Chiba Prefecture, Japan, September 24: Read what players are saying following the final round of the Asia-Pacific Diamond Cup on Sunday.
Daisuke Kataoka (Jpn) – Final Round 70 (-2), Total 272 (-12)
I wanted to make a good birdie on the last for a good fist pose but ended up making a good par with the pose. I have been struggling with my game. I wasn’t making scores so I was frustrated. I reviewed my swing with my coach on Tuesday.
It was back to basic for me. I was not sure even until the last moment if I can stick to my basics.
I had some bad shots and some good shots. I was just able to take advantage of the few chances I had today.
I didn’t think I had a chance to win today until Poom made the triple bogey on the ninth hole. The chances came for all of us. It’s easy to make bogey out there if you hit it to the wrong positions, even on the fairways.
I had a training camp here after I turned professional, when I was 21 to 25 years old. Those years, I had at least one month of training here every year so I am familiar with the greens. I knew where to hit it to according to the pin positions. That was my advantage this week.
I hit it 120 yards to the pin and made birdie on 14 and then I tried not to bogey 15. I made a good putt to save par from about three metres. I played really well on the last five holes.
I don’t hit it long so I practice that kind of shot like my tee shot on 17. That helped me today.
I am happy to get exemptions on both the Asian Tour and the JGTO with this win. I was thinking about trying for European Tour Qualifying School actually but to do that, I have to skip three to four events on the local Tour. It’s my home tour so it was difficult.
I am ready to travel now. I think the tournaments will keep me busy this winter. I am glad.
I started putting good from the third round. All my wins were come from behind victories. Maybe next time I should manage it better and make it an easy way to win.
Poom Saksansin (Tha) – Final Round 73 (+2), Total 274 (-10)
I played well in my first eight holes and then I got into trouble on the ninth. I was holding a four-shot lead at that point so I was just thinking of making par and maintain that four-shot lead. I should have hit drive off the tee because it was upwind but I hit my three-wood instead. It went out of bound.
After making that triple-bogey on ninth, I told myself I still have a one-shot lead so I shouldn’t get too caught up with it. But I thought I lost the good feeling in my game after that. I tried my best but it just doesn’t seem to get better after that. My putts just didn’t go in.
On the 17th hole, I was actually aiming for a hole-in-one so I can get the three million yen on offer (laughs)! I thought maybe my luck will come on this hole and I will have a chance to pip Kataoka to the title.
It’s still a great week for me overall. This joint runner-up finish should put me inside top-10 on the Order of Merit now. I have two more tournaments to play in Chinese Taipei before the cut-off date for CIMB Classic so hopefully I can continue to play well to stay inside top-10.
It’s disappointing to lose the four-shot lead I had at one point but it’s golf, a tied-second place result is good enough for me. This week will be a good experience for me. This year has been a great year for me. I still have exemptions on Tour next year so I will keep trying to win again.
Tadahiro Takayama (Jpn) – Final Round 73 (+2), Total 274 (-10)
I played a good round I thought. I tried my best till the last moment. I enjoyed the competition because anyone can win. I guess the shot that determined the tournament winner was Kataoka’s tee shot on 17 which saw him yield a birdie.
Poom’s triple-bogey on the ninth hole made the game very interesting to all players who are trying to chase him. I am part of them too. Actually, I was happy that I had a chance but I struggled with the feeling and dropped shots there.
I made good birdie on 14 to take the lead. I hit a good drive on the 16th hole but was on a divot. It was an unlucky lie and I had a bad angle to the green.
My driver gave me trouble today. I hit my tee shots to the right on 10, 11 and 15. I need to work on that part of my game.
It was a good week for me nevertheless. I need to straighten my back. When the chance come next time, I should be prepared.
A good player will find his way to win even when he struggles with bad shots. I like to be that kind of player one day.