puts him in position to qualify for the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions in China in November.
Another Filipino Antonio Lascuna, who finished third in Taipei, enhanced his ranking by two places to sixth position as he targets appearances at the CIMB Classic and HSBC Champions. The veteran is also tipped to contend at this week’s Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters at Seri Selangor Golf Club as he won the event here in 2007 before it joined the Asian Tour Schedule in the following year.
“My goal is to qualify for the CIMB Classic. It is a tournament which I really want to play in. I will travel to the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters and I must play very well there again,” he said.
American David Lipsky, who will headline the field in Malaysia this week, continues to lead the rankings with US$645,770, followed by India’s Anirban Lahiri who chipped into Lipsky’s lead with an equal fourth outing in Taipei that took his season’s earnings to US$308,590.
Asian Tour Order of Merit – Top-20
Pos Player Earnings (US$)
1. David LIPSKY (USA) 645,770
2. Anirban LAHIRI (IND) 308,590
3. Rikard KARLBERG (SWE) 160,365
4. Prom MEESAWAT (THA) 151,833
5. Rahil GANGJEE (IND) 117,164
6. Antonio LASCUNA (PHI) 116,598
7. BAEK Seuk-hyun (KOR) 111,700
8. Richard T. LEE (CAN) 97,438
9. Rashid KHAN (IND) 88,003
10. S.S.P CHOWRASIA (IND) 87,457
11. Thaworn WIRATCHANT (THA) 83,861
12. Cameron SMITH (AUS) 80,100
13. Siddikur RAHMAN (BAN) 79,879
14. Jason KNUTZON (USA) 76,030
15. Miguel TABUENA (PHI) 75,185
16. Thongchai JAIDEE (THA) 69770
17. Arnond VONGVANIJ (THA) 65,989
18. Marcus BOTH (AUS) 65,084
19. Shiv KAPUR (IND) 63,221
20. Masahiro KAWAMURA (JPN) 59,746