Sentosa, Singapore, 19: Read what leading contenders have to say following their first round of the SMBC Singapore Open on Thursday.
Hideto Tanihara (Jpn)
It was overall a good round. I flew over to Singapore right after finishing the final round on Sunday at Hawaiian Open. The jet-lag is not too bad. I woke up a couple of times at night but I am able to sleep. I three-putted my only bogey on the par-four first hole but apart from that, I felt really comfortable with my putting as I managed to read the greens well. After last year’s experience, I know the weather changes quickly here. So I am ready for thunder and rain.
Gavin Green (Mas) – First round 66 (-5)
I was actually feeling very comfortable coming into this week. I had a good two-week break before coming here. I took it easy and didn’t rush into anything out there. I was really feeling good out there compared to last year. The course condition is good but you need to have a few rounds here to get used to it.
I putted well today. I played a little smarter than I did last year too. I was just cruising along towards the end of the round.
This course suits my game. I tried to hit two-irons on a couple of holes to par and it’s always eight or nine iron for my second shots. I felt like it suits me that way. I have had drivers on the par-fives basically. I kept it in play and didn’t make too many mistakes off the tee.
Hopefully the weather holds up but we will see how it goes. I have played in tournaments with Ernie (Els) and Sergio (Garcia) before. It’s good to see them again. It’s always fun being around them. Hopefully I can get better over the weekend and play in the same group as them!
Shaun Norris (Rsa) – First round 67 (-4)
I hit the ball nicely and holed a few putts. It was a good round. The course condition is superb and it’s the place to be. It was nice and breezy out there. I played in South Africa last week. I am feeling good about my game. I am looking forward to the 2017 season on the Asian Tour.
The conditions might get tougher tomorrow when I play in the afternoon but I will just stick to my game plan for the week. The greens are good and beautiful out there.
Quincy Quek (Sgp) – First round 68 (-3)
The game was pretty solid overall. I hit the ball not too bad and I made a few 10-footers which helped a lot. I made a lot of par saves too. The round could have gone away from me but I managed to keep my head in the game.
I struggled a bit with my swing on the back nine. My front nine was rolling very smoothly. I just want to enjoy myself out there this week. I won a local event earlier this month but I haven’t had much practice since as I was waiting for the arrival of my baby daughter. But overall, I think my approach to the game has improved.
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. 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.
Just seeing her with ten fingers and ten toes and she’s crying, it’s just a whole new level of happiness. Golf is actually the least of my worries right now. I’m just looking forward to seeing her smile and just those precious moments that you don’t want to miss.
The playing conditions were great today. I was told it was going to rain this morning but we only got some light drizzles which was nice. I am definitely looking forward to tomorrow’s round.
My wife told me it doesn’t feel like there’s a big tournament going on this week and I was like yah.
Miguel Tabuena (Phi) – First round 68 (-3)
I haven’t really recover from my jet lag actually. I was seeing double coming in but I am very happy with the way I played. My game is in good shape now. I just need to catch up on some sleep because it can get really hard this week in Singapore when the rain starts coming in.
I hope I can play better. There are still three more rounds to go. I don’t see why I can’t get to the top of the leaderboard. It was a blessing to be able to play with Sergio (Garcia). He’s a great guy. I have learned lots of things from him.
I have pretty much got used to playing with the star players. I think playing in the bigger events last year has helped a lot. I played on the PGA Tour in Hawaii last week too. I am happy to be the first Filipino to make the cut in a PGA Tour event. I feel more relaxed playing with the star players now.
I like my game plan. I left some birdies out there today but holed some good par putts.
Gaganjeet Bhullar (Ind) – First round 68 (-3)
It was a good round altogether. I gave myself a lot of good opportunities and I made some good putts. It was a shaky start though. I missed a few shots from the fairways but I managed to get it back.
It’s the first tournament of the year and I am happy it’s a good start for me. I have played well here at the Serapong course before, especially in 2009 where I qualified for The Open championship as well. That’s always at the back of my mind.
I don’t really think about that on the course though although I have enjoyed the good amount of success I have had on this course. I hope to deliver that again this week!
Liang Wen-chong (Chn) – First round 70 (-1)
It was a decent round. I played well, especially on my front nine which is the back. I got unlucky on the 18.
I was three-under after 17 and I was hoping to hit two shots on the green on 18. Unfortunately, my tee shot went left and into the water.
The course is still as beautiful as before. Nothing much has changed over the year. I am feeling good about my game too. Overall, it was a good round today. I only had one bad hole. I hope to continue my good form into the remaining rounds.
I played well here last year. I finished third. The confidence is there but I will take it easy.