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Posts Tagged ‘Angelo Que’

This week saw significant results from Filipino par busters in the European Tour.  The main tour was in Malaysia this week for the Maybank Malaysian Open.  Entering the final round, our four Filipino campaigners found themselves in good position to really make great strides.  After all the Filipinos made the cut, they all had the opportunity to earn big bucks and maybe even have the chance to be fully exempt in the European tour.  Angelo Que ended the third round with an even par 72 and found himself 4 back at 10th place, after starting the round joint 3rd.  He had a faulty first nine where he registered a 38 but recovered well in the final 9 to maintain his position.  Mars Pucay had a third round 70 to be tied for 38th, while Tony Lascuna and Juvic Pagunsan were tied for 56th.

Unfortunately, our guys had rather lackluster final rounds and the hoped for improved placing did not materialize.  Angelo Que again broke par with a 71 on nines of 36 and 35.  He had two birdies and a bogey for his round to end up tied for 10th.  Mars Pucay had a 73 to drop to tied for 44th while Tony Lascuna also had a 73 to stay at tied for 56th.  Juvic Pagunsan had a horrific 76 to drop to joint 70.

Because this is a co-sanctioned event between the European and Asian Tours, the prize money was quite generous, with the winner Noh Seung Yul winning $333,330.00.  Angelo went home with a top 10 finish and $35,850.00.  This bolted Angelo up to 10th place in the Asian Tour Order of Merit.  The next events in the Asian Tour schedule are tied to world events like the CA Championship and the Masters.  The Asian Tour will be back in full swing in April 22 for the Ballantine Championship at Jeju Island in Korea, birthplace of YE Yang.  Next week though would be significant as it would be the British Open International Final Qualifying for Asia to be held in Malaysia as well.  Angelo Que and Mars Pucay are trying to make the British Open field this year.  They are in competition with stalwarts from Japan, Korea, Australia and others, with stars from the Asian Tour littering the field.  Only four slots are available for the British Open in next weeks event so out guys will really have to put in a special effort to punch their tickets for St. Andrews, the birthplace of golf.

While many of us concentrated on watching how our players are doing in the Malaysian Open, many may not known that another Filipino made waves this week in the European Tour, albeit at the Senior Level.  In this year’s Aberdeen Brunei Senior Masters, golfing legend Frankie Minoza made a great account of himself by placing second to old rival Boonchu Runagkit after losing in a playoff.  Frankie was actually down by two after Ruangkit birdied the 17th.  But Frankie never gave up and birdied the last, while watching flightmate Ruangkit falter with a bogey for a two shot swing.  In the playoff both parred the first playoff hole but Frankie bogeyed the next to hand the crown to Ruangkit who parred the hole.  Frankie really played well, leading Runagkit to comment that Frankie played very well.  He noted that Frankie outdrove him significantly all day.  Breaks just spelled the difference.  For his effort Frankie earned Euro:29,555.19.  It is good to note that Frankie beat world class champions Sam Torrence (T-5) and Ian Woosnam (T-17) who were also in the field.

Good show for our pinoys.  Hope they even do better in their campaigns and bring home hardware in the future.  Kudos mga kababayan.

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Angelo Que finished joint 30th in the Avantha masters in a co-sanctioned event between the Asian Tour and the European Tour.  Were it not for a double bogey in the last for a 3 over score in the back 9, Angelo would have been in the top 25.  Nonetheless, this is a great showing for him as he just made the cut right on the number at 1-under, eventually finishing at 5-under.  By placing joint 30th with Chapchai Nirat and Thaworn Wirachant, he earned US$17,310.11, which boosts him to 16th in the Asian Tour Order of Merit.  Australian Andrew Dodt won the event and US$ 347,592.50, by shooting a 14-under 274 to beat Englishman Richard Finch by one.

The only other Filipino in the field, Mars Pucay, missed the cut by one shot.

After the World Golf Championship next week, the Asian Tour will be in Malaysia for the Maybank Malaysian Open on March 4 to 7.  The field will be led by KJ Choi, Darren Clark, David Howell, Daniel Chopra, Nick Dougherty, Thongchai Jaidee, Shingo Katayama and other stars.  This is another co-sanctioned event between the Asian Tour and the European PGA Tour.  The list of players has not been released but it is expected that Angelo will be in the field again.

The Filipino number 2 behind Juvic Pagunsan (according to the World Golf Ranking) is truly making headway in the new season of the Asian Tour, finishing 16th and 30th in his first 2 events.  Here’s to seeing better results for Angelo and to the rest of the Filipinos in the Asian Tour.

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This past week, the golfing world lay witness to the fact that golf is not merely an individual pursuit but can, instead be played in representation of flag and country.  In the President’s Cup, the United States upended the spirited charge of the International Team (19 1/2 to 14 1/2) and once again affirmed their dominance of this biennial event.  In the 8 times this event has been staged, the United States has won 6 times.  The International Team won in 1998, held in Melbourne Australia, in convincing fashion (20 1/2 to 11 1/2) for their lone win.  The teams tied in 2003, after the captain’s (Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player) agreed to share the cup as darkness enveloped the The Links Course at Fancourt Hotel and Country Club Estate George, Western Cape Province, South Africa.   I remember this distinctly.  After the teams tied 17 all, the captains chose one player from each team to represent the sides in a sudden death playoff.  Tiger and Ernie were chosen and they engaged in a dramatic tug-of-war for 3 holes.  They matched clutch putt after clutch putt in the gathering darkness, neither one wanting to concede to the other.  But alas, mother nature had other plans and demanded that the teams demonstrate a show of solidarity by sharing the cup.  Significantly, this is the first President’s Cup after the tragedy of 9/11 underscoring that a show of sportsmanship can mirror the need for unity amongst all men at the time.

I recall that in the first President’s Cup in 1994, Frankie Minoza was actually in the running to make the team, eventually ending up 11th or 12th in the ranking.  Captain David Graham supposedly considered Frankie for inclusion as a captain’s pick but eventually chose Fultom Allen and Tsukasa Watanabe.  When Greg Norman withdrew, Graham chose Bradley Hughes to replace him.  Who know, if perhaps with Frankie’s inclusion in the 1994 team they would not have been beat 20 to 12.  Frankie never really threatened to make the team thereafter.

In addition to the holding of the President’s cup, the golfing world also received wonderful news that golf will be an Olympic Sport in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.  The plan is that, the 60 males and 60 females in the world will compete for the medals in two divisions.  The top 15 players from the world rankings of each group will be automatically included, regardless of the number of representatives a country gets.  After the top 15, players will be chosen by rank so that each country will be represented by at most 2 players.  If a country already has more than 2 players within the top 15, it can no longer be represented by other players thereafter.  This goes on until 60 slots are filled.   If the Olympics were held today, this means that the following will be participating:

1 Tiger Woods USA 1
2 Phil Mickelson USA 2
3 Steve Stricker USA 3
4 Paul Casey Great Britain/N.Ireland 4
5 Henrik Stenson Sweden 5
6 Kenny Perry USA 6
7 Padraig Harrington Ireland 7
8 Sergio Garcia Spain 8
9 Jim Furyk USA 9
10 Geoff Ogilvy Australia 10
11 Lee Westwood Great Britain/N.Ireland 11
12 Martin Kaymer Germany 12
13 Stewart Cink USA 13
14 Sean O’Hair USA 14
15 Vijay Singh Fiji 15
16 Camilo Villegas Colombia 16
17 Retief Goosen South Africa 21
18 Ernie Els South Africa 23
19 Robert Karlsson Sweden 24
20 Angel Cabrera Argentina 28
21 Y.E. Yang Korea 30
22 Mike Weir Canada 31
23 Robert Allenby Australia 32
24 Soren Kjeldsen Denmark 33
25 Miguel A. Jimenez Spain 40
26 Soren Hansen Denmark 42
27 Ryo Ishikawa Japan 43
28 Jeev Milkha Singh India 48
29 Shingo Katayama Japan 52
30 Thongchai Jaidee Thailand 53
31 Stephen Ames Canada 59
32 Francesco Molinari Italy 67
33 K.J. Choi Korea 78
34 Prayad Marksaeng Thailand 89
35 Thomas Levet France 97
36 Lin Wen-Tang Taiwan 99
37 Andres Romero Argentina 103
38 David Smail New Zealand 108
39 Edoardo Molinari Italy 111
40 Danny Lee New Zealand 125
41 Raphael Jacquelin France 138
42 Nicolas Colsaerts Belgium 166
43 Peter Lawrie Ireland 170
44 Gaganjeet Bhullar India 172
45 Liang Wen-Chong China 192
46 Robert-Jan Derksen Netherlands 201
47 Alex Cejka Germany 210
48 Felipe Aguilar Chile 211
49 Markus Brier Austria 228
50 Jose-Felipe Lima Portugal 232
51 Brendon de Jonge Zimbabwe 269
52 Lam Chih Bing Singapore 271
53 Roope Kakko Finland 278
54 Fabrizio Zanotti Paraguay 282
55 Marc Cayeux Zimbabwe 288
56 Maarten Lefeber Netherlands 314
57 Lu Wen-Teh Taiwan 317
58 Henrik Bjornstad Norway 350
59 Juvic Pagunsan Phillipines 374
60 Angelo Que Phillipines 390

(Correction:  This is an updated list.  I was alerted by madsjmd of pinoygolfer.com of a link with the list.  I failed to consider that GBR covers N. Ireland, Wales and Scotland.  As a result, players moved up.  What is really interesting is that our very own Juvic Pagunsan and Angelo Que now make the field under this qualifying system. )

Of course we are talking about 7 years from now, wherein anything can happen.  Perhaps we will be looking at the chances of Marcel Puyat and Miguel Tabuena more by that time.

For the ladies, if the Olympics were held today the following wold make it:

1                   Lorena Ochoa                              MEX

2                   Jiyai Shin                                        KOR

3                   Suzann Pettersen                      NOR

4                   Cristie Kerr                                    USA

5                   Yani Tseng                                     TWN

6                   Paula Creamer                            USA

7                   Angela Stanford                         USA

8                   Karrie Webb                                 AUS

9                   Ai Miyazato                                  JPN

10                 In Kyung Kim                                KOR

11                 Song-Hee Kim                             KOR

12                 Na Yeon Choi                               KOR

13                 Anna Nordqvist                          SWE

14                 Michelle Wie                                USA

15                 Eun-Hee Ji                                     KOR

16                 Catriona Matthew                     SCO

17                 Helen Alfredsson                       SWE

18                 Sakura Yokomine                       JPN

19                 Lindsey Wright                            AUS

20                 Candie Kung                                 TWN

21                 Angela Park                                  BRA

22                 Karen Stupples                           ENG

23                 Sandra Gal                                    DEU

24                 Giulia Sergas                                ITA

25                 Shanshan Feng                           CHN

26                 Janice Moodie                             SCO

27                 Minea Blomqvist                        FIN

28                 Becky Brewerton                       WAL

29                 Li-Ying Ye                                       CHN

30                 Becky Morgan                             WAL

31                 Jennifer Rosales                         PHL

32                 Alena Sharp                                  CAN

33                 Karine Icher                                  FRA

34                 Gwladys Nocera                         FRA

35                 Russy Gulyanamitta                  THA

36                 Melissa Reid                                 GBR

37                 Anja Monke                                 DEU

38                 Nicole Gergely                            AUT

39                 Azahara Munoz                          ESP

40                 Maria Iida                                      BRA

41                 Julieta Granada                           PRY

42                 Beatriz Recari                               ESP

43                 Felicity Johnson                          GBR

44                 Marianne Skarpnord                NOR

45                 Iben Tinning                                 DNK

46                 Marisa Baena                               COL

47                 Silvia Cavalleri                              ITA

48                 Ursula Wikstrom                        FIN

49                 Lee-Anne Pace                           ZAF

50                 Maria Jose Uribe                        COL

51                 Trish Johnson                              ENG

52                 Ashleigh Simon                           ZAF

53                 Hazel Kavanagh                          IRL

54                 Lisa Holm Sorensen                   DNK

55                 Sophia Sheridan                         MEX

56                 Lisa Meldrum                               CAN

57                 Marjet van der Graaff              NLD

58                 Maria Verchenova                     RUS

59                 Virada Nirapathpongporn      THA

60                 Lynnette Brooky                        NZL

Jennifer Rosales easily made the list and would be an Olympian if the games were held today.  Hopefully she will still be there 7 years from now, perhaps with other Pinoy lasses like Dottie Ardina.

Playing for one’s country is every athlete’s dream.  In golf, there is the world cup and the President’s or Ryder’s Cup to strive for.  But the mystique of the Olympics cannot be beat.  Every athlete wants to be an Olympian.  Here’s to hoping that in 2016, Filipinos will be fully represented in Olympic Golf.

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Bethpage Black, the site of the 109th US Open will be the venue for yet another classic golfing event.  Last time the US Open was held here Tiger Woods, shooting 3 under par, won by 3 over Phil Mickelson.  Last year, Tiger won in a play-off against Rocco Mediate for his 3rd US Open.  With a length of 7,406 yards, softened a bit by rain, Bethpage would be a great challenge for the field.  In 2002, when rains made the rough even more lush the pros would say that hitting from the rough was like hitting into a bag of water.  That can’t be fun for the wrists.

We of course all remember the drama of last year’s win.  Playing off a broken leg and a torn up knee, Tiger summoned up all the courage one can humanly muster and battled over 91 holes to beat a resolute Rocco Mediate.  His leg was so injured that immediately after he underwent surgery on his leg which laid him out for 8 months.  Playing with a good leg, with 2 wins this year, Tiger is poised to defend his title, a feat last done by Curtis Strange in 1989.

Tiger

Looking at the field, there are many ready to challenge Tiger’s march to victory.  Players I will be looking closely at include:

1.   PhilPhil Mickelson:  The poster boy for golf in New York, he will defintely have the crowd rooting for him.  After Bethpage in 2002, his PGA win in Baltustrol in New Jersey, his collapse in Winged Foot in 2006, Phil has so greatly endeared himself to the New York fans that he will feel like he was at home in Arizona.  With the cancer scare Amy is currently facing, Phil will even have more sympathy behind him.  His tepid showing in Memphis though appears to show that his head is not completely in the game.

2.  geoff Geoff Ogilvy:  Having won twice this year and being a former US Open champion, augurs well for this Australian.  He has the game and temperament for US Open golf.  Being tied for 87th in total driving though may result in ventures in the rough, which this year appers to be even higher than in 2002.  (It was up to the thigh of Andy North in a recent clip.)

3.  Zach Zach Johnson:  The leader of the Fedex Cup as of this date may not be too long, nor overpowering, but he has the “boring” fairways and green game to make a splash this year.  Also a 2-time winner this year, Zach, a former Masters Champion, is enjoying a tremendous year.  The lack of stength though may prove to be too much for him given that the course is a brute.

4.  Ian Ian Poulter:  He of the funky clothes and coiffed hair is ready to finally win a major and have a break through win in the US.  His showing in the Open last year, his Ryder Cup Performance and his near win in the Players shows that he is at the cusp of major success.

5.  Paul Paul Casey:  He won in Houston and then won the European PGA, a European Major.  Paul is finally living up to his full potential.  Carrying a really fluid one-piece swing, he is a model of consistency which should be great for  a US Open layout.

6.  Jim Jim Furyk:  He of the funky swing and a US Open under his belt, has his game in great shape headed into this week.  He finished 2nd to Tiger in the Memorial, true, but he separated himself from the other pretenders, showing that he has game.

7.  Padraig Padraig Harrington:  He won the PGA and the Open and therefore has the mettle to win majors.  His wins though did not have Tiger in the field.  His recent form is not too great but champions are championsn and can rise above.

8.  Henrik Henrik Stenson:  His win at the Players was gorgeous.  Talk about taking command on Sunday.  With Tiger in his rear view mirror he put on his blinkers and ran away with a phenomenal bogey free round.   Aside from that he has shown he would strip to his scivvies to save a shot.

Other notables worth watching would be Steve Stricker, Brian Gay, Sergio Garcia, Vijay Singh, Ernie Els, Rory Sabbatini, Kenny Perry (if he has gotten over the trauma at Augusta), Angel Cabrera and David Toms.  They all have the game and the wherewithal to win at Bethpage.  Sergio is not doing too well this year, but after his break up with Shark-daughter, he supposedly has his head on straight and ready to play.  He did well in Bethpage in 2002 though he faded on the last day.  Brian Gay had two tremendous wins this year and is heading into the US Open with a great feeling having won in St. Jude.  Els will always be my sentimental favorite.  I just love his swing.

The European challenge should start with last years order of merit winner Robert Karlson but he withdrew due to an eye problem.  Carrying the European charge aside from those already mentioned will be Rory McIlroy, Ross Fisher Miguel Angel Jimenez, Luke Donald and Oliver Wilson.  I like Fisher’s game.  He is long and lanky and plays within himself.  McIlroy would be one I would root for though.  He is young and may not know enough yet to be intimidated by the task.  See Sergio in ’99 at the PGA.  Rory may well be that guy now.  Donald is not doing too well but he is again a sentimental favorite of mine as I also love his swing.

For Asia, our hopes rest on Jeev Milka Singh, Ryuji Imada, K.J. Choi, and I want to say Angelo Que.  Shingo Katayama is the perpetual Asian placer in majors but he too withdrew.  Surprisingly Thongchai Jaidee is not in the field.  He is really tearing it up in Europe being number 12 in the Race to Dubai.  I know Angelo Que will be hard pressed to even make the cut much less win but being pinoy, we of course will root for our own.

Everyone though will be chasing Tiger Woods this weekend.  I really cannot see him being a non-factor on Sunday.  I defintely can see him win.  You never know with golf though.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see Charl Swartzel and Thomas Levet in the final group if the golf gods so ordain.  In any event I anticipate four fun days of competition for the 109th US Open.  Will Tiger take no. 15, will Phil finally win on father’s day, will Padraig add to his Open and PGA, will Sergio break through, will Ian Poulter comb?  These questions will be answered this weekend.  May the best man win.

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