Macao, October 19: Read what players have to say following the opening round of the Macao Open on Thursday.
Gaganjeet BHULLAR (IND) – First Round 64 (-7)
It was a good round overall. I hit the ball really good. I just kept on giving myself birdie opportunities and the game went accordingly to my plan. The putter went a bit cold on my back nine. I didn’t hole any birdie putts coming in but I gave myself a lot of good looks.
There are still a lot of golf left to go. I sank some good long putts for birdies today. I made a 30-footer on 14 and nailed another long birdie putt on 17 from close to 30 feet. I read the line perfectly for those two putts. I also nailed a trickling right to left putt from 15 feet on 11.
It was a good solid round overall. It wasn’t easy out there. The wind was just confusing. It was coming from all over the place. Even on my last few holes coming back, the wind was still blowing hard. To shoot a seven-under under these conditions, I am really happy.
I think the course condition is the best that I have played here so far. The greens are rolling so good. They are just honest. If you’re stroking the putt well, you will definitely go low this week. The goal is to repeat what I did today and get on to a good momentum for tomorrow.
Giwhan KIM (KOR) – First Round 64 (-7)
Everything was good for me today. I drove the ball well, hit my irons well and miss only one green today. As I make more and more birdies, I don’t feel as much stress going into the round.
On the second hole, I hit my second shot with a three-wood and make two easy putts for birdie. I guess that helped me get the round going.
I hit it really good off the tee. I was also able to get my ball on the greens. There were lesser trees this year so I guess that helps. Like on the 10th hole, the charting down of trees helped me because I hit it a little bit left off the tee but I was still able to get it on the green.
In the past, I would have trouble hitting it over the trees and get the ball on the green.
Yikeun CHANG (KOR) – First Round 64 (-7)
It was windy today but a lot of trees have been cut down so the course isn’t playing so hard this week. I knew I had to shoot a low score to be on top of the leaderboard. My front nine, which was from the 10th to 18th, was pretty good. I was hitting it good but I missed a couple of short putts.
I birdied the second and eagled the third. I gained my momentum from there. I hit a driver off the tee on the par-four third hole and my second shot from 40 yards went into the hole. Everything seemed pretty easy after that! I added three straight birdies after that eagle.
I made a 30-footer birdie putt from the left fringe on the fourth. That was the other highlight for me today. The course was firmer last year compared to this year and it seems narrower with the trees. The conditions were really good this year.
I had a one-week break back home in Korea last week, after playing eight weeks in-a-row. I didn’t really touch the clubs last week. I thought I needed some rest. I felt really refreshed coming into this week and happy to get off to a good start.
Ajeetesh SANDHU (IND) – First Round 66 (-5)
It was a pretty good round. I played pretty well out there, even in the wind. I think I handled very well so I am absolutely happy with my round today. On the third hole, I made like a 30-footer downhill for birdie. It was a tough putt but I made it so that was the highlight.
I was just trying to continue my good momentum and just trying to play some good golf. The first day normally you just want to play solid and see where it lands you and then try to push on the next day. That was what’s on my mind. I started making a lot of pars and a lot of greens in the wind.
I played really solid in the beginning and the putts started falling in. My short game was good although I missed a few putts coming in. Those were good putts that just lipped out. I didn’t miss too many greens out there but whenever I did, I made up and down. It was pretty solid through.