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Singapore: Singapore’s rising star Quincy Quek is hoping to turn his season around at the inaugural Handa Singapore Classic starting on Thursday.
Quek, who earned his Asian Tour card at this year’s Qualifying School in Thailand, has made only one cut this season but he is confident of turning the corner at the Orchid Country Club.
Quek will be among a strong line up of Asian Tour stars which includes three-time Order of Merit champion Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand, Marcus Fraser of Australia and local hope Lam Chih Bing at the US$400,000 full field tournament.
Quek, who was part of the 2008 Putra Cup winning team, currently lies in 147th place on the Order of Merit but is optimistic of putting his course knowledge to full use in hopes of carding a good result this week.
“Keeping my Asian Tour card is my goal this year. It has been difficult for me to try and get some momentum going but I’m looking forward to a much busier second half and hopefully start the ball rolling this week,” said Quek, who needs to finish in the top-60 of the Order of Merit to retain his Tour card for next year.
He believes it is an advantage to play on home soil but is wary of the immensely talented cast assembled at the Handa Singapore Classic.
“There’s a definite advantage (playing at home). It is not just playing on your so called home course. This is your own country and you feel comfortable with the food and you know the people. This is as good as it gets. If I want to play well, I think it will be this week especially with the home support.
“I’m not going to be too complacent but it is going to be a tough challenge against these guys who play week in and week out. It is going to be another week for them to shoot low numbers so the Singapore boys definitely need to pull their socks up and play their best,” added the 23-year-old.
Lam, a winner on the Asian Tour, has two-tops 10s so far this season and will be inspired to launch a title assault.
“I have been struggling in the last few tournaments but I feel that I’m very close to playing my best again. I hope this will be the week that I play well, especially since it is in Singapore,” said the champion of the 2008 Volvo Masters of Asia in Thailand.
Lam reckons that good course management will the key to victory this week. “The good thing about this course is you have to play smart depending on where they place the pins. Ideally you want a full wedge shot in rather than a 50 or 60 meter shot in.
“There’s a bit of advantage after having played on this course so many times. But at the end of the day it really doesn’t matter if you can’t control the ball,” said Lam.
M. Murugiah, the president of the Singapore Professional Golfers Association, threw his support behind the local talents and hopes the Handa Singapore Classic will inspire more youths to take up the game.
“I think Chih Bing has the better chance of winning this week because I have been playing with him lately and his game is solid.
“I hope the youngsters will come out and see them play. Take it from me, I think one of them is going to win this week,” said Murugiah.
Murugiah lauded the launch of the Handa Singapore Classic which is making its debut on the Asian Tour Schedule.
“This is a good tournament because we have about 20 local players playing this week. It is very rare we get to play in a big tournament such as this and I would like to thank Dr. Handa and the Asian Tour,” he added.
The Handa Singapore Classic will be broadcast live over two days on many of the Asian Tour’s broadcast partners that includes StarHub Golf Channel in Singapore, Astro in Malaysia, ESPN Star Sport in India and PCCW in Hong Kong.

Asian Tour

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