Sleep-deprived new dad Quincy Quek of Singapore gave some truth to the “nappy factor” in sport by fashioning two fine rounds to lie joint fourth at the halfway mark of the SMBC Singapore Open,
Quek has had little shut eye and practiced sparingly since his wife Celine gave birth to their first child, Olivia, last Saturday.
Yet Quek played assured golf over The Serapong Course at Sentosa Golf Club in the first two rounds and matching 68s put him well in the hunt, just two shots behind 36-hole leader Seungsu Han of the United States.
The term “nappy factor” was coined a couple of decades ago by golf betting expert Keith Elliott and took legs last year when England’s Danny Willett won the US Masters soon after his son Zachariah James was born prematurely.
Elliott, a one-time economics lecturer, grouped players into ones to watch, streak players, bottlers and the like before adding “Nappy Factor”.
He reckoned that sportsmen received a mental boost after the birth of their first child and his studies showed that new fathers were a breed apart on the greens.
Quek, who first starred in the Singapore Open in 2007 when he made the cut as an amateur, agreed that witnessing the birth of his baby girl was a nerve-wracking experience second to none.
“I sat in the delivery room and I was so nervous. It’s a kind of feeling that you can’t describe unless you really go through it. I will definitely remember it for the rest of my life,” he said.
“I haven’t really slept since she was born on Saturday. I have lost track of time since actually. But I am glad she’s healthy which is the most important.”
The 29 year old Quek has a reasonably good record in the Singapore Open since his debut in 2007 having made the cut in 2012 and last year, when he finished tied 49th.
Quek has yet to record a breakthrough win on the Asian Tour but has stuck to the mantra on his website that “champions keep playing until they get it right.”
Ahead of the third round on Saturday, he said that he hoped to remain in contention going into the final day.
“I believe my game is good enough to be in contention. It is just tightening up the loose ends and stringing four good rounds together. I’ve always been taught to stay in the present and focus on moving forward,” he commented.
Baby Olivia will be oblivious to the excitement her dad has generated amongst local golf fans, who are still waiting for the first home born winner of the Singapore Open, but Quek said that “in between feeds when baby is sleeping, my wife will be probably be watching me in action on television.”