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Que hoping for success at Philippine Open

Angelo Que, one of Asia 's newest stars, is dreaming of home success when he competes in the US$200,000 Philippine Open starting on Thursday.

The 27-year-old Que has enjoyed a meteoric rise in the past six months, first winning his maiden Asian Tour title last November at the Carlsberg Masters Vietnam before going on to star in Asia's triumph over Japan in the Visa Dynasty Cup last month.

Despite a recent lean spell, Que is hoping to put the icing on the cake by winning his home Open, the oldest championship in Asia , at Mt Malayarat Golf and Country Club on the outskirts of Manila .

"It's a big week for the local boys. It will be quite nice to win, it'll be really cool. I've won the national amateur title twice previously (2000 and 2001) and hopefully, I'll have a chance this week," said Que today.

Que beat 2004 Asian Tour number one Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand and American Corey Pavin for his Vietnam success and subsequently produced solid performances to earn a captain's pick for the Dynasty Cup.

The Filipino emerged as one of the heroes in Asia's five-point victory over a Shigeki Maruyama-led Japan, remaining undefeated in three matches where he delivered two points including a defeat of Hideki Kase in the singles which gave Asia the winning point.

"Winning that event in my debut meant a lot to me. I was the youngest member of the Asian team and it felt really good to make that putt at the last hole for my win," said Que, who partnered Korea 's Mo Joong-kyung in the foursomes and fourball where they halved both matches.

However poor putting displays in recent weeks have been a bane in Que's search for more glory. "I'm hitting the ball good but my putting has been pretty average. It's going to be a real test as the course this week has got some really undulating greens. My short game needs to be at its best," said Que, whose highest finish in the Philippine Open was tied seventh place in 2002 when he was still an amateur.

The local challenge will also be carried by Gerald Rosales and Felix Casas, both former champions of the Philippine Open. Amateur star Juvic Pagunsan, who finished runner-up last year behind American Edward Michaels, will also be competing.

Manila-based Rick Gibson of Canada , winner of the event in 2002, and Korean American Anthony Kang, who lifted the title in 1999, will also be amongst those tipped to challenge for the title.

Australian Jarrod Lyle, who enjoyed a tied second finish at the Macau Open on Sunday, will be looking to maintain his top form in Manila . The 23-year-old overcame leukaemia six years ago and is now living up his potential as one of the Tour's rising stars.

"I'm just loving every minute that I'm on top of the ground and not in the ground. I was with a lot kids who didn't get out. I guess I'm one of the lucky ones. It's always been my dream to be a golfer. I've got a new lease of life and you don't take things for granted," said Lyle.

The 89th Philippine Open is the 13th leg of the 2005 Asian Tour schedule. Many famous names are inscribed on the Philippine Open trophy including Peter Thomson of Australia, Carlos Franco of Paraguay, Chinese Taipei's Lu Liang-huan and Hsieh Min-nan, who led Asia to victory in the Visa Dynasty Cup.

Legendary Filipino golfers Celestino Tugot and Ben Arda are the other prominent former champions.

 

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