Que Keeps the Faith

Thu 13 Sep 2012

Que Keeps the Faith

Taipei, September 13: Philippines’ Angelo Que carded a flawless seven-under-par 65 that surprised even himself as he took the opening round lead at the Yeangder Tournament Players Championship (TPC) on Thursday.
The three-time Asian Tour winner marked his card with seven birdies to take a single shot lead over India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar and American Jason Kuntzon who had the honour of  recording the event’s first hole-in-one on the fifth hole.
Bhullar and Knutzon posted matching 66s to share second place while home favourite Lin Wen-tang of Chinese Taipei fired a 67 to secure fourth place.
India’s Anirban Lahiri is a further shot back in fifth place with Chinese Taipei’s Yeh Wei-tze after he signed for a 68 at the Linkou International Golf and Country Club.
Que, who is seeking to end a two-year drought, was all smiles after learning that he had grabbed the opening round lead.
The 33-year-old always felt that he would get ahead of himself each time he played well. And it was therefore not surprising that he felt jubilant with his opening 65 which was achieved through a well-crafted game plan.
“Normally when I start well, I feel that I may find ways to mess it up coming in. Somehow I trusted myself today and committed every shot, as well as commit to what my plan was, which was to keep the ball in play and so far, I’ve managed to pull that off,” said Que.
Starting on the back-nine 10th, Que got off the blocks quickly with two birdies in his opening three holes.
He birdied the 16th and 18th holes to reach the turn in 32.
The Filipino continued to seize control with further birdies on the third and fourth holes before his seventh birdie on the seven hole gave him the outright lead.
“At one point, I didn’t know how many under I was at and didn’t really care about my scores. I just kept going and concentrated on playing,” said Que.
“I haven’t been in this position for a while. It’s been two years. Hopefully I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing and stay committed to what I’m doing,” added Que, who last win on Tour was in Malaysia in 2010.
Despite playing at the Linkou International Golf and Country Club for the first time, Bhullar showed that he could still sign for a score worthy of any seasoned professionals.
“This is my first time playing here. Trust me, I’m falling in love with the course layout. The greens kind of remind me of home, in India where I practised,” said the two-time Asian Tour winner.
Like Que, Bhullar also enjoyed a flawless round which was highlighted by an eagle on the par-five first and four birdies. Bhullar believes his aggression on the course will set him up well for the rest of the week.
“I’m an aggressive player and I’ve been striking the ball very well. I’m also feeling really comfortable around the greens,” said Bhullar
“I would love to continue this form for the next three days and would be glad if I can win the trophy on Sunday,” added the Indian.
Knutzon put himself in a good position to end his five-year title drought with an opening round that was marked by seven birdies, three bogeys and an ace.
The American was especially pleased with his hole-in-one as that meant he would not have to stand on the sidelines, green with envy again.
“I played really well today but that hole-in-one just made it such an incredible day! You always think those kinds of things always happen to other people. I’m always jealous of people winning cars and watches and so here I’m with this Audemars Piguet watch that I won. I’m so happy!,” said Knutzon.
Lin, who had Emmet Hsu, Chairman of the Yeangder Group follow him in his opening round, was upbeat about his chances.
While acknowledging that a win would be the best birthday present he can give Hsu- who celebrated his birthday yesterday, Lin is also happy to rediscover his winning form that led him to five Asian Tour titles.
“My boss Emmet was following me throughout the first two holes and I managed to get two birdies there. So that tells you a lot about the influence he has over me,” said Lin.
“A win would definitely make both Emmet and I very proud and I’m glad that I’m playing well again,” added Lin.

The Yeangder TPC has raised its profile further following a significant increase in its total prize fund to a record US$500,000 this year. The tournament is celebrating its third edition this week.

Leading scores after round 1 of the Yeangder TPC being played at the par 72, 7125 Yards Yeangder TPC course (a- denotes amateur):
65 - Angelo QUE (PHI).
66 - Gaganjeet BHULLAR (IND), Jason KNUTZON (USA).
67 - LIN Wen-tang (TPE).
68 - Anirban LAHIRI (IND), YEH Wei-tze (TPE).
69 - Namchok TANTIPOKHAKUL (THA), Berry HENSON (USA), Michael TRAN (VNM), Panuphol PITTAYARAT (THA), Arnond VONGVANIJ (THA).
70 - KIM Gi-whan (KOR), Niall TURNER (IRL), Thammanoon SRIROJ (THA), Antonio LASCUNA (PHI), Thaworn WIRATCHANT (THA), David GLEESON (AUS), Danny CHIA (MAS), Gavin FLINT (AUS).
71 - Jesper KENNEGARD (SWE), QUEK Quincy (SIN), Pawin INGKHAPRADIT (THA), Darren BECK (AUS), TSAI Chi-huang (TPE), HUANG Tung-liang (TPE), Marcus BOTH (AUS), LIN Keng-chi (TPE), Elmer SALVADOR (PHI), Tim STEWART (AUS), BAEK Seuk-hyun (KOR), Himmat RAI (IND), Miguel TABUENA (PHI).
Selected scores
72 - David LIPSKY (USA) CHAN Yih-shin (TPE)
73 - Boonchu RUANGKIT (THA), LU Wen-teh (TPE), SIDDIKUR  (BAN)Ends

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 Rolex (Official Timekeeper), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts), Abacus (Official Apparel Partner), Cityneon (Official Event Overlay Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Singha Beer (Official Beer), BlackBerry (Official Communications Partner) and Srixon (Official Ball). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.