By gunning down two eagles and 10 birdies in two days, rising star Miguel Tabuena punched a ticket in the US Open next week as he topped the sectional qualifying by two shots on Monday (Tuesday in the Philippines) in Daly City, California.
Tabuena submitted a 64 in the first round at Lake Merced and followed it up with a 68 at the Olympic Club for an 11-under-par 132 aggregate.
“I told myself that Lake Merced would be the easier course and I needed to go low there, which I did,” said Tabuena, who also had three bogeys. “I am just really happy with my rounds. I am still in shock. This will be my first major and I just can’t wait to have fun next week. I am really happy with the way I am playing now.”
The US Open will be held from June 16 to 19 at the Oakmont Country Club in Pennsylvania with 156 players taking part.
Tabuena is the fourth Filipino to qualify to play in a Grand Slam event after Cassius Casas, Artemio Murakami, and Angelo Que.
Tabuena, an Asian Tour campaigner and winner of the Philippine Open seven months ago, will be joined in the US Open by five others who followed him in the North California gig.
Also earning berths to the Open are Mark Anguiano of Whittier, California; Tyler Raber of Davis; Gregor Main of Danville, Justin Suh of San Jose; and Brandon Harkins of Scottsdale, Arizona.
Apart from winning the Philippine Open, the 21-year-old Tabuena also finished tied fourth at the SMBC Singaporean Open and runner-up at the Maybank Championships in Malaysia.
Being the Philippines’ highest ranked player in the Olympic rankings at 37th overall, Tabuena is also expected to play for the country in the Rio Olympics this August.
Nine other sectional qualifiers were held across the US for those dreaming to play alongside the big guns next week.
There were 100 players entered in the tourney where the Manila-based Tabuena played.
Sunghoon Kang of Korea, winner of the 2013 CJ Invitational, will join Tabuena after claiming the 10th and final ticket at sectional qualifying in Tennessee.
Tabuena will fly the Asian Tour flag at the year’s second Major alongside reigning Order of Merit winner Anirban Lahiri of India, K.T. Kim of Korea and Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee and Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who all qualified via the Official World Golf Ranking.