SHAH ALAM: Defending champion Angelo Que of the Philippines warmed up for the RM1.2mil Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters with two holes-in-one during practice yesterday at the Kota Permai Golf and Country Club.
He scored his first hole-in-one at the par-three 212-yard sixth hole. Then, he was on target at the par-three 165-yard fourth hole. No golfer in recent history has ever scored two holes-in-one in a single day’s play.
Angelo was pleasantly surprised with his double achievement.
“What a luck. If only this had been a tournament day?” he quipped.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better start. I’ve never had a hole-in-one in my life and all of the sudden I have two in one day!” said Angelo.
“The funny thing was that we were talking about it on the 14th tee and we were saying what if I had another hole-in-one here and I did it.
“It could be a good omen or a bad one. When you’re so lucky in one day, the next day might be different. Hopefully it’ll continue for the whole week.
“As I’ve said it before, Malaysia is like a second home. I play well here. I have luck here and whenever I’m here, I’m so relaxed,” added Angelo.
The Filipino defeated England’s Chris Rodgers in a thrilling playoff at the Seri Selangor Golf Club in last year’s Selangor Masters. It was his third Asian Tour title.
This year, he started strongly with a joint ninth finish at the Avantha Masters in India.
Angelo knows that he has a major challenge on his hands in defending the title.
A number of top Asian Tour stars, including Bangladeshi sensation Siddikur Rahman, who is currently second on the Order of Merit, five-time Asian Tour champion Lin Wen-tang of Taiwan and fourth-ranked Jbe Kruger of South Africa – are in the fray. Three top Indian golfers – Gaganjeet Bhullar, two-time Asian Tour winner, Jyoti Randhawa and Arjun Atwal – are also vying for the crown.
Angelo said that winning the tournament was more important than a hole-in-one during match day as winning cars do not guarantee the title.
“I could have won two cars already by now but I’m not complaining. Even if you win a car, it doesn’t mean you’ll win the tournament. If you win tournaments, you get more opportunities moving forward,” he explained.
But the Filipino was happy with his game and felt that the experience of having played at Kota Permai will be of great help.
“My game was a bit of everything today (yesterday). Great shots, bad shots. The different story was my short game. It’s always the same story for me. If I’m not hitting well, my short game saves me. I only made 21 putts today. I guess two zero putts help,” he said.
“I think it’s a really strong field out there with five of the top 10 from the Order of Merit here this week. It’ll be a good competition. May the best man win.”
The local challenge will be provided by Ben Leong and Danny Chia.
Ben won the tournament in 2008 when it was held at the Seri Selangor Golf Club. It was his first title on the Asian Tour. Since then, he has yet to record another win.
“I’m a lot better technically compared to 2008,” said Leong. “I just need to put everything together in place. Mentally, I may not be as good right now. Maybe I’m just lacking in a bit of confidence.
“But my game is coming back. I’m swinging well and practising well. I just have to stay patient and wait for that one week to come. Trying to win again, that’s tough. Once you win the second one, I think it will be easier to win the third one,” said Ben.
A total of 156 golfers will be teeing off today.