Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Asian qualifying for the open

Malaysian golfer Danny Chia, Angelo Que of the Philippines and England's Yasin Ali shared a three-way tie for the lead after day one of Asia's International Qualifying for the 2008 Open.

Chia, an Asian Tour regular, sank six birdies against three bogeys at Singapore's Sentosa Golf Club on his way to a three-under-par 69 on Tuesday while Que enjoyed five birdies.

Ali had been clear of the field as he stood on the 18th tee at five-under but found water with a drive which led to a double bogey.

Just behind them, Filipino Antonio Lascuna, Ben Leong of Malaysia, who scored a hole-in-one, and Japanese duo Tomohiro Kondo and Keiichiro Fukabori shot 70s to stay in the hunt for the four tickets at stake to The Open at Royal Birkdale, England in July at the two-day qualifier.

Ali chose to look to the positive, despite his disappointing finish.

"I played pretty solid except for a few loose shots. The shots I dropped today were water balls. If I can keep out of the water, I should be okay," he told the Asian Tour's Web site www.asiantour.com.

"It'll be awesome if I can qualify for the oldest major that we have. But with four spots available, you never know what the guys can shoot. You just try to make as many birdies as you can and total it up at the end of the day."

Qualifying events are held on five continents, with Africa and Australasia competitions already completed. The United States will host one in Michigan starting June 30, with another at Sunningdale, England getting underway the same day.

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