HEAVYWEIGHTS IN HIGH SPIRIT FOR HANDA SINGAPORE CLASSIC
Singapore: Multiple Asian Tour winners Angelo Que of the Philippines, Japanese star Hideto Tanihara and Thai hero Prayad Marksaeng plan to show why they are amongst the region’s top stars at the inaugural Handa Singapore Classic next week.
The supremely talented trio, who have won a combined total of 11 Asian Tour titles, will be part of a strong field which will gather at the Orchid Country Club from September 9 to 12.
Among the other big names jetting in for the US$400,000 Asian Tour event include Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee, a three-time Order of Merit champion, countryman Chinnarat Phadungsil, Australia’s Marcus Fraser, in-form Juvic Pagunsan of the Philippines, Marcus Both of Australia and Chan Yih-shin of Chinese Taipei.
Que, who won his third Asian Tour title at the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters last month, is hoping to maintain his rich vein of form. The Filipino recently embarked on a yoga retreat and will be determined to carry his winning recipe to the Handa Singapore Classic.
“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. I’m looking forward to the Handa Singapore Classic,” said Que.
“Winning a third time tells you that you can really do it no matter what. You just need to have the right mindset and believe in yourself that you can do it,” added Que.
Sweet-swinging Prayad, a six-time Asian Tour champion, has enjoyed a mixed season so far, highlighted by a second place finish at the Air Bagan Myanmar Open and tied sixth at the Queen’s Cup on home soil.
His last Asian Tour victory was recorded back in 2007 but the Thai, who has tasted success in Singapore previously, is unfazed by his title drought. “My form has not been good because of the equipment changes but I feel different now. I would like to win again as it’s been a while since I won on the Asian Tour,” said Prayad, who won the 1997 Singapore PGA Championship.
The powerful Tanihara, a two-time Asian Tour champion, will enter the week on the back of claiming his ninth career victory in Japan. The Japanese star is one of the most consistent golfers on the Asian Tour this season after making six consecutive cut and posting one top-10 and two top-20s.
Sweden’s Rikard Karlberg, winner of the SAIL Open in India in April, will also be in the Handa field.