Miguel wins Queen’s Cup to be back in winner’s circle

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Miguel Tabuena of the Philippines signed for a stunning four-under-par 66 in the final round of the Queen’s Cup hosted by Jaidee Foundation to end a three-year title drought on the Asian Tour on Sunday.

The 24-year-old Filipino dug deep into his reserves to hold off the challenge from the fast-chasing field after he birdied four of his closing six holes to reign supreme on a 20-under-par 260 total at the Legacy Golf Club.

Tabuena’s last victory came in 2015 when he secured his maiden win at his National Open. He traded five birdies against a lone bogey on the first hole to take his long-awaited return into the Asian Tour winner’s circle.

With his victory, Tabuena took home a winner’s prize purse of US$90,000 and moved up to 15th place on the Habitat for Humanity Standings.

American Johannes Veerman made a charge on the final day after carding a bogey-free 66 highlighted by four birdies, but he was unable to catch up with the relentless pace of Tabuena, and settled for second place on 263 at the US$500,000 event hosted by Thai legend Thongchai Jaidee.

Home favourite Jazz Janewattanond had a chance to complete a successful title defence after reeling in three birdies from the 11th. However, he struggled to a dropped-shot on the last and left Tabuena running away with a three-shot victory.

The Queen’s Cup is celebrating it’s 11th edition on the Asian Tour this week and Thongchai assumed responsibility of hosting for the first time on the region’s premier Tour, in his efforts to draw attention to his foundation.

Did you know?

·       Miguel Tabuena only dropped three shots all week after posting two consecutive bogey-free rounds in the first and second rounds.

·       Tabuena was accurate off the tees all week and only missed seven out of 56 fairways.

·       He has enjoyed three top-10 finishes this season, including a fifth-place result at the Queen’s Cup in July.

·       Prior to his win, Tabuena won his National Open for the second time on his local circuit in March.

·       Tabuena, who claimed his first Asian Tour title on homesoil in 2015, became the first Filipino to win his National Open since 2008 at just 21-years-old.

·       The Filipino is huge fan of the Team Philippine’s basketball team. He decided to play the Queen’s Cup this week instead of heading to Mauritius because he would have missed the game if he went to Mauritius instead.

·       He took a career-high fifth place on the money list in 2016 thanks to five top-10 finishes.

·       Johannes Veerman clinched the Asian Development Tour (ADT) Order of Merit title in 2016 thanks to his win at the Taifong Open and five top-10s.

·       The American resides in Texas but had spent 13 years living in Asia.

·       His opening round 62 was his lowest career round since coming through Qualifying School in

·       He only dropped two shots all week and his second-place finish marks his best result at the Queen’s Cup since he came in tied-10th in July.

·       Veerman only missed three greens and needed 29 putts in his final round.

·       Jazz Janewattananond had his new caddy Jacob on his bag this week. Jacob plays regularly on the Thailand local circuit and practices with Jazz at his home course.

·       Jazz was the youngest player to make the halfway cut in an Asian Tour event at the age of 14 years and 71 days.

·       The Thai started working with a new coach, Pete Cowen, just two months ago. Cowen is also the coach of Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who is the highest-ranked Thai golfer.

Players’ Quotes:

Miguel Tabuena (Phi) – Final Round 66 (-4), Total 260 (-20)

I am really happy, I did not get off a good start, bogeying the first hole. It took a lot of digging and scrambling because the guys were relentless all day. Natipong (Srithong) kept making birdies and I was pretty nervous at one point.

On this course you need to keep making birdies because they will eventually catch up. I wasn’t happy when I made the turn at even-par. But I am happy with how I came back strong on the back nine with four birdies.

(About being back in the winner’s circle) I didn’t expect it to take this long. I am really grateful for being able to finally get the job done. I have worked so hard over the past few weeks with my coach and when I missed the cut last week, I told myself to trust the process and it will eventually be worth it.

It means the world to win a tournament hosted by an Asian legend like Thongchai. It’s a dream come true to lift this trophy.

Johannes Veerman (Usa) – Final Round 66 (-4), Total 263 (-17)

I played really well. I was bogey-free again today. This week was probably the best I have ever done in a tournament so I am really pleased with that.

 I played really solidly all week. I left a lot of putts short today so that’s going to come back to haunt me. But I have so many positives to take away from this week. Just with how I handled myself and how solid I played today. Hats off to Miguel (Tabuena). He played really well this week.

Jazz Janewattananond (Tha) – Final Round 68 (-2), Total 264 (-16)

If I were to sum up my round today, I would say, it was almost good. It was up and down all day, started out good then just went downhill on the back nine. It was a pretty normal round, I am just not hitting it well these couple of weeks so I will take a third-place finish.

I was very unsure with how I was going to perform this week because of all the swing changes I am going through. Going from not having a coach to working with someone is a pretty big change for me.

I need to go back and figure out some stuff, I have to work on with my new coach before Indonesia. Miguel today played fantastic, it really was his day. I didn’t see him hit any bad shots today at all. When you play with someone like that you just know that they are going to win. It was going to be hard to beat if you don’t have your A-game. And I just didn’t have my A-game this week.

 

Scores after round 4 of the Queen’s Cup hosted by Jaidee Foundation being played at the par 70, 6939 Yards Legacy GC course (am – denotes amateur):

260 – Miguel Tabuena (PHI) 65-63-66-66.

263 – Johannes Veerman (USA) 62-65-70-66.

264 – Jazz Janewattananond (THA) 65-63-68-68.

267 – Natipong Srithong (THA) 66-66-65-70.

268 – Chapchai Nirat (THA) 70-69-64-65.

269 – Shiv Kapur (IND) 69-68-65-67, Sarit Suwannarut (THA) 68-66-67-68.

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