ANGELO Que continued to pound the front nine at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club, but the homeward nine remained too tough as he fired a third-round 69 to sit four strokes off the lead at the CIMB Classic on Saturday in Kuala Lumpur.
The Filipino shotmaker hit four straight birdies before dropping a shot to get to the turn at three-under, but played the homeward nine in even par for nines of 33-36 and a three-day aggregate of 208.
Que, who started the day five strokes off the pace, was tied for ninth with Patrick Reed, Brendon De Jonge, Cameron Smith and Jeff Overton.
Kevin Na and Ryan Moore of the US moved to the top of the leaderboard after both fired 67s for a 12-under 204 total.
Que, a former Philippine Open champion and winner of two other Asian Tour titles, has managed to stay in contention in the PGA Tour co-sanctioned event by cashing in on the front nine, where he hit six birdies on opening day and five in the second round.
He couldn’t sustain the charge on the back nine, however, playing it at even par to settle for a first round 67 and three-over that resulted in a 72 on the second day.
Sergio Garcia fired a second straight 68 for a 205 total and a share of third with overnight leader Billy Hurley, who shot a 71.
The bubbly Que, who qualified for the CIMB Classic after finishing second in the Hong Kong Open a fortnight ago, will stick to his simple game plan heading into the last 18 holes
“I’ll keep it simple. Not going to try hard to shoot low. I’m just going to keep playing the way I’m playing because I’m making a lot of birdies so I’ll keep doing that, and hopefully, with a little bit of luck I’ll go really low,” the 35-year-old Que told asiantour.com.
“I’m getting more comfortable with the way I’ve been playing under pressure. I used to try so hard under pressure and force shots. Now I’m in a position without any pressure so I know I hope I can play well. It is just a matter of not thinking too much,” he explained.
Known for his striking fluorescent attire, Que played solidly except for two bad holes when he hit two poor drives on the sixth hole and the drivable par-four 14th hole, which resulted in bogeys.
“I mis-hit my drive (sixth hole) and I hit it short of the green. Missing it short there is a no-no. On 14, I just pulled my tee shot as I was going on the green. I was a bit unlucky because I was plugged in the hazard so I can’t drop it. If it was just maybe eight inches further, I would be outside the hazard,” Que lamented.
“Those are just two holes where I messed up but hitting wise, I’m very happy with the way I’m hitting and putting,” he added.
Antonio Lascuna, the only other Filipino in the field, hit a 74 after back-to-back 72s.