Taipei, September 30: Read what players have to say ahead of the US$650,000 Mercuries Taiwan Masters, which starts on Thursday.
Cameron Smith (Aus)
The course is looking good. I thought it held up pretty good after being swept by Typhoon Dujuan on Monday. I was really surprised. I think the course conditions are better than last year. It’s good to see courses improving.
I enjoyed a good finish last year. I remembered I was just trying to play my best out there. Driving the ball will be the key to play well this week and also shots selection, especially when the wind gets up. The game’s feeling good at the moment. I had five weeks off before this so it feels pretty great to be back in action.
I did nothing at all during the break. I was just lying at home and going to the gym as usual. That’s about it. This is my first tournament on the Asian Tour this season. It’s nice to be back, especially after a great season last year. It’s good to see the guys out here again and catch up with them.
It was an awesome week for me at the US Open earlier in June. I’m very happy with my result that week and it was a great experience. I think the experiences from playing on the Asian Tour has definitely helped my game as well because I was able to get into the moment and just do my own thing and play my own game out there.
My main aim for this week is to try my best and finish well to maintain my ranking on the Asian Tour Order of Merit and qualify for the prestigious CIMB Classic next month. That’s my main focus for now. I will try my best and we will see how it goes.
Mardan Mamat (Sin)
The course is in a pretty good condition. The greens are better, compared to last year. I am really impressed with the course as I heard a lot of trees had fallen due to the typhoon that hit the course on Monday.
The game’s feeling alright. I still need to get some practice last today to sharpen up my short game before the tournament starts tomorrow. Short game is key to play well on this golf course.
Obviously my main objective is to try and break into top-10 on the Order of Merit to qualify for the CIMB Classic next month but I don’t want to think so much about it. I believe as long as I play well, the results will come to me. I will take it one tournament at a time and just try my best every week. Would be great if I can qualify for the CIMB Classic as I am just one rung away.
Chan Shih-chang (Tpe)
I played in the pro-am today and it feels great to be back here for the Mercuries Taiwan Masters again. The course is looking good for the week and it sure didn’t seem like it was hit by a typhoon earlier this week. The greens are still as beautiful as how it was in the previous years.
It all depends on whether green speed when the tournament starts this week I guess. It had been raining a bit over the last few days. The most challenging part of this golf course is the greens. First shots are very important and you need to try and hit as many fairways as you can. If not, your chances of bogey will be higher.
The tournament has been won by foreigners for the last two years. I definitely hope a local player can win this week. I haven’t played really well in this tournament before but I have shot a 63 on this course in a local tournament before so I hope I can do that again this week.
I thought the local field is pretty strong, especially with Pan Cheng-tsung making his home debut. We also have veteran Lu Wen-teh who has won the tournament four times in total. I think we have pretty good chances this week.
It’s great to play on the Asian Tour again. Playing on the ADT has helped my game a lot last year and I am definitely hoping to replicate that success on the Asian Tour. It’s very competitive out here but I hope playing on home ground will give me an advantage this week.
Adilson Da Silva (Bra)
I like this place. I played well last week. I am hitting the ball well. The game’s feeling good, having played the pro-am tournament today but it’s still early in the week. It’s so hot today. I hope it won’t be that hot heading into the week. But having said that, today’s the nicest weather I have had playing on the Tamsui course ever. I remembered it was really windy last year. The course is playing fair. You just to keep the ball in play and be patient. The rough is thicker this year so it’s important to hit it straight this week. Putting will be the key as well I think.
Antonio Lascuna (Phi)
I played really well last year, considering the tough course and strong field. I am very excited to return to this tournament again. I will hope for the best and just go out there and enjoy the game.
Well I think I still have my “A” game. I just had moments that I was too eager to nail the win and ended up with runner up finishes, but I think I’m on the right track. Looking forward to the week.
Thaworn Wiratchant (Tha)
My game, especially my short game, was perfect last year. Given my age, I will be extremely happy if I can play in that kind of top form again. I have struggled with my driver quite a bit this season but I have been working on it.
Although my driving is not in form yet, it should not be too much of a problem as I am feeling good with my iron-play and putting. I like this course and I will try to win again this week.
Lu Wei-chih (Twn)
The Mercuries Taiwan masters is always an event I look forward to play every year. My fitness has improved a lot this season. I have been exercising a lot and I’m taking traditional chinese medicine to improve my body resistance as well.
In the past, I always see myself competing against other players. But now, having been through what was the toughest period of my life, I know the person that I have to challenge against is myself. Whenever I get tired out there, I will remind myself that I can get through it if I persevere enough.
Pan Cheng-tsung (Twn)
I am very excited to play in the Mercuries Taiwan Masters. I cannot even remember the last time I played a tournament in Taiwan. It was probably 8 or 9 years ago. Therefore, it will be a lot of FIRSTs for me, first tournament in 8 years, first pro event in Taiwan, and first time to play in front of my home crowd after many years.
I was raised in Taiwan and played many international tournaments in Asia when I was a junior player. I love Asia and I even consider Asia as my lucky place. Every time I go back to play in a tournament, I often have really good performance. Plus, I would love to re-do the tour that I did while I was younger, seeing a lot of different culture and places and getting to know more people.
Honestly, I have not. I think I will focus more on enjoying the tournament. It will be a lot of my first time that week so enjoyment will the main focus. I have played the course before, but it’s changed a bit every year. It would be fun to know the course again. From my impression, the course is firm and windy. It will definitely be a fun week if the condition is like that again.