Asiad silver medalist vies in Phl Open, Dabawenyos join

Asian Games silver medalist Miguel Tabuena will lead a crack squad of junior players slugging it out with the country’s leading shotmakers in the Philippine Open which unfolds Dec. 15 at the Valley Golf Club in Antipolo.
The event will be Tabuena’s first since winning the individual silver medal in the Asiad last month with the 16-year-old shotmaker hoping to flaunt the form he showed in Guangzhou against a field teeming with talent.
Tabuena, who lead in the first two days in China but faltered in the third round before hanging tough in the final day to keep the silver, will be joined in the hunt for top honors in the P2 million event by fellow jungolfers Andres Saldana, Miggy Yee, Jobim Carlos, AR Ramos, Jahns Keanu, Gio Gandionco and Clyde Mondilla, the reigning national champion.
“It has been the NGAP’s task to provide these jungolfers a venue where they could hone their talent and skills. By competing in the Phl Open, we hope to toughen up our young player for future tournaments abroad,” said tournament director Pablo Soon, also a director of the National Golf Association of the Phils.
In fact, NGAP president Leandro Mendoza will sponsor the campaign of 11-year-old Lester Lagman, a Junior World campaigner in San Diego and in the Optimist Junior International in Florida.
Tabuena and company are training under the ICTSI-Cangolf program headed by Tommy Manotoc, also the head of NGAP’s youth and developmental pool.
The junior team actually won the Lion City Cup, the junior side of the Putra Cup, in Malaysia recently and is all primed up to prove its worth next week.
But the jungolfers will be up a formidable roster of players, headed by Frankie Minoza and five of the top 10 players in this year’s ICTSI-Philippine Golf Tour Order of Merit rankings, headed by Artemio Murakami, Benjie Magada, Davao’s Marvin Dumandan, Ferdie Aunzo and Cassius Casas.
The other amateurs in the fold are the ICTSI-The Country Club mainstays Dante Becierra, Peter Villaber, Carl Santos-Ocampo, Charles Hong, Zanie Boy Gialon and Alexes Nallos and Asian Games and World Am veteran Jerson Balasabas.
The Phl Open field will have a minimum of 120 players, including pros and amateurs. For details, contact NGAP at 02-5179778/5577849, Susan (0917-5607074) or Charlyn (0922-8234758)  or telefax 02-7065926 or email ngapgolf@hotmail.com.
The traditional pro-am tournament will be held Dec. 14, featuring the leading pros on the PGT Order of Merit ranking and amateurs along with the event’s sponsors, VIPs, Valley Golf Club members and NGAP board members.(pr)

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