Golf made its return to the Olympic Games early this morning, kicking off with 60 of 120 competitors teeing off in Round one. Among the participants was 21-year Pinoy Miguel Tabuena, who took on the Rio 2016 course for the country.
With nine professional wins to his name, Tabuena has come a long way, having played the sport since a young age, before making the decision to turn pro in 2011. He won his first Philippine Open in 2015, playing against competitors both older and more seasoned. As the 2016 Philippine Sportswriter Association’s Sportsman of the Year, Tabuena marked another milestone earlier this year by competing in his first US Open in June.
Tabuena made the trip to Rio without top Pinoy bets Angelo Que and Dottie Ardina, who both declined to attend due to health and security concerns. Once in Rio, Tabuena practiced hard, posting that he had never been more proud to wear the flag. Entering the competition with high hopes, the young athlete posted on Twitter that he would bring the Philippines the Olympic pride it deserved. He started strong, at one point finding himself vying for 7th place, but was unable to sustain the momentum, finishing in 42nd place.
Moving forward, Tabuena’s experience at Rio 2016 shouldn’t be taken so much as a major obstacle so much as a valley in which to learn and prepare for the time when he, and our entire country, will be able to climb the peaks of Olympic glory.