Chiba Prefecture, Japan, September 19: Read what players have to say ahead of the Asia-Pacific Diamond Cup which gets underway on Thursday.
Siddikur Rahman (Ban)
I had a top-10 finish in Japan earlier this year so I feel good coming back here again. I had some good memories and I feel confident coming here although it’s a different course this week. I hope that will help me in my title challenge this week.
I played the course yesterday and I must say I really like it. I love the design and it’s in great conditions. I think you need to keep the ball in play on this course. You really need to keep the ball on the fairways and greens because the rough is really long here.
The game’s feeling great after I took a one-week break last week after coming back from Switzerland. I thought I played well in Switzerland although I didn’t make the cut.
I am still hopeful that a good result will be just around the corner for me so I am looking forward to this week. The season’s been pretty good. I had some good results on the Asian Tour and the European Tour this year. I’m riding on the confidence but there are still many more tournaments to go.
We will see how it goes. I am aiming to finish as high as I can on the Order of Merit at the end of the season. Of course, everyone will be eyeing the top-10 spots on the Order of Merit to qualify for the lucrative CIMB Classic and WGC-HSBC Champions next month.
I don’t want to think so much about that yet. I just want to enjoy my game. What will happen, happens. If I keep thinking about it, it will pile pressure on me so I will just do my best this week and stay relaxed, which is the most important.
Ben Leong (Mas)
The game’s feeling good. I played some pretty decent golf in Korea last week. I struggled a bit though but I started off well. It’s always a grind, especially in the final round. All in all, it’s been pretty positive. I am happy to be here in Japan and I am looking forward to this week.
It’s been a few years since I last played in Japan. I am excited to be back. Everything looks good here, the course, the food and the people. It’s always nice coming back to Japan. I just try to enjoy my golf this week and not think too much on the results.
It’s going to be just about hitting the fairways and the greens for me. I want to keep things simple. A good result this week could possibly get me into bigger events coming up but that’s all beyond my control. I will take it one step at a time. I can only do what I can do so we will see how it goes.
The season’s been pretty good for me I would say. No complaints but we still have a long way to go. There are still quite a number of tournaments coming up. The game feels good so hopefully I can play well enough to secure my card for next year.
Jazz Janewattananond (Tha)
It’s going to be a long stretch of events for me so I am working hard to keep up my good form. It’s been a great year for me. I should be able to qualify for the CIMB Classic if I can continue my good form.
Right now, I am hoping for another good result to break into top-four on the Order of Merit to earn my debut World Golf Championship appearance at the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai next month.
To be honest, I never expect the year will turn out this good for me, especially after losing my Tour card last season. Right now, I just want to keep doing what I am doing and keep setting new goals for myself.
I believe that’s how I can improve my game. Having said that, I do need to play really well this week and the next few events coming up to qualify for the Shanghai showpiece. I will try my best.
From starting the year with no status on Tour to fighting for a spot in the WGC-HSBC Champions, I have no complaints for the season so far. I missed the cut in Switzerland and finished tie-50th in Korea last week but I will keep my spirits up because there’s still a long stretch of events coming up.
Tirawat Kaewsiribandit (Tha)
This is my first time playing an Asian Tour event in Japan. I am really excited. I had a good finish in Korea last week and I am hoping to ride on that good form this week. I am very happy to get in to this event.
The course is playing good so far but the roughs are kind of long and the greens are not looking easy. You need the keep the ball in play. You need to keep hitting the fairways and greens if not it will be tough. The conditions are really good.
The season’s been pretty good for me so far. I came through the Qualifying School earlier this year, won my first Asian Development Tour (ADT) title in June and notched two top-10s on the Asian Tour in India and Korea prior to this week.
I guess the experiences that I have accumulated over the years have helped me to play well this year. Also, the confidence that I get after winning on the ADT. I seem to understand my game better as well. I will stick to the same mindset heading into the rest of the season.
The aim is to finish inside top-60 on the final Order of Merit to keep my card for next year. I need to keep up my good form to achieve that but having said that, I think I just have to keep doing what I have been doing and I should be on the right track.
Prayad Marksaeng (Tha)
The game’s feeling great at the moment. I am still very happy that I defended my title successfully at the Japan Senior Open, which is a Major tournament on the Senior Tour, last week. It was my seventh title on the Senior Tour and a third one this season.
I am hoping to ride on that good form for this week. I am just working on my putting now. I think that will be the key to score. Putting will be very important this week. You need to hit good tee shots and try and hit as many greens as possible.
I took a week of rest before the Japan Senior Open. This is my second tournament in a row so I am still feeling fresh for this week’s Diamond Cup. It’s my first time playing a tournament here so I am very excited. I hope to play well here.
Rashid Khan (Ind)
The game’s feeling way better now. I changed a few things and hopefully it works out well this week. I have been working on my putter and my irons. I had a new driver in the bag since a few months ago as well so it’s all looking very well now.
I walked the course on Monday and played my first practice round today. The course is in a good shape. The rough will make it challenging for us this week. If you can find the fairways then you just need the shorter clubs on some of the holes. Only a few long holes out there.
The season has not been that good so far but I just need to keep trying my best. That’s what I have been telling myself now. I believe just one good week will be enough for me to regain my good form and get back on track to playing well again.