Local ace Angelo Que hopes to ride on a four-year cycle in breaking a title spell on the Asian Tour as he takes aim for a fourth championship in $300,000 Solaire Open firing off this Thursday at The Country Club in Laguna.
Que scored a breakthrough win in the region’s premier circuit in 2004 when he ruled the Carlsberg Masters in Vietnam, nailed his second crown in the 2008 Philippine Open then pocketed his third four years later in the Selangor Masters.
After another four-year drought, the bubbly Filipino shotmaker sets out for another title crack at the Solaire Open where he also hopes to draw confidence from his past success at the wind-raked TCC layout.
“It is a good venue and a bit of a change from Wack Wack. It is a nice course and it is quite wide but very windy. It can be challenging but I think everybody will enjoy it. If I drive the ball well and hole the putts, then I will do well,” said Que, who has a superb track record at the highly-rated venue where he won three and had one runner-up finish in the annual The Country Club Invitational, making him one of the hot favorites to win the 72-hole Asian Tour event sponsored by Solaire Resort and Casino.
“I’m playing at home and I’ve always done well. I like the feeling that everybody is behind you to support you,” said Que.
But Que will be joined in by a slew of Asian Tour stalwarts, including India’s newest rising star Rashid Khan, who won the season-opening SAIL-SBI Open on home soil last week, talented Thai Arnond Vongvanij, Singaporean veteran Mardan Mamat, highly rated Baek Seuk-hyun of Korea, Bangladeshi star Siddikur Rahman and Thai veteran Prayad Marksaeng.
Filipino Cassius Casas, who earned his Asian Tour card at Qualifying School last month, is also expected to figure prominently in the title race, having bested the elite local field to cop his second TCC Invitational crown last February.
Others vying in the Solaire Open, which serves as the second leg of the Asian Tour, are veteran Frankie Minoza, Miguel Tabuena, Jay Bayron, the 2012 Asian Development Tour Order of Merit winner, and reigning back-to-back ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour champion Tony Lascuña.
But focus will be on Que, who will enter the Solaire Open oozing with confidence after enjoying his best season in 2013 where he finished a career high 13th on the Order of Merit marked by six top 10 finishes.
“I’m very happy with last year because it was my best season in about 10 years. I could have done better but I can’t complain. I had a great year. A win would have been better but finishing 13th on the Order of Merit is a good achievement,” said the 35-year-old Que.
This year, Que has set himself a goal to win his fourth title on the region’s premier Tour but he admits that it will not be easy.
“Winning on this Tour is getting tougher and tougher. Back in the day, you shoot 15-under and you will win a tournament. Now if you shoot the same score, you will be tied for fifth. It is such a different game now in Asia. Players are getting better and they are getting more aggressive,” he said.