Photo - Asian Tour
FILIPINO QUE TRIUMPHS IN PLAY-OFF AT WORLDWIDE HOLDINGS SELANGOR MASTERS
Petaling Jaya, Malaysia: Angelo Que of the Philippines claimed a thrilling play-off victory over England’s Chris Rodgers at the RM1.2 million (US$300,000) Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters for his third Asian Tour title on Saturday.
The 31-year-old Que outlasted a battling Rodgers with a par at the first extra hole after both players finished tied on six-under-par 278 in regulation play at the Seri Selangor Golf Club.
Thailand’s Thaworn Wiratchant finished third, one shot out of the play-off, after a 68 which included a costly double bogey on his last hole while Australians Scott Barr and Brad Smith shared fourth place with Filipino Juvic Pagunsan on 280.
Taking a one-shot lead into the final round, Que, whose last victory was at the 2008 Philippine Open, carded a 70 in the final round and was caught by playing partner Rodgers, who closed with a 69.
But the Englishman was forced to settle for his fourth runner-up finish in Asia after making mistakes in the play-off to allow Que to snatch victory and the winner’s cheque of US$59,717.
“It feels great. First time I won was in 2004 and then I waited for four years for my second win. Now I’ve just waited for two years for my third. It’s good and a great feeling. Hopefully I’ll keep winning and I won’t stop,” said Que.
“Three is a charm. Winning a third time tells you that you can really do it no matter what. You just need to have the right mind set and believe in yourself that you can do it.”
Despite dropping a bogey on 18 in regulation play to fall into a play-off, the bubbly Filipino was calm and collected and revealed that a 20-foot birdie conversion on the 16th hole which drew him level with Rodgers was pivotal.
“16 was the key. After I holed my bogey putt in regulation, I was so relieved and I was calmer than earlier this morning. I was happy to be in the play-off as it was just me against Chris and I wasn’t fighting against the field anymore. Chris played well but he was unlucky in the play-off,” said Que.
Rodgers, who was searching for a second victory after his 2006 Pakistan Open victory, took the defeat in his stride. “Finishing second is never fun. It was neck and neck and it was done in good spirit and good fun. We were battling away in a good way as we’ve known each other for a long time. It is a good tournament for me but a disappointing finish,” said Rodgers.
He found the greenside trap from a poor lie and then left his third shot well short of the pin and took three putts for a six. Que, who split the fairway with a monster drive, had the luxury of a two-putt for his victory.
Rodgers said: “It’s a tricky pin on the last and you have to hit it on the right hand of the fairway which I did but caught a lousy lie. I couldn’t do much and just pushed it into the bunker. I was trying to stop it at the top (of the ridge) and let the ball roll down but put too much spin and was half-hearted after that. But good for Angelo as he’s cool and he’s a worthy winner.”
Thaworn, bidding for a record equalling 12th Asian Tour victory, charged up the leaderboard with five birdies, including four in a row, on his back nine but stumbled badly with several poor shots which included one that landed in the hazard on 18.
“I hit it too much right with the driver and then found it difficult from there on. I’ve always said that this course was a tough one,” said the Thai veteran.
Airil Rizman finished as the leading Malaysian in tied 14th place after closing with a 74 for a 284 total.