Que stumbles, but makes cut with even par 71

Que stumbles, but makes cut with even par 71

Angelo Que

MANILA, Philippines — Angelo Que overcame a fumbling backside start with a strong windup as he salvaged an even par 71 to safely make it to the final two rounds of the rich Dunlop Phoenix tournament now led by Argentine Emiliano Grillo at the Phoenix Country Club in Miyazaki, Japan yesterday.

Duplicating his big finish en route to a 69 in the first round, Que birdied two of the last five holes at the front, bouncing back from below the cutoff line to joint 25th at 140 on superb putting. He bogeyed the first two holes at the back and dropped another stroke on No. 14 but fought back with birdies on Nos. 15 and 18 against another bogey on the 17th.

Needing to hit birdies to stay in contention, the Filipino shotmaker did just that, rolling in long putts on Nos. 5 and 7 while rescuing four pars to spike his impressive 23-putt feat for a 34-37.

Though he fell six strokes off new leader Grillo, the recent winner of the TOP Cup Tokai Classic remains hopeful of his chances for another crack at a Japan PGA Tour with his putting touch finally clicking and making up for his early struggle with his long game.

Grillo, meanwhile, bucked tough conditions to fire a second straight bogey-free four-under 67, wresting control in the $1.8 million event at 134, one shot ahead of Yuki Inamori, who carded a 68 for a 135.

World No. 1 and defending champion Brooks Koepka of the US also made his move, shooting a 68 to move up to joint seventh at 137, another stroke behind the third-running Mikumu Horikawa (67), Yoshitaka Takeya (69), Seungsu Han (67) and Sang Hyun Park (68), who all pooled a 136.