Rosales hopes to go one better this year in Manila
Gerald Rosales hopes advice from his famous sibling Jennifer, an
LPGA Tour star, will help re-launch his flagging fortunes that once
offered so much promise.
The 29-year-old Rosales, once a hot commodity after a stellar amateur
career, competes in this week's Macau Open but it is his home event,
the Philippine Open next week that he is aiming to reproduce his
As the Philippine Open will return to his home course at Wack Wack
Golf and Country Club, Rosales is determined to shine in the Championship
which he won in 2000 and finished runner-up last year, his only
top-10 of 2005.
Rosales was one of the region's brightest amateurs before turning
professional in 1999 and his initial steps on the Asian Tour were
confident strides towards fame. But poor form on the greens in recent
times saw his stocks crash dramatically and he lost his full playing
rights in the last few seasons.
The Filipino finished tied 28th at last week's inaugural Aamby
Valley Asian Masters in India but admitted that it was frustrating
not being able to play every week. "I haven't played much golf
this year," said Rosales.
"I've been working hard on my game, just practising. It has
been frustrating when you can't play in tournaments. I'm hitting
the ball good, so hopefully over these next few weeks it'll be good."
His sister, Jennifer has provide morale support which Rosales appreciates.
"It's hard staying at home. I've just got to fight it and work
harder and be more focussed. Jennifer and I help each other a lot.
In recent times, she keeps telling me to keep working hard and that
it'll pay off eventually," he said.
Part of Rosales' woes is down to poor putting. The old adage, drive
for show and putt for dough aptly describes the young Filipino who
is a wonderful striker of the ball. But over the last two years,
he has been ranked a lowly 125th and 67th on the putting average,
taking 1.91 and 1.82 putts per green in regulation.
"I'm trying to be more consistent and have been working on
my putting. The last few years, my putting has let me down. I've
like changed five to six putters over the past year or so. My long
game is always there. I've got a new putter now and hopefully this
one will be the last one. I like it."
Rosales knows fully well that his best chance to launch his comeback
is at Wack Wack, his home course for the past two years.
"I just have to play well over the next month and get up the
ranking. Winning one of these wouldn't hurt," said Rosales.
"I've been playing at Wack Wack for the past two years. The
Championship course is a really tough challenge. The Open has been
held there for ages and it's good for it to come home as you'll
get the crowds there.
"It's my home Open and you always want to play well,"
He is amongst the many top Filipinos who will battle for the title
in Manila. Other talents who will spearhead the local challenge
include Angelo Que, winner of the Carlsberg Masters Vietnam in 2004,
former Philippine amateur number one Jerome Delariarte and Juvic
Pagunsan, the latest of talent to emerge from the Philippines.
May 16, 2006