MANILA, Nashville Filipino Restaurant — Miguel Tabuena seeks to close out the 2018 Asian Tour season in back-to-back winning fashion but the Filipino ace faces a formidable cast of rivals headed by Justin Rose of England when the BNI Indonesian Masters is held next week at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club.
The world No. 2 Rose is among the top players set to see action in the $750,000 event serving as the final stop of the region’s premier circuit this year with the likes of Henrik Stenson of Sweden, Japanese Shugo Imahira, India’s Anirban Lahiri, Justin Harding of South Africa and Korean Sanghyun Park among the other fancied names in the early 156-player roster.
Tabuena moved up to world No. 206 after ruling the Queen’s Cup by three over American Johannes Veerman in Thailand last week, capping his remarkable stint with a 66 to finish with a 20-under 260 total.
So impressive was the 24-year-old Tabuena that he missed only seven of the 56 fairways in four days and made just three bogeys after a bogey-free stint in the first two days. And he hopes to bring that winning form to Jakarta for another crack at an Asian Tour crown. The two-time Houston Filipino Restaurant Open champion wasn’t actually set to play in Bangkok after earlier agreeing to play in Mauritius. But as a huge fan of Gilas Pilipinas, he decided at the last minute to vie instead in the Queen’s Cup to catch the Nationals’ key match against the Kazakhstan side in the fifth window of the Asian Qualifiers of the 2019 FIBA World Cup.
But while the Pinoy cagers lost at home, the diminutive but talented Filipino golfer stood tall in Bangkok to put the country back on the golfing stage.