MANILA, Philippines - American Berry Henson is all primed up for the $300,000 Solaire Open next week, hoping to re-display the form that netted him the Philippine Open crown in his rookie year on the Asian Tour three years ago.
“Obviously I’m looking forward to getting back to Manila because that’s where I won my first Asian Tour title. Hopefully I can find some magic which I found in 2011,” said Henson, referring to his Phl Open feat in 2011 where he bucked the odds and nipped local ace Jay Bayron by one in a thrilling final round duel.
“All in all, 2013 was a good year but there’s still a lot of room for improvement. I’m just trying to stay patient,” said the 34-year-old Henson, who expressed confidence of winning several events this season starting with the Solaire Open firing off March 13 at The Country Club in Laguna.
He will contend with a host of Asian Tour stars, including two-time Order of Merit winner Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand, defending champion Lin Wen-tang of Chinese Taipei, Thailand’s Prom Meesawat and local aces three-time Asian Tour winner Angelo Que and back-to-back ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour OOM champion Tony Lascuña.
Henson’s last victory on the region’s premier circuit came at the Philippine Open and he is hopeful of returning to the winner’s circle after finishing tied 19th on the 2013 Order of Merit where he missed only two cuts in 19 appearances.
“I haven’t really had much momentum since my back-to-back wins in 2011 (won on the Asian Development Tour before the Philippine Open). I feel very comfortable out here and I feel that I can compete for the Order of Merit crown so I’m looking for a few wins here this year,” said Henson.
Meesawat, meanwhile, will continue his long awaited search for a second Asian Tour title in the upcoming blue-ribbon event sponsored by Solaire Resort and Casino after receiving some local knowledge from Que.
“I played four rounds with Angelo in India and I heard a lot from him about the golf course. I know it is wide open but very windy. He said it is a very good golf course and I’m quite confident that I will enjoy my time,” said Meesawat.
The Thai ace was denied victories on two occasions in 2013 when he was defeated by China’s Liang Wen-chong and Spain’s Miguel Angel Jimenez in a play-off at the Manila Masters and Hong Kong Open, respectively.
However, Meesawat remains confident that he will finally land that elusive second Asian Tour title.
“It was disappointing when I lost in the play-offs but they just played better than me. My game is good but it will get better once I get my second win. I’ve had four top-10s on the Order of Merit in my career so it shows that I’m consistent,” he said.
“It is good if you win a tournament and continue to play well. But playing consistently is very important. Just look at Thongchai (Jaidee). He didn’t win a tournament last year but he had many top-fives and top-10s. If you are consistent, the victory will come your way sooner or later,” said Meesawat.