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Golf: Que honours coach’s birthday with 65 at Solaire Open

Angelo Que (pictured) shot a best-of-day 65 to share the lead with fellow Filipino Miguel Tabuena at the Solaire Open. Photo: Asian Tour.

Angelo Que (pictured) shot a best-of-day 65 to share the lead with fellow Filipino Miguel Tabuena at the Solaire Open.

March 14, 2014: Filipinos Angelo Que shot a timely 65 to honour his coach’s birthday and share the halfway lead with teenager Miguel Tabuena at the US$300,000 Solaire Open on Friday. Que, a three-time Asian Tour winner, fired the day’s lowest score with a flawless six-under-par round while Tabuena shot a 68 to tie for the lead on seven-under-par at The Country Club.


India’s SSP Chowrasia, a two-time Asian Tour winner, registered a 68 to lie one shot back in third place, one ahead of Bryce Easton of South Africa and Matthew Griffin of Australia, who posted 68 and 69 respectively.


The bubbly Que – who needed just 25 putts – signalled his strong intentions to win the Solaire Open after being motivated by the challenge from his coach Bong Lopez, who was celebrating his birthday.


“Before I teed off, my coach told me to shoot a 65 as his birthday gift. Luckily I managed to do just that,” said Que, who enjoyed a career-best 13th-place finish on the 2013 Asian Tour Order of Merit.


“I’ve been working hard with my coach and we really want to win this year. Working and hanging out with him gives me a lot of confidence. It is a big advantage when you play on home soil. I think this is the biggest chance for me to win.”


The 19-year-old Tabuena, who is searching for his first Asian Tour victory, was denied the outright lead when his chip for birdie on 18 stopped just short of the hole.


“It stopped about half an inch from the hole. I was waiting for the wind to pick, but nothing happened,” lamented Tabuena, a silver medallist in the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, China.


The highly rated teenager said that the experience gained from the 2011 Philippine Open has prepared him for the final two rounds. He was in contention in his national Open three years ago before settling for tied 11th following a final round 81.


“I’ve been in contention before,” Tabuena said. “I just tell myself not to get ahead of myself. I’ve done that so many times and it caught me in the end. If I follow my game plan, which is to shoot one-under in each half, then I will have a chance.”


Chowrasia, winner of the 2008 EMAAR-MGF Indian Masters and 2011 Avantha Masters event sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour, turned in another consistent round after making changes to his putting stance.


“My putting was good. I really struggled with my putting in the last few months, but I made a small change in my putting stance. Now my hand is positioned slightly in front instead of behind,” he explained.


The Indian, who is the son of a greenkeeper at Royal Calcutta Golf Club, registered a second consecutive 68 and expressed his fondness of playing under windy conditions.


“There’s no secret to my good scores,” Chowrasia said. “No doubt, the course is very challenging and it reminds me of the courses in Europe, but the weather there is obviously colder. I like to play on windy courses because I hit my balls really low. Unfortunately, I had one bad drive (out of bounds) on the fifth hole for a double bogey.”


The halfway cut was set at three-over-par 145, with a total of 69 players making the weekend rounds.


Solaire Open (Asian Tour), The Country Club, Philippines

135 – Angelo QUE (PHI) 70-65, Miguel TABUENA (PHI) 67-68.

136 – S.S.P CHOWRASIA (IND) 68-68.

137 – Bryce EASTON (RSA) 69-68, Matthew GRIFFIN (AUS) 68-69.

138 – Zanie Boy GIALON (PHI) 68-70, Richard T. LEE (CAN) 68-70, WANG Jeung-hun (KOR) 71-67.

139 – Carlos PIGEM (ESP) 69-70, Simon GRIFFITHS (ENG) 70-69, Dimitrios PAPADATOS (AUS) 70-69, David LIPSKY (USA) 71-68.

140 – Paul PETERSON (USA) 72-68, Siddikur RAHMAN (BAN) 70-70, Masahiro KAWAMURA (JPN) 71-69, Carl SANTOS-OCAMPO (PHI) 69-71, Poom SAKSANSIN (THA) 71-69, Terry PILKADARIS (AUS) 70-70, Chawalit PLAPHOL (THA) 68-72, Rikard KARLBERG (SWE) 67-73, Prom MEESAWAT (THA) 69-71.


Source: Asian Tour

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