Fiji, August 16: Read what players are saying ahead of the Fiji International, which starts on Thursday.
Gavin Green (Mas)
The boat trip on Monday was really fun. It was something that I have never experience. It’s been a long time since I last got on a jetski. It was really fun with the boys – Panuphol Pittayarat, Casey O’Toole and Ben Campbell. I like it a lot and it’s nice because it gets you away from golf.
The course is easy without the wind but with the wind, it can be quite a beast! I think you need to be a good ball striker to get your way around here. It’s tight off the tee, especially when the wind comes, and it can get pretty tough.
I like it in the wind though. It’s not going to be easy for anyone when the wind blows hard, obviously. It won’t be easy at all so we just have to see what the wind will do to us when the tournament starts.
It will be a good test. It’s a fair course. The long hitters have an advantage as they can hit it far, if they want to hit it into a tighter spot. But if they don’t want to, they can always lay-up. It’s a pretty fair course. If you take the chance, you will be rewarded. It’s good, I like it. It’s a course that you have to think around well.
Before coming here, I have heard about the strong winds here and getting into trouble here can be quite penalizing and it’s indeed true.
It’s been great here in Fiji so far. I will definitely come back here again for a holiday. It’s comfortable and it’s like paradise but when you get to the course, you know you’re here to do your job.
We have got a pretty strong field this week, with three Major winners. It’s been a solid season for me so far but we will see how it goes. Hopefully the weather holds up and I can make the cut comfortably, then we see how it’s going to be in the weekend.
Phachara Khongwatmai (Tha)
This course is really challenging, especially when the wind picks up. I just had my coach to fix my down swing a bit when I went back home to Thailand last week so everything feels good for me right now.
I have been playing quite a bit over the last few months so it’s good to get back home and catch up with my coach last week. It’s nice to be here in a new country this week. It’s really beautiful here. I just want to play my best.
The season has been pleasing for me so far. I had some opportunities to play in Europe as well and I’ve learnt a lot about the course, the weather and the playing conditions there. It’s all good experience.
It will surely be tough if the wind continues to blow like how it did today. But then again, everyone is playing in the same conditions. I won’t give myself too much pressure. I will just deal with it step by step.
Chikkarangappa S. (Ind)
I had a good week in India two weeks ago and it’s good to come here with some good momentum. I had some good memories here in Fiji too. I played the Nomura Cup on the same course when I was still an amateur in 2011 and I finished tied-seventh in the individual category and my team came in third.
It’s great to be back here after six years although a lot has changed here. The course is still in a great shape. The wind wasn’t blowing that much when I played my practice rounds the last two days. But today, it’s blowing hard. I think it’s going to get more difficult when the tournament starts but I am looking forward to it.
The game’s feeling good. I made a couple of changes and I had a good one month off before the TAKE Solutions Masters two weeks ago. I spent a lot of time with my coach and it has been really helpful. I played solid in India that week and I am looking to bring on the good form into this week.
You need to hit more fairways and greens to score on this course, given how the wind is blowing. Putting will be key but you need to keep the ball in play. The first half of the season hasn’t been good for me but I’m starting to pick up some good momentum heading into the second half. Last year I played really good in the second half too.
Jeunghun Wang (Kor)
I am really pleased to participate in the Fiji International this week. I am looking to play well and cap a good result before heading back to Korea for a three-week break next week. I played nine holes yesterday and I am feeling good about the course. I feel the course suits my game and I expect to play well when the tournament begins.
I have had the chances to play in Majors and other big events so far this season. I have learned a lot and I believe those experiences will help me in my game this week.
The Asian Tour is where I started my career. It is like my home. It’s good that the Asian Tour is tri-sanctioning the event this week. I feel really comfortable here and I am very happy to see some of my friends here in Fiji. I will try my best to put up a good performance this week.
The winning score was even-par last year so I expected the tough conditions before coming here. I will try and stay relax. I will go out and see it’s really like out there when I play in the pro-am later. No pressure.
Vijay Singh (Fij)
I walked around the course for the first time yesterday and most of it is done. It’s a pity that we took very long to finish as the greens are not what they’re supposed to be, but Steve (Lalor, Course Superintendent) did an unbelievable job getting it done.
Most of the work is done according to what we thought it was going to be, everybody’s happy, we’ve got great reviews about it now all we need is some good weather. I wanted the course to be more playable for hotel guests but at the same time challenging enough for pros to go out there and play, I think we did that.
I’m coming off from playing some good golf in the States so hopefully I can focus and do well this year. I think the local fans are waiting for me to play some good golf here. I’ve come close to playing good golf here.
It’s nice to come here and see old friends and most of the guys here I haven’t seen for a long time. It’s going to be good, I’m looking forward to this year, they say the weather is going to be good, it’s going to be sunny and hopefully not so windy so I can play well.
We’ve got some good players from Asia and Europe as well, this is one of the stronger fields we’ve had so hopefully we can build from here in years to come. You’ve just got to get out there bear down and play hard, I’m not a great wind player but I’ve played pretty good golf in those conditions before.