Double joy for Quincy Quek
Local golfer celebrates fatherhood with solid opening round of 68 at SMBC Singapore Open
Birdies and bogeys were "the least of my worries" for local pro golfer Quincy Quek at the SMBC Singapore Open at Sentosa Golf Club's Serapong Course yesterday.
After all, the 29-year-old had just welcomed the birth of his first child, Olivia, on Saturday.
In fact, when asked about his plans for the second round today, he misunderstood the question and expressed his desire to spend more time with his wife and daughter.
Still, Quek posted an impressive three-under-68 at the US$1 million (S$1.42m) event, ahead of big names such as three-time champion and world No. 7 Adam Scott, four-time Major winner Ernie Els and world No. 15 Sergio Garcia.
"Olivia is feeding well, my wife is recovering well, everything is in a good place and I'm feeling nothing but joy," Quek told The New Paper.
"I sat in the delivery room and I was so nervous. Just seeing her with 10 fingers and 10 toes and crying, it's just a whole new level of happiness.
"I haven't really slept since she was born on Saturday. I have lost track of time since, actually.
"My wife and daughter are such an inspiration and motivation for me.
"I'm happy to be back playing in front of family and friends, so of course I want to do well, too."
He managed to squeeze in only one practice round on Monday, but that did not stop Quek from making a blistering start from the 10th hole to rack up four birdies - only Tadahiro Takayama matched his 31 on either the front or back nine.
Some of the top golfers found the going tough though, with quite a few affected by the two-and-a-half-hour delay due to inclement weather; 69 players from the field of 156 did not complete the first round before play was suspended at 7.16pm due to fading light.
Scott carded a triple-bogey on the par-five seventh after finding water and was one-under through 15 holes. Els also struggled with water and sand and was two-over through 16 holes while his flight mate, Singapore No. 1 Mardan Mamat, was four-over.
Two golfers who managed to avoid the disruption were Japan's Hideto Tanihara and South Korea's Kang Kyung Nam, who shot matching 65s.
Despite a bogey on the first, Tanihara conjured seven birdies, while Kang had an unblemished scorecard with one eagle and four birdies.
"My back is a little stiff from the long flight, and the ground at my previous tournament was hard so my feet are a little tired," said Tanihara, who flew in from Hawaii.
"But when you are playing well, it does not bother you."
*Round 1 to resume today at 7.30am, Round 2 to start at 8.35am.
(Completed scores only)
65: Hideto Tanihara, Kang Kyung Nam
66: Han Seung Su, Gavin Green
67: Shaun Norris
68: Gaganjeet Bhullar, Jbe Kruger, Miguel Tabuena, Antonio Lascuna, Toshinori Muto, Quincy Quek, Tadahiro Takayama
71: Sergio Garcia, Choo Tze Huang
74: Lam Chih Bing
75: Jeev Milkha Singh.