Angelo Que hopes to come out fresh from a week-long rest, fully recovered from his final round debacle at Solaire Open two weeks ago as he joins the title hunt in the ICTSI Camp John Hay Championship unfolding on Wednesday at John Hay Golf Club in Baguio City.
Que had opted to skip last week’s kickoff leg of the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour at Splendido to take a much needed rest after his failed bid to nail a fourth Asian Tour crown in the Solaire Open at The Country Club. He led the top-level tournament in the second and third rounds but tumbled out of contention when he made a 12 on the par-5 No. 2 of the TCC in the final round.
Canadian Richard Lee snatched the crown while Que reeled back to finish at joint 21st after an 82, prompting him to take a break at Splendido won by Jay Bayron in come-from-behind fashion.
But Que is again expected to contend at John Hay, a short but tricky par-69 layout, which could turn into a virtual playground for the tour’s long-hitters, guaranteeing a shootout in all four days of the P2 million championship sponsored by International Container Terminal Services, Inc. and organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
Bayron actually looms as the player to beat at John Hay where he ruled last year, also through a final round rally that saw him overhaul a five-stroke lead with a closing 59 and edge Miguel Tabuena on the second playoff hole.
That should make the chase for the top P360,000 purse doubly interesting with Bayron enjoying the momentum and the drive for back-to-back victory, and Que and Tabuena setting out motivated by their desire to atone for past mishaps.
So do Elmer Salvador and Tony Lascuna, who both fell short of their title bids at Splendido, along with Cassius Casas, winner of this year’s The Country Club Invitational who was disqualified after signing a wrong scorecard.
But if there’s one player raring to bounce back with a win, it is Rufino Bayron, who blew a whopping nine-stroke lead at Splendido and ended up losing the crowd by one to brother Jay.
The crack foreign contingent is also out to make an impact after a so-so campaign at Splendido where Swede Malcolm Kokocinski emerging as the best placed at joint 10th. But with Manila-based Canadian Rick Gibson, who topped the PGT Q-School, in the Baguio roster, things are looking up indeed for the group, which includes Dutch Guido Van der Valk, Japanese Tomokazu Yoshinaga, Tony Guerrero and Elliot Hume of the US, Koreans Kim Chang Hoi, Mun Jae Hyung, Gyuha Park and Park Jin Hyeon.