Golf: Quek rebounds and remains in the hunt

Quincy Quek managed to recover from two straight bogeys to card a second straight 68.
Quincy Quek managed to recover from two straight bogeys to card a second straight 68.

Things appeared to be going south for Quincy Quek when he bogeyed the final two holes of his front nine at the SMBC Singapore Open.

But a personal pep talk did wonders for the Singaporean's confidence and he responded with a birdie on the 370m, par-four 10th that became the catalyst for a strong finish.

The 29-year-old sunk consecutive birdies from holes 15 to 17 for a second straight three-under 68 and climbed to joint-fourth with Filipino Angelo Que on 136 after two rounds.

Quek recalled: "At that point, I was still not stressing myself too much.

"I knew that on the back nine, as it was getting late, the wind would die down, and some of the harder holes would be easier.

"So when I managed to pick up a birdie on the 10th, it was a good boost for me mentally, because I was coming off a three-putt bogey."

  • LEADER BOARD

    ROUND 2 (26 players yet to complete)

    133 Han Seung Su (USA)

    135 Adam Scott (Aus)

    136 Quincy Quek (Sgp), Angelo Que (Phi)

    137 Hideto Tanihara, Satoshi Kodaira, Daisuke Maruyama (Jpn), Song Young Han (Kor), Panuphol Pittayarat, Pavit Tangkamolprasert (Tha), Gaganjeet Bhullar (Ind), Miguel Tabuena (Phi), Jbe Kruger (Rsa), Scott Barr (Aus)

    138 Nicholas Fung (Mas), Phachara Khongwatmai (Tha)

    Second round resumes at 7.30am. Third round scheduled to start not before 9.15am.

He needed just 12 putts on the back nine, and it helped that none of his converted birdie attempts were longer than 12 feet. His two-putt for par on the 496m, par-five 18th was done in near total darkness, as he was determined to finish his round instead of returning early this morning.

The first-time father - his newborn daughter was born on Saturday - will be aiming to overturn the three-shot deficit to surprise leader Han Seung Su (133) of the United States.

Quek said: "At least I don't have to come back early and I'll get a few more hours of precious sleep."

Since turning pro in 2009, he has won one Asian Development Tour title - at the 2012 Orchard Golf Championship in the Philippines.

No Singaporean has won the Singapore Open since it started in 1961. Quek's best finish at the tournament was joint-33rd in 2007 as an amateur.

While improving on that record was a target, Quek remained cautious. He noted: "I believe that my game is good enough. Last year when I was playing, I felt I played okay, but I just couldn't string four good rounds together."

"I don't think there's anything different I am going to do, except for trying to play the front nine a little better than I did today.

"You never really want to think like 'I'm in contention now and I'm going out to fire at the pins'. It's easy to lose yourself when you think about the future.

"That's something that may creep in from time to time, especially when you see your name on the leaderboard. But I'm keeping my head down and just move along."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 21, 2017, with the headline 'Quek rebounds and remains in the hunt'. Print Edition | Subscribe