THE Asian Development Tour and host The Orchard have made the par-72 Palmer course much longer at 7,051 yards, with a number of par 4s measuring close to 500 yards for the Orchard Golf Championship starting on Wednesday in Cavite.
But Angelo Que, winner of three tournaments on the Asian Tour, says the tournament will be won with good putting.
“I think I’ll have to play conservatively although I have a slight advantage when it comes to local knowledge. But it will boil down to putting,” said Que, who is raring to get going after a two-week long rest.
He leads the Filipino players vying for honors in the event offering US$60,000, with the champion getting US$10,500.
Elmer Salvador, winner of the ADT’s Riviera Classic last week, is not seeing action, as well as Tony Lascuna, Miguel Tabuena, Jay Bayron and Mars Pucay, as they compete in the Queens Cup on the Asian Tour firing off on Thursday.
Que has been grouped with Brett Munson of the US and Englishman Peter Richardson in the first round of the four-day championship sponsored by International Container Terminal Services, Inc.
Richardson looks to go all the way to the top this time after closing out with a 67 to finish joint second with Thai Pavit Tangkamolprasert at Riviera.
Munson, who dominated the ADT’s second leg in Malaysia last March, hopes to atone for his forgettable joint 41st place effort last week.
Focus will also be on Robert Pactolerin, the veteran campaigner who made quite an impression with a solid fifth place finish at Riviera.
Pactolerin, the former Philippine Open champion and many-time Philippine Masters winner who last won in 2011 in his hometown in Bacolod, will start with Australia’s Chris Carey and Pierre-Auguste Mary of France.
The other local aces expected to join the title hunt in the event backed by Nike Golf, Pacsports Phils. Inc., Srixon, Callaway, Mizuno, Empire Golf, Footjoy, Titleist, Custom Clubmakers, Sharp and KZG., are ICTSI Sherwood Hills winner Charles Hong, John Hay leg champion Jun Rates, Marvin Dumandan, Jhonnel Ababa, Clyde Mondilla, Rufino Bayron, Carl Santos-Ocampo, Cassius Casas, Zanie Boy Gialon, Rey Pagunsan, Michael Bibat, Ferdie Aunson, Jessie Balasabas and Mhark Fernando.
“Medyo mahaba ang course pero pantay pantay lang din kasi mahirap din ang greens,” said Ababa.