Home hero Angelo Que, to fulfill three major goals, will be targeting a win at the US$1 million Resorts World Manila Masters beginning today.
The 36-year-old Filipino said he was eager to end a five-year title drought on the Asian Tour by winning at Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club in what is the richest golf tournament in the Philippines.
Subsequently, Que knows that returning into the winner’s circle will boost his hopes of qualifying for Team Asia who will face Europe in the second edition of the EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM in Malaysia next January and secure his place in the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in August.
“I’m looking forward to playing in the Resorts World Manila Masters. There will be plenty of incentives for me to try and win the tournament and I’ll be hoping to produce my best golf next week,” said Que.
His previous outings at the Resorts World Manila Masters, which will be played from November 19-22, have been a mixed bag. He tied for 25thplace in the first edition in 2013 and missed the halfway cut last season.
The effervescent Que, a live wire on Tour, said it would be important for him to not put too much pressure on himself to perform at Manila Southwoods. “I know the golf course really well so hopefully I can use it to my fullest advantage. I’ve had some really good rounds there in the past but also shot some average rounds. I’ll need to be consistent.”
With his last victory on the Asian Tour being in 2010, Que is keen to end his dry run. He finished runner-up at last year’s Hong Kong Open and also finished second in Japan earlier in the season. Most recently, he was top-15 at the UBS Hong Kong Open and Japan Open, results which he feels will make him competitive next week.
“My game feels good but I’ve just played quite a lot of golf with seven tournaments in a row. I’ve taken this week off to prepare for the Resorts World Manila Masters, so hopefully I will be really up for it,” he said.
Que is hoping to launch a bid to qualify for the EurAsia Cup, which is dubbed the Ryder Cup of the East. Only a win at home or over the next few weeks on the Asian Tour will see him make the 12-man squad.
“It would be great to get myself into the EurAsia Cup frame. I watched the first match last year and thought that Asia did brilliantly well to force a draw with a very strong European side. I think only a win will give me a chance to make the team,” said Que.
“A win at home will also boost my chances to play in the Olympic Games, which is another major event on the calendar next year. At present, I’m in the Olympics if the cut off was this week as I’m ranked 48th on the list with the top-60 qualifying. It will be a big deal to represent the Philippines in Rio,” he added.
Frenchman Lionel Weber, who finished runner-up at the Resorts World Manila Masters last season, will be looking for a repeat performance to safeguard his Asian Tour card once again. Currently ranked 50th, he knows a strong showing in Manila will ensure he kept his full playing rights.
“I like the golf course a lot. I was a bit nervous last year because I was not in a good position on the Order of Merit but I finished second there and everything changed for me, said the 25-year-old.
“You need to be patient because you never know when you can have a good week on Tour. In Manila, I was hitting the ball very well. I felt good and I holed many birdie opportunities. That’s what happened and I had a 64 on the third day.
“This season has been average. I’m not playing bad or playing well. I’m just waiting to find my game. I need my game to come together. I think there is a mental part involved but I’m waiting for a boost in confidence. I really want to win on the Asian Tour and I’ll give it my best until the end of the season,” he said.
Resorts World Manila Masters partners include Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club and supported by Marriott, Scientific Games, Aristocrat, IGT Asia Pte Ldt, Fuji Xerox, Konami, Levelwear, Mitsubishi Motors, RGD LTD, Net Pacific, Inc, Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company, Avis and Glenmorangie.