STARS TO LIGHT UP HANDA SINGAPORE CLASSIC
Singapore: Multiple Asian Tour winners India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar and Philippines’ Angelo Que have confirmed that they will tee up alongside Asia’s number one Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand at the inaugural Handa Singapore Classic next month.
Siddikur who made history by becoming the first Bangladeshi player to win a title on the Asian Tour at the Brunei Open will also make his way to the island republic where a star-studded field is expect to challenge for top honours at the full field Asian Tour event.
The US$400,000 Handa Singapore Classic is one of the four new events on the Asian Tour Schedule this season and will take place at the highly-rated Orchid Country Club from September 9-12.
Que will be aiming for another grandstand finish after enjoying a welcome return to the winner’s circle when he secured his third Asian Tour victory at the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters a fortnight ago.
The 31-year-old Filipino plans to adopt a relaxed approach as he goes in search for another win at the Handa Singapore Classic. When he broke through on the Asian Tour in 2004 and subsequently won for the second time in 2008, Que said he put too much expectation on himself to achieve good results at every event.
“One mistake that I made was that I was so full of confidence but I kept missing cuts right away. I think one reason why it happened was that my expectations went up sky high. Winning a tournament doesn’t mean that you’re going to be hitting perfect shots all the time,” said Que.
“I’m going to play it like I haven’t won anything. I won’t expect so many good shots and will just play it as it is,” added Que.
Bhullar who reinforced his growing reputation as one of Asia’s brightest prospects when he produced a brilliant final-day course record of 64 to win his second Asian Tour title in Bangkok at the start of the year is also expected to be among the contenders at the inaugural event.
The promising 22-year-old Indian has been touted as one of the stars of the future and he will be eager to cement his status with another commanding performance.
Meanwhile Thongchai, whose success across the region includes triumphs in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar is hoping to add Singapore onto his list of conquests.
The 40-year-old Thai has become one of Asia’s living legends with his rapid success across the region and abroad. He is the first man to win three Order of Merit crowns and also holds the most number of victories on the Asian Tour with 12 titles.
“To win a tournament is the goal for every golfer and to win in Singapore is one of my challenges. Definitely, I will set my eyes on the Handa Singapore Classic trophy and I hope to become the first champion of the Handa Singapore Classic,” said Thongchai.
Singapore’s Lam Chih Bing together with rising star Quincy Quek is also expected to feature strongly and provide the local challenge against the host of Asian Tour stars.
The Handa Singapore Classic is title sponsored by the International Sports Promotion Society (ISPS), which is headed by Dr Haruhisa Handa. The Japanese philanthropist also hopes to raise awareness for golfers who have partial or have complete visual impairment. The official charity for the event is the International Blind Golf Association (IBGA).