Que aims to repeat history as Han charges to top in Singapore
Angelo Que must be feeling a sense of déjà vu building after reaching the halfway point of The SMBC Singapore Open occupying one of four qualifying places on offer to play at The Open.
The Filipino golfer was in The Open field in 2008, the last time Royal Birkdale hosted golf’s most international major championship. He earned his spot that year through International Final Qualifying at Sentosa four months before, declaring it was his “dream” to play at The Open.
Four players, who finish in the top 12 and ties in Singapore who are not already exempt, will book a place in The 146th Open at Royal Birkdale from 16-23 July.
Unfortunately for Que he didn’t make the cut in 2008, with Padraig Harrington going on to lift the Claret Jug for a second time. But now, back at Sentosa and playing in The Open Qualifying Series’ second event, the 38-year-old is currently in contention to follow the same route to Royal Birkdale as he did nine years ago.
Que was one of the lucky ones who completed the second round after fading light forced play to be suspended before with 26 players still out on the course. A 69 to finish at six-under-par after carding an impressive 67 on Thursday means he sits just two shots behind American Seungsu Han, whose late charge on Friday saw him storm past three-time former champion Adam Scott to lead the field at nine-under-par.
Han’s second round included six birdies, with two bogeys at the 8th and 13th the only blemishes on his card. Ranked at 506th in the world, Han’s rise to the top of the leaderboard came as a pleasant surprise to spectators and media alike.
The 30-year-old’s tied- fourth finish at the Casino World Open on The Japan Tour is his best career performance to date. He will now go into the weekend two shots ahead of the rest with a real chance of qualifying for The Open.
Malaysian Gavin Green and local golfer Quincy Quek are also in contention to play at Royal Birkdale. Green finished in second place alongside Adam Scott on seven-under-par after 15 holes and will have to return tomorrow morning to complete his round. The former WAGR number 12 represented his country at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in August and is a three-time winner on the Asian Tour at 23-years-old.
Quek’s up and down round of 68, featuring six birdies and three bogeys, saw the 29-year-old climb the leaderboard for a share of third place with Que on six-under-par. The Singaporean may be ranked 945th in the world but will be buoyed by the home support on Saturday.