Hua Hin, Thailand, January 23: Read what players have to say following the penultimate round of the Asian Tour Qualifying School Final Stage presented by Sports Authority of Thailand on Friday.
Daniel CHOPRA (SWE) – Third Round 67 (-4), Total 202 (-12)
I didn’t play as well as I did the first two days from tee to green but my putter was amazing today. It was almost perfect. I made everything I needed to make. It was a bit strange because my ball striking was good too. I made beautiful shots and then horrible shots but I managed to save it with my short game. I needed a total of 24 putts today. I hit a lot of good shots and I also hit a lot of bad shots which was strange.
I am happy with how I stand right now. I’m pleased I gave myself a good cushion to get my card but you never know. It’s been a few years since I won a golf tournament and this is kind of like a golf tournament. We have 242 players this week and if I can top the class and beat all of them, it would be great. But if the plan did not work out as well tomorrow, at least I will have to try and get my Tour card.
It has been great so far. Today was a bit shaky but I still managed to come through and put the score up there.
John CATLIN (USA) – Third Round 65 (-6), Total 203 (-11)
I like the greens here better than Imperial Lakeview actually. I thought the greens at Lakeview have kind of more effect and it kind of threw me off. I think I let my nerves get to me when I played at Lakeview yesterday. I was calmer today. I thought I should just go out and play my best. I took it one shot at a time and was able to play up a good number.
I am going to do the same thing tomorrow. I just want to go out there and have fun. This is my first time coming over to Asia and I’ve been enjoying it so far. I’ve heard a lot of positives comments on the Tour and I thought I should come and try it out here. I talked about it with my friends and they said this would be a good route to go.
My friend, Sam Cyr, who played on the Tour, shared with me his experiences here. He told me to be cautious of what I eat as it can be really different from what we get back home in the United States. He also told me to just go and have fun out here.
I was here earlier this month to play the first stage and it has been awesome. The people whom I’ve talked to are so nice here.
Angad CHEEMA (IND) – Third Round 68 (-3), Total 208 (-6)
I started off really well from the back nine. I birdied the nine and holed the ball from the bunker on the 12th for eagle which really got the round going. I played solid on my front nine and I didn’t hit any loose shots. On the 12th, I hit my second shot with a five-iron into the left bunker and it was a tricky shot there because it’s all downhill. I was lucky but I hit a good shot.
I shot even par here yesterday but I probably hit the ball ten times better than I did today. My putting was indeed better today. I saved some big shots from yesterday with my putting. I got unlucky on the seventh. It was an easy bunk shot but there was a stone under my ball and I made a two putt there for bogey. Overall, it was still good.
I came in with very little expectations because I know the more pressure you put on yourself, the worse it will get. It’s been pretty good so far. I just want to play well tomorrow and not think so much. I haven’t done anything special before coming here. I just treat it like any other regular tournaments.
James BYRNE (SCO) – Third Round 68 (-3), Total 212 (-2)
I started very well, especially with the albatross on the 12th! I hit my second shot for about 200 yards with a six-iron. We couldn’t really see the pin but the marshal signaled that the ball went in. So yes, Albatross! It’s the first one I have made in my professional career.
There was not much wind in the morning but it was pretty much an advantage. I played really well on my front nine (starting from the 10th). I followed up with that albatross with a few more birdies before the turn. But on my back nine which is the front nine, I had three bogeys in a row. The first nine holes are usually tougher on this course so I’m still happy to shoot a 68 today.
You really have to grind your way through to play well here. The golf course can beat you up really quickly so you just have to keep battling and trying to save pars out there.
It has been alright for me so far. I feel like my game is a bit rushed. I took some time off for Christmas and New Year back home so I haven’t quite get back the groove that I was hoping for. I am ok with where I stand for now. I would like to play better tomorrow so we will see what the chances are.
I was pretty inconsistent last season. I won one tournament on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) which is great but I had quite a few missed cuts as well. I didn’t play really consistently. This season, I want to build up my game and try to play more consistently. I want to make more cuts rather than just winning one tournament and then play badly for most of the season.
I will keep things the same for the final round tomorrow and try to do the best I can. I will just keep grinding and try to save as many pars as I can.
WANG Tsung-chieh (TPE) – Third Round 68 (-3), Total 212 (-2)
I putted really well today. I couldn’t ask for a better start. I had three birdies in a row. I had a total of 26 putts today. All was good except for my last hole on the ninth. I hit it into the water and had a bogey. I feel like I’m improving everyday which is good. I was not in my best form for the last two days so I’m happy to play well today.
I’ve been working on my tee shots because it’s important on this course. My putting has always been good. Today was exceptionally good. I am feeling the pressure actually but my dad, Wang Ter-chang (Four-time Asian Tour winner) told me to stay focused and play shot by shot.
I came here with no expectations so I am pretty satisfied with how I played so far. This is my first time making it to the final stage of the Qualifying School and I’m happy to make the cut. Hopefully I can continue to play well and secure my Asian Tour card tomorrow.
I’ve always want to play on the Asian Tour. It’s like a stepping stone to get onto the bigger Tours with the co-sanctioned events on the schedule. The standard of the players out there are really high. You have to be able to play with the guys on the Asian Tour first before you can advance to greater heights. My dad has always been very encouraging and supportive of me pursuing my golf career. He didn’t really tell me much before I came here. I guess he wants me to do the best I can and see where I stand. He never give me any pressure too.