Que Battles to the Top at Philippine Open

Sat 05 Apr 2008

Que Battles to the Top at Philippine Open

Manila, April 5: Local favourite Angelo Que is riding on renewed confidence at the Philippine Open as he shot a six-under-par 66 for the third round lead on Saturday.
Que, who is brimming with confidence after having earned a spot to the British Open at the qualifiers last week, produced the lowest round today under challenging conditions at the Wack Wack Golf and Country Club for a six-under-par 210 total. He took a narrow one stroke lead over Kodai Ichihara of Japan who stumbled to a 75 and slid to lone second position.

Australia?s Gavin Flint posted a similar score to lie in third place while Filipino Antonio Lascuna and Korea?s Young Nam carded matching 72s to lie in a tie for fourth spot in the US$300,000 Asian Tour event. Singapore?s Mardan Mamat remained in contention after a steady 68 also in joint fourth place and three strokes off the pace.
Making the right adjustments to his swing this year, the 29-year-old Que was pleased to set the pace heading into the final round as he hopes to emulate his winning performance at the Carlsberg Masters Vietnam in 2004.

?I had a great start and was five under after five holes. I struck an eagle at the fourth hole which was nice. I hit it 20 yards to the pin on my second shot and holed it from there. I was hitting it close and considering the very tough conditions here, I?m glad to end the day with a six under,? said Que, who trains under swing coach Bong Lopez. He shot an eagle, six birdies against two dropped shots today.

?I saw my swing coach at the start of the year and I told him to fully focus on my swing technique. We worked on it and my downswing is more controlled now and not over the top like how it was before. That made a big difference to my game.

?I am not going to get too excited as this course can be brutal if you make mistakes. But making it through the British Open qualifiers has definitely given me a boost and helped lift my game,? added Que.

Japan?s Ichihara endured a tough day at the office firing two birdies against three bogeys and a double bogey.
?I felt the pressure playing in the last group today. But I know how it feels like now and I will try to be relaxed tomorrow. My tee shots were very disappointing today so I will head out to the range now hoping to fine tune my game before the final push,? said Ichihara.

Flint, gunning for his maiden title on the Asian Tour, hung on to third place after a 75 and two strokes behind the leader.

?The course is playing hard. I struggled through the middle of my round but I birdied the last hole. I?m looking forward to tomorrow and hope to try my best. I had a couple of bad shots and got into trouble. Anybody can win the tournament at this point. It was definitely hard work today,? said the Singapore-based Flint.

Singapore?s Mardan posted his best round of the week after a 68 pushed him up to a tie for fourth place.

?I played good today and I kept it in play. I know this course is short and narrow which suits my game. It is tricky on the greens and I have to be patient and let the putts roll in,? said Mardan.
Defending champion Frankie Minoza improved with a 71 and rose to a tie for 21st spot for a 219 total while Chinese Taipei?s Lin Wen-tang fell victim to the treacherous 17th hole and slipped to joint 26th place after an 80. On the par three 17th hole, Lin, in a desperate attempt to get on the green, found the trap nine times before two putting as the stumble blew his chances of a title charge.
Leading third round score
210 - Angelo Que (PHI) 73-71-66
211 - Kodai Ichihara (JPN) 66-70-75
212 - Gavin Flint (AUS) 67-70-75

213 - Mardan Mamat (SIN) 73-72-68, Young Nam (KOR) 71-70-72

Antonio Lascuna (PHI) 71-70-72

214 - Mitchell Brown (AUS) 72-73-69, Ashley Hall (AUS) 68-71-75

215 - Martin Rominger (SUI) 73-72-70

216 - Lien Lu-sen (TPE) 74-73-69, Chris Rodgers (ENG) 72-69-75

217 - Kwanchai Tannin (THA) 73-73-71, Andrew Dodt (AUS) 74-72-71, Mars Pucay (PHI) 75-72-70, Airil Rizman (MAS) 77-71-69

218 - Lu Wen-Teh (TPE) 73-73-72, Ben Leong (MAS) 71-77-70, Wisut Artjanawat (THA) 70-75-73, Juvic Pagunsan (PHI) 74-71-73, Danny Chia (MAS) 71-71-76


219 - Frankie Minoza (PHI) 76 - 72 -71

220 ? Lin Wen-tang (TPE) 73 ? 67 - 80

About the Philippine Open

The 2008 Philippine Open will return to the renowned Wack Wack Golf and Country Club from April 3-6. The main sponsors include the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), Philippine Airlines and Stradcom. The US$300,000 Asian Tour event is also backed by Crowne Plaza Galleria (Official Hotel), Johnnie Walker, 100 Plus (Official Sports Drink), Srixon (Official Ball) and Pin High (Official Apparel). It is sanctioned by the Asian Tour and National Golf Association of Philippines and supported by the Philippine Department of Tourism. The Philippine Open 2008 will include a one-hour highlights show while the Asian Tour Weekly Magazine show will also capture the excitement of the event over ESPN Star Sports.

About the Asian Tour

As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia.  This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Carlsberg (Official Beer), ESPN Star Sports (Official Regional TV Broadcaster), Pin High (Official Apparel Partner), Sofitel (Official Hotel) and Srixon (Official Ball). Sentosa, Singapore?s premier island resort getaway, is the Home of the Asian Tour.


For further information, please contact Asian Tour?s Shenton Gomez at the Philippine Open media centre at: +63 2726 8924.