'Sleepy' Cuello prepares to defend championship

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 02 December, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 02 December, 1998, 12:00am

Defending champion Rodrigo Cuello will be praying for more than just a few rounds of steady golf at the Clearwater Bay Golf and Country Club in the Omega PGA Championship starting tomorrow. He will also be praying for a few nights sleep.

'I have a disease. I'm an insomniac. I wasn't able to sleep properly last week and it affected my game during last week's Hong Kong Open. I was praying that I could sleep properly, but that didn't happen,' said Cuello, who finished joint 12th in last weekend's Hong Kong Open.

'Every now and then my insomnia affects my sleep pattern.' Cuello, who was the 1996 Hong Kong Open champion, was just two strokes off the pace going into the last round of last Sunday's competition.

But a spectacular collapse on the final day saw him record a quintuple bogey 10 on the third for a dismal 79, to finish 12 strokes behind eventual champion Kang Wook-soon of South Korea.

The Filipino hopes the same fate won't befall him as he looks to defend his title against a strong field that includes Omega Order of Merit leader Ed Fryatt of England.

The US$500,000 Omega PGA Championship has attracted the leading 12 players from the 1998 Omega Order of Merit and mathematically any one of them can still win the much sought-after title.

Fryatt, runner-up in the Hong Kong Open and winner of the 1998 Volvo China Open, heads the money list with US$135,217 in winnings, while his South African-based compatriot Chris Williams moves into second place with US$120,493 after tying for third at Fanling last weekend.

Recently crowned Perrier Hong Kong Open champion Kang will be leading the Asian challenge as the 1996 Omega Order of Merit champion. The Las Vegas-based Fryatt will also be looking for further consolation after recently missing out on next year's US PGA Tour by a solitary shot on the final day at the PGA Tour's Qualifying School.

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