Local hero Angelo Que is ready to overcome an uncharacteristic run of poor form when he shoots for a second ICTSI Philippine Open victory when the $300,000 event is fired off beginning Thursday at the Wack Wack Golf and Country Club’s fable East Course.
The jovial Filipino has won three Asian Tour victories, including the 2008 Philippine Open at Wack Wack but after enjoying his best Order of Merit placing in 13th position, he has yet to hit top form in 2014.
A return to his National Open, also Asia’s oldest national championship, will certainly bring out the best in Que when he tees up against an elite field for the four-day tournament serving as the sixth leg of this year’s Asian Tour.
He will be joined by a slew of Asian Tour champions, including titleholder Mardan Mamat of Singapore, eight-time Asian Tour winner Prayad Marksaeng of Thailand, popular Bangladeshi Siddikur Rahman and current Asian Tour number one Anirban Lahiri of India.
Prayad, Siddikur and Lahiri were all part of Team Asia, which forced a memorable draw with Europe in the inaugural EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM in Malaysia last March.
Berry Henson of the United States, who won the 2011 Philippine Open, Lin Wen-tang of Chinese Taipei, a six-time Asian Tour winner, and Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand, a two-time Asian Tour number one, will also feature in the storied event which returns onto the Asian Tour schedule following a one-year hiatus.
Que will need to rise to the occasion after missing two cuts in four starts on the Asian Tour this year. His best result so far was tied 21st at the Solaire Open on home soil where he led into the final round before stumbling out of contention following a final day 82.
He insists that he has recovered from that setback which was marred by a devastating 12 on the par five-second hole and is ready to make amends at the ICTSI Philippine Open.
Also tipped to contend for the crown are reigning back-to-back ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour Order of Merit winner Tony Lascuna, young ace Miguel Tabuena, Elmer Salvador, Frankie Minoza, Mars Pucay, Carl Santos-Ocampo and Cassius Casas.
Thai veteran Prayad will make a welcome return to the ICTSI Philippine Open since his tied sixth finish in the 2007 edition. The 48-year-old enjoyed a superb 2013 season when he completed a Royal double by winning the Queen’s and King’s Cup on home soil.
He ended the year in seventh place on the Order of Merit and was subsequently picked as the Captain’s wild card for the inaugural EurAsia Cup where he contributed 1 ½ points in Team Asia’s tie with Europe.