Jan 19, 2017: Philippines’ Miguel Tabuena continued his good form at the US$1 million SMBC Singapore Open when he opened his campaign with a three-under-par 68 to stay three shots back of the first round clubhouse leaders that include Japan’s Hideto Tanihara and Satoshi Kodaira as well as Korea’ Kyungnam Kang on Thursday.
The Filipino, who was still trying to shake off the effects of jet-lag after a long flight from Hawaii where he was playing in a PGA TOUR event, kept a clean card at the challenging Serapong course in Sentosa Golf Club, which is also the Home of the Asian Tour.
Tabuena finished tied for fourth at the SMBC Singapore Open last year and believes he contend for the title, having enjoyed one of his best seasons on the Asian Tour in 2016.
India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar is also feeling optimistic of his chances at the Singapore showpiece having ended a three-year title drought with victories in Korea and Indonesia last year.
The Sentosa Golf Club also holds fond memories for the Indian for it was at this prestigious ground that he qualified for his maiden Major at The Open Championship in 2009.
“It was a good round altogether. I gave myself a lot of good opportunities and I made some good putts. It was a shaky start though. I missed a few shots from the fairways but I managed to get it back.
It’s the first tournament of the year and I am happy it’s a good start for me. I have played well here at the Serapong course before, especially in 2009 where I qualified for The Open championship as well. That’s always at the back of my mind.” said Bhullar.
As part of The Open Qualifying Series, four players who finish in the top 12 and ties at the SMBC Singapore Open who are not already exempt will earn a place in The 146th Open at Royal Birkdale from 16-23 July 2017.
Interesting facts of the day:
- Three out of the four Filipinos in the field are within three shots back of the clubhouse leaders after the opening round of the SMBC Singapore Open. They are Angelo Que, Antonio Lascuna and Miguel Tabuena.
- Miguel Tabuena is the first Filipino to make the cut at a PGA TOUR in Hawaii last week.
- Gaganjeet Bhullar’s best result at the Singapore Open came in 2009 where he finished in tied-14th position
Asian Tour Release