Grounded Tabuena shoots for the stars

Young prospect Miguel Tabuena of the Philippines is keeping his feet firmly on the ground after drawing to within three strokes of halfway leader Song Younghan in the SMBC Singapore Open.

Tabuena won the Philippine Open last December and the 21 year old is building on his breakthrough victory at Sentosa Golf Club.

He shot 67 on Saturday morning for sixth place on six-under 136 and while his dream of partnering world number one Jordan Spieth in the third round failed to materialise, the youngster found himself in the second last group of the day with European Tour Rookie of the Year An Byeonghun of Korea and Japan’s Hideto Tanihara.

“The win in the Philippine Open did a lot for my confidence. I was willing myself to get the breakthrough win,” he said.

“I am happy where I am now (at the Singapore Open) but there is still two more days left and still a long way to go. I am hitting the ball really well – the best I have hit it in a while. And I am putting really well as well,” he said.

“But like I said there are two more days left, still lots of golf. I have got to prepare myself mentally and physically especially in (steamy) Singapore.”

Despite his obvious talent and potential, Tabuena admits to being a bit starstruck by Masters and US Open champion Spieth who is just a year older.

“It would be great to play with the world number one,” he said before the third round draw was finalised. “I am sure I would learn a lot from him.

“He is a really nice guy – I have met him in the locker room. I have asked for some autographs and pictures as well and he is really nice.”

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