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Players gearing up for Blue Canyon challenge

Players gearing up for Blue Canyon challenge

GOLF: The Blue Canyon Phuket Championship tees off tomorrow (Nov 25) on the Canyon Course at Blue Canyon Country Club, the first of two Asian Tour events taking place in Phuket in the coming weeks and the players are gearing up for competition.

Golf
By The Phuket News

Wednesday 24 November 2021, 11:08AM


Two-time Asian Tour winner Miguel Tabuena of the Philippines is looking to be in contention at the Blue Canyon Phuket Championship which tees off tomorrow (Nov 25). Photo: Paul Lakatos/Asian Tour

Two-time Asian Tour winner Miguel Tabuena of the Philippines is looking to be in contention at the Blue Canyon Phuket Championship which tees off tomorrow (Nov 25). Photo: Paul Lakatos/Asian Tour

Miguel Tabuena has returned from a long stint in the United States to compete in this week’s Blue Canyon Phuket Championship and says he is aiming to be in contention on Sunday (Nov 28) despite limited playing opportunities this year.

The two-time Asian Tour winner has been camped in Washington for much of the year and has just got back to the region for a tournament that marks the resumption of the Asian Tour’s 2020-21 season.

“I have recovered from a bit of jetlag,” said the Filipino.

“Today was the first time this week I didn’t wake up before three, which was pretty good.”

He has been starved of playing opportunities because of the pandemic, but when he has competed he has seized the opportunity, including winning an event in September run by the PGA of America.

“The game is there. I’ve been seven or eight months away from this heat. I am just trying to preserve my body as well as I can although I am pretty used to it and I know what to expect,” added the 27-year-old, who has been practicing regularly with PGA Tour player Cam Davis from Australia while in the States.

“I have to hydrate a bit more this week. So, this week is more about maintaining my body.”

The second of his Asian Tour wins actually came in Thailand at the Queen’s Cup in 2018 so he is in a good space this week.

“I know the game is there, hopefully it shows up. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t matter, it’s good to be back playing again especially in Thailand. Hopefully I can contend, I always play to contend,” he said.

“I want to be in a situation where I can win on Sunday but if the situation is not there its just to improve every week.”

Sadom composed

Meanwhile, Thailand’s Sadom Kaewkanjana, who has recently hit a purple patch, winning four times in two months, hopes to capitalise on his brilliant run.

Two wins on the All Thailand Golf Tour last month and two this month - including the Thailand Open - have propelled the 23-year-old into the spotlight but further success is far from the rising star’s thoughts at the moment.

Thanyapura

“I felt a lot of pressure when I won the tournaments over the past four months,” said Sadom.

“So, I don’t want to feel like that this week. I just want to make the cut first. I will just focus on enjoying the game and not think about the result.”

Sadom is already a winner on the Asian Tour, claiming the Bangabandhu Cup Golf Open in 2019. Having made it through the qualifying school that year, the Thai became the fastest graduate to win on the tour but victory this week in a tournament featuring an impressive line-up would be a huge step up.

“I don’t think about winning or anything like that because that puts a lot of pressure on me,” Sadom said.

Apart from some slight adjustments to his short game, he is not able to identify exactly why his form has peaked recently.

“I don’t really know why I have been playing so well. I am just trying to enjoy the game, each tournament, every round. I just focus on my game, shot by shot. I haven’t really changed anything, but just improved my short game,” he said.

“Last year my short game was so so but this year I had more time to practise my short game. I just changed my set up a little bit and I am more confident.”

Sadom won at both of those venues in October, although his win at Blue Canyon came on the Lakes Course.

When he claimed the Thailand Open earlier this month, he became only the sixth player from Thailand to lift the famous trophy.

The Blue Canyon Phuket Championship tees off tomorrow (Nov 25) on the Canyon Course at Blue Canyon Country Club, while the Laguna Phuket Championship will be staged the following week at Laguna Golf Phuket.

The two US$1 million (B33mn) tournaments are part of the 2020-21 season ending events, with two final ones planned for Singapore in January.

Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond, Scott Hend from Australia, American John Catlin, Malaysian Gavin Green and teenage Korean star Joohyung Kim are just some of big names competing.

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