Golf: Singapore's Quincy Quek poised for biggest breakthrough of his career

Quincy Quek went seven years without a win at a major golf tournament, but today looks poised to collect his second trophy in as many weeks.

The Singaporean yesterday fired a stunning eight-under 63 to seize control of the Haikou Classic at Mission Hills Haikou. After three rounds at the PGA Tour Series-China tournament, he leads on 18-under 195 at the 7,146 yard Sandbelt Trails Course and heads into the final round six shots clear of his closest challenger Lee Chieh-po (68, 201) of Chinese Taipei.

Quek, 32, won last month’s PGM Northport ADT Championship in Kuala Lumpur to capture his first Asian Development Tour (ADT) title since 2012. He has been playing on the China circuit since its inaugural season in 2014 but has yet to post a victory in his previous 38 starts, with three top-five finishes.

That barren run looks set to end today at the northern coastal city.

The world No. 706 said: “I just stuck to my game plan today, wasn’t too concerned about the score and I just tried to keep going for the pins and make as many birdies as I could.”

Quek’s confidence has been soaring since his recent breakthrough in Malaysia and his game has been sharp this week.

He collected 15 birdies over his first two rounds and managed 10 yesterday, including a chip-in birdie on the par-four 10th, which came after he dropped a shot on the previous hole.

EYE ON THE PRIZE
 

There is one more round to go, but it would be nice to get the win.

QUINCY QUEK, who shot an eight-under 63 to lead by six strokes into today’s final round.

He said: “I’ve had a few chip-ins over the last two days, when I bogeyed on one hole and I bounced back with a birdie. That’s really helped me keep the momentum going and keep my spirits up.”

Fellow Singaporean Abdul Hadi was tied-45th on 211 after rounds of 69, 74 and 68.

Despite Quek’s winless run in China, there have been some near-misses. In April’s Haikou Championship at the nearby Sunac Haikou 3KM Golf Club, he co-led after 36 holes and missed out on the two-player play-off by a stroke. He ended third.

“The only way to control the nerves is to just take it one shot at a time,” he said. “There is one more round to go, but it would be nice to get the win. Now I just want to rest up and we will worry about tomorrow when it comes.”

He is 32nd on this year’s PGA Tour Series-China Order of Merit, having earned ¥149,320 (S$28,967). He will triple that with a win today and, more importantly, likely climb inside the top 10 with three events remaining.

Those ranked sixth to 10th advance directly to the final stage of the Korn Ferry Tour qualifying school. The top-five finishers earn membership for the 2020 season on the United States-based circuit, which is just a rung below the top-tier PGA Tour where the biggest names like Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy ply their trade.

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