Quek leads Singapore's charge in Sentosa
Quek keeps local hopes alive as Han leads and three-time winner Scott charges
Sleep is a premium for Quincy Quek after he became a first- time father last Saturday, but the joy of going home to his daughter Olivia seems to have worked a charm out on Sentosa Golf Club's Serapong course.
Quek birdied three of the last four holes to card a three-under 68 yesterday.
His two-day total of six-under 136 sees him stay in contention going into the weekend rounds of the US$1 million (S$1.43m) SMBC Singapore Open.
He is tied for fourth alongside the Philippines' Angelo Que, just three strokes behind surprise outright leader Han Seung Su.
Three-time Singapore Open winner Adam Scott is in second spot with a score of seven-under 135 while Malaysian Gavin Green is also on seven under after 15 holes.
Despite the sun fast setting over Sentosa, Quek managed to finish the last hole, and he was grateful for not having to return to the course early this morning, when 26 players will continue to complete their second rounds from 7.30am.
"Over the years, when playing this course, you learn to be very patient with your game. It's almost as if you just want to fire to the middle of the green and just try to hole putts," he said.
133: Han Seung Su 66-67
135: Adam Scott 68-67
136: Angelo Que 67-69, Quincy Quek 68-68
137: Satoshi Kodaira 65-72, Pavit Tangkamolprasert 66-71, Panuphol Pittayarat 66-71, Song Young Han 68-69, Hideto Tanihara 65-72, Gaganjeet Bhullar 68-69, Miguel Tabuena 68-69, Jbe Kruger 68-69, Scott Barr 69-68, Daisuke Maruyama 69-68
139: Sergio Garcia 71-68
144: Ernie Els 73-71
149: Mardan Mamat 74-75
150: Jeev Milkha Singh 75-75.
"I was not really stressing myself out too much… and it's always nice to finish the round and go into the weekend."
"(And having finished the round yesterday) I get to have a few more hours of precious sleep," he added, chuckling.
The 29-year-old finished tied for 49th at last year's edition, but his best performance came in 2007 when, as an amateur, he finished joint-33rd.
While Quek's display gave the home crowd something to cheer about, the day belonged to clubhouse leader Han, an alumnus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV).
From China to Japan to Canada, the South Korean-born American has played across the globe, and even he was surprised at taking the outright lead at Sentosa.
"I didn't hit a single golf ball in December. I spent a week in Thailand where I got some work done, and I came here on Monday. I didn't prepare well enough and I wasn't expecting anything here," said Han, who holds a black belt in taekwondo and moved to the United States when he was 12.
"Having a daughter (in 2015) gave me a different perspective on life… and I'm not putting any pressure on myself like I used to - there's more to life than just golf."
Like Han, Scott is a Rebel - as UNLV sportsmen are known - and while the pair did not play together in college, the Rebels' taming of the Serapong saw them emerge with identical second-round scores of four-under 67, the best score yesterday.
Scott won the Singapore Open on three previous occasions, in 2005, 2006 and 2010, and if there were any doubts over his special connection with the course, he quashed them with another masterful display at Serapong.
The course, however, did not prove kind to others, like four-time Major winner Ernie Els.
With a two-over 144 over two days, the South African failed to make the cut set at one-over 143, along with the likes of Swede Daniel Chopra (144), China's Liang Wenchong (146), and Singapore's No. 1 Mardan Mamat (149) and compatriot Lam Chih Bing (144).
Out of the 11 Singaporeans in the 156-strong field, only four survived the cut, with Choo Tze Huang and amateur pair Joshua Ho and Gregory Foo (all 142) joining Quek in the weekend rounds.