Date: February 27, 2009
Author: PA Sport

Aussie pair close behind

Australians Andrew Dodt and Tony Carolan lie equal second behind runaway leader Angelo Que of the Philippines at the end of a weather-affected first day at the Enjoy Jakarta Indonesia Open. Que wielded a hot putter to take a four-stroke clubhouse lead in signing for an eight-under-par 64 at the New Kuta Golf Club, which put him on top in an event co-sanctioned by the European and Asian Tours. Que&aposs closest pursuers in the clubhouse were Filipino compatriot Antonio Lascuna, England&aposs Simon Khan, Jamie Donaldson of Wales, Scotland&aposs Richie Ramsay and Dodt and Carolan, who all shot 68s in their opening rounds. Former Indonesia Open winner Simon Dyson was also on four-under through 16 holes but will have to return to the course along with 41 other players early on Friday to complete his opening round after heavy rain and the threat of lightning resulted in a two-hour stoppage on Thursday morning. Rhys Davies of Wales, Alexander Noren of Sweden, India&aposs Digvijay Singh, Korean teenager Noh Seung-yul and the English trio of Richard Finch, Steve Webster and Miles Tunnicliff were a further shot back after carding three-under 69s. Aussies Gavin Flint and Brett Rumford are among a large group of players at two-under. Que, who had not teed off when play was halted early in the morning, felt the lengthy stoppage worked in his favour. “It was great! I was able to take my time during the delay, had a cup of coffee and chatted with my friends,” said the 30-year-old from Manila. “I think it helped me to relax so that delay really helped me a lot.” When play eventually resumed just after 9am, the Filipino teed off on the back nine and birdied his first hole, the 10th, before parring the next three. But a 40-footer on the 14th sparked a run of four consecutive birdies which put him on top of the leaderboard on five under at the turn. Further birdies followed on the first and third and Que enjoyed a lucky break on the fifth, when he pulled his tee shot into long grass to the left of the fairway but discovered his plugged ball with some help from a television crew and made par. He made another birdie to finish with a 64 although it will not count as a course record due to the use of preferred lies. “I&aposm very, very pleased with how I played today. I couldn&apost have asked for a better start,” said the two-time winner on the Asian Tour. “The breaks were on my side today. I almost lost my ball on the fifth hole but the TV camera was on me the whole time and they saw where it was and I found it and I was able to make it up and down for a par.” “I was really lucky, that&aposs all I can say.” Khan also began well with birdies on three of his first four holes and reached the turn on three under. He dropped a shot with a bogey on the 12th but birdies on the 14th and 16th put him in position to challenge for his first Tour win since the 2004 Wales Open “I played really nicely, particularly at the start of my round,” said the 36-year-old. “I could&aposve been four under after four holes, if my putt on the third hadn&apost lipped out. Then I had a bit of a wobble, but recovered very nicely towards the end. So overall, I&aposve got to be pretty pleased.” After a poor run of results, Ramsay enjoyed a bogey-free outing that he credited to an improvement in his short game. “The secret of my success is the practice I&aposve done with my short game, and that showed with my ability to get up and down today,” said the 25-year-old Challenge Tour graduate. “I know it&aposs my weakness, and I also know that when I sort it out, I&aposll be up there challenging. Off the tee, I played really well – I think I only missed one or two fairways all day which, when you take into account the breeze out there at times, I&aposve got to be pretty pleased with.” Rafael Cabrera Bello had the tournament&aposs first hole-in-one on the 140-yard par-three 15th as he carded a one-under 71. Thai ace Thongchai Jaidee also shot 71 while Nick Dougherty recovered from a poor start with three birdies on his back nine for a level-par 72.