Filipino ace Angelo Que hopes the best players from the Asian Tour can break the European Tour’s stranglehold of the Omega European Masters when the €2.3 million, approximately US$3 million Swiss showpiece starts on Thursday.
Like the ice bucket challenge which is taking social media by storm today, the Filipino aims to douse Europe’s challenge and attract similar attention to the quality of the Asian Tour players, just like what it has done for the Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
“I’ve been asked to do the ice bucket challenge and I’ll probably do it soon when I’m with my friends and we can all do it together. But talking about golf, I think we can challenge them pretty well right now.
Our chances are good as our players are getting better. We’re now more exposed to the world as we get to play everywhere, which is a big step for us,” said Que.
No players from the Asian Tour have won the Omega European Masters since it became a co-sanctioned event in 2009 and Que’s tied-seventh finish in 2009 remains as one of the best results the Asian Tour has produced over the years.
The father-of-two posted rounds of 70, 70, 68 and 69 to finish in a share of 22nd place last year and is eager to improve on that result this week.
“I love this place and I always look forward to coming here. I played well here before and I think I can play well again. I’ve played pretty well especially at home last week and I’m ready,” said Que.
Having welcomed the arrival of his baby boy in May, the Filipino ace believes he can enjoy that similar bliss he finds at home on the golf course as well.
“I call home every night on the phone, on face time. He’s really great and a great addition to the family. I can now say the family’s complete with my daughter and my baby boy. I’m happy and all I need to do is to keep playing well,” said the 35-year-old.
Meanwhile Sweden’s Rikard Karlberg, a two-time Asian Tour winner, is determined to end his four-year title drought with another victory that has long eluded him since his double triumph in India in 2010.
The Swede is currently in second place on the Asian Tour Order of Merit and believes he can return to the winner circle following two top-five finishes on the Asian Tour as well as a string of impressive finishes in Europe that included a tied-ninth finish in Denmark last month.
“I’ve played really solid this year. The only cut I missed was in Indonesia and I hope to get that win again.
It has been four years now and I hope that I can get it this week. I’m not feeling impatient but I know that as long as I continue to play good golf, that win will come soon or later,” said Karlberg.
While a confident Karlberg is eager for that next victory, American Berry Henson is hoping to turn the corner by delivering a similar performance that led him to his maiden Asian Tour win in the Philippines in 2011.
“I haven’t played my best this year as I’ve been struggling with my game. But I’m working on a bunch of things, hoping to get my game back in shape,” said Henson, whose tied-23rd finish at the season-opening SAIL-SBI Open is his best result on the Asian Tour so far.
The Omega European Masters marks the start of the second half of the Asian Tour 2014 season and will see the return of many of the region’s best players including India’s Anirban Lahiri and Gaganjeet Bhullar, Bangladeshi Siddikur Rahman, Thailand’s Thaworn Wiratchant and Korea’s Baek Seuk-hyun.
Charismatic Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez, the European Tour’s oldest winner and holder of 21 titles including a win in Switzerland in 2010, will headline the European Tour’s challenge alongside Wales’ Jamie Donaldson, Italian Matteo Manassero and French star Victor Dubuisson.