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Tabuena chases history




The Solaire Philippine Open kicks off its journey to a new century on 3 April at The Country Club with records being eyed and another wild finish seen the way it was in the last two editions of the country’s premier championship.

After etching his name on the record books as Centennial champion with a playoff victory over Thai ace Prom Meesawat last year, Miguel Tabuena shoots for one feat never done the last 60 years — become a repeat winner of Asia’s oldest National Open.

History also beckons for the rest of the bidders, including those from Thailand, Taiwan, Australia, England, Korea and the United States, among others, in the $500,000 event.

Tabuena, who also topped the rain-shortened Open at Luisita in 2015, is trying to become only the sixth player to win it three times.

Outside of 12-time titlist Larry Montes, Celestino Tugot, who won six diadems, including four straight from 1955 and five-time winner JRH Mason, only two others have won it thrice — Lu Liang Huan of Taiwan and legend Ben Arda.

A fired-up 11-player Thailand side is also going flat out for an Open record, seeking to nail the crown that has eluded the country’s perennial regional rivals for the longest time.