Thai star Prom Meesawat will be aiming to secure a victory at the US$1 million Resorts World Manila Masters starting today after coming close in the last two editions with a runner-up and third place finish.
Prom, who is a two-time Asian Tour champion,is determined to taste victory at the Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club which hosts the richest golf tournament in the Philippines.
He will be amongst the top names from the region’s premier Tour who will converge for the prestigious event and challenge title holder Mardan Mamat of Singapore. Mardan has already confirmed his defence while Filipino rising star Miguel Tabuena will also be in the elite field with the goal to deliver a first home victory at the Resorts World Manila Masters.
Prom said: “It’ll be good to go back to Manila Southwoods for the Resorts World Manila Masters. I’ve had two good finishes in the first two years, losing in a play-off in 2013 and then coming in third last year.
“I remember shooting my best ever score there in the third round with a 63 pushing me up the leaderboard but Mardan played really good to win it.
“It’s always good to go back to a golf course where you’ve done well before. I like the greens at Manila Southwoods as I feel really comfortable on the Bermuda surfaces.”
Prom was edged out in the inaugural edition two years ago by Liang Wen-chong of China, who triumphed in a play-off after both players tied on 16-under-par 272.
While the Thai star is 28-under-par through eight rounds at Manila Southwoods, he said the winds will continue to play a big factor at the Resorts World Manila Masters.
“When it’s windy, it’s tough,” said the 31-year-old Prom.
“My goal will be get back into the top-10 of the Asian Tour Order of Merit. My form has been good since last year when I came back from injuries and I’m looking forward to playing in the Resorts World Manila Masters again,” added the Thai, who is currently ranked 40th on the Asian Tour’s Merit list.
Local favourite Tabuena, 21, has enjoyed a strong season on the domestic circuit, winning the Order of Merit following several victories across the Philippines. He is now eager to translate his home form onto the Asian Tour in his bid to land a first career title.
“I’ve been playing some good golf on the local tour. I’ve won a few events and also the Order of Merit title. I think I’ve gained through my experience,” said Tabuena.
He is also hitting form at the right time as the Asian Tour heads into its tail-end of the season. Tabuena finished second in the Yeangder Tournament Players Championship and seventh at the Mercuries Taiwan Masters to all but seal his 2016 card.
Becoming the first Filipino to win the Resorts World Manila Masters will be a dream come true.
“It’s a very good event to have back home, especially when it comes with a US$1 million prize fund,” said Tabuena, who is ranked 30th on the Asian Tour’s Merit list.
“It’s a good chance to make a move on the Asian Tour’s rankings. It’ll be a good opportunity for the local players to have the experience of competing against top players from Asia and hopefully, we can take full advantage of our home event.It’ll be a good tournament to win,” he added.
Resorts World Manila Masters partners include Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club and supported by Marriott, Scientific Games, Aristocrat, IGT Asia PteLdt, Fuji Xerox, Konami, Levelwear, Mitsubishi Motors, RGD LTD, Net Pacific, Inc, and Glenmorangie.