Quiban out to make better showing in Thailand golf tourney

Jan Veran - Philstar.com
Quiban out to make better showing in Thailand golf tourney
Justin Quiban
PGA Tour

MANILA, Philippines – Justin Quiban hopes to ride the momentum of a big finish in the Blue Canyon Phuket Championship and make the most of his stint in the Laguna Phuket Championship, which fires off Thursday at the Laguna Golf Phuket in Thailand.

Quiban was still in the reserved list of the blue-ribbon event last week, the last of two $1 million tournaments marking the restart of the region’s premier circuit, but grabbed an outright berth following a joint 23rd place finish in last week’s Blue Canyon tilt.

He was gunning for a Top 10 finish with a joint ninth ranking in the third round but floundered in the last 18 holes although he closed out with back-to-back birdies to salvage a 72 and earn a share of 23rd.

He expects to produce a better showing this time, along with compatriots Miguel Tabuena and Tony Lascuña, who both groped for form coming off a long layoff.

Tabuena, whose campaign is backed by ICTSI, actually had decent first two rounds of 71 and 73 but tumbled with a 73 in the third day and blew it all with a 78 to limp to tied 70th in a surviving field of 74.

Lascuña, on the other hand, missed the cut by six with 75-74.

But the duo are expected to rebound strong this week with the former drawing Thai amateur Ratcharon Chantananuwat and Danny Masrin of Indonesia for an 11:40 a.m. start on No. 1 of the par-70 layout expected to receive a beating from the men of the tour.

Lascuña kicks off his drive at 11:20 a.m. on No. 9 with Saudi amateur Saud Al Sharif and Dodge Kemmer of the US while the 25-year-old Quiban, who qualified for the PGA Tour last July but missed the cut in the 3M Open, faces off with Thais Kasidit Lepkurte and Nitithorn Thippong at 8:20 a.m., also on No. 1.

But focus will be on Taiwanese Chan Shih-chang, who snatched a one-stroke victory over young Korean Kim Joo Hyung and Thai Sadom Kaewkanjana at Blue Canyon. He plays Kim right in the first two rounds with Thai ace Jazz Janewattanond completing the explosive pairing at 7:20 a.m. on No. 9.

Other featured threesomes include Prayad Marksaeng of Thailand, India’s Shiv Kapur and Aussie Scott Hend at 11:50 a.m. on the first hole, Thai Suradit Yongcharoenchai, Gavin Green of Malaysia and Wade Ormsby of Australia at 12 noon, also on No. 1, and Prom Meesawat of Thailand, Trevor Simsby of the US and Ajeetesh Sandhu of India at 12:10 p.m. at the frontside of the 6,770-yard layout.

Suttijet Kooratanapisan will also be the marked man as the Thai holds the record at Laguna Golf Phuket — a 59 he produced in the Singha Phuket Open of the Asian Development Tour in 2017 to become the first player to shoot sub-60 in the Asian Tour and ADT history. The 34-year-old shotmaker tees off at 12:30 p.m. with Doyeob Mun of Korea and Zach Bauchou of the US on No. 1.

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