Xiamen, Fujian, China, November 30: Read what the players have to say following the opening round of the KG S&H CITY Asian Golf Championship on Thursday.
William Harrold (Eng) – First Round 64 (-8)
I drove well, so I had good chances into the greens. I hit good iron shots most of the time. I’ve also read the greens and putted really well.
In the practice round, you may have the impression that the pin placements are difficult. Today, the pins are placed on the flatter spots of the green. There were tricky ones today, but the greens were slower today. So if you keep the ball on the low side of the hole, you can hit your putts more aggressively.
I made a mistake at the last hole, but I made a big 45-feet putt across the slope for a birdie, which was nice.
Namchok Tantipokhakul (Tha) – First Round 68 (-4)
I feel great about the round. I hit many fairways today, and putted well.
The course is not too easy, but it’s also not too difficult. The tee off is very important. I used a mixture of driver, three wood and hybrids. Overall, the course is not very long.
The putting is indeed difficult here, but if you position it well on the greens, you’ll get a good birdie chance.
For tomorrow, I will just continue to play at our pace and take the opportunity to have some fun. We have a good camaraderie in the flight, so similar to today, we’ll take it easy and make the best of our opportunity here.
Ye Jian-feng (Chn) – First Round 69 (-3)
It’s been so long since I last played on the Asian Tour! I feel really happy to be back again and even happier that I get to play on home soil. It feels like home to me this week. I have always enjoyed playing on the Asian Tour. It is where I started my career when I was younger.
I have waited a long time for this day to come. I also hoped for the Asian Tour to return to China. I made a lot of birdies today but I also made a lot of mistakes, especially on the par-threes.
I got really lucky with the birdie on the second hole. I hit it into the trees but it bounced back onto the fairway and I chipped it in from about nine feet. It was a good start. The course is in perfect condition. You just have to avoid the bunkers out there.
I changed my strategy a bit on the first hole. I wanted to use driver off the tee but it was downwind on the tee this morning so I used a three-iron instead. I hit my second shot to about one yard from the pin and made the putt.
My iron-play wasn’t really good on the par-threes today. It got tougher towards the end as the wind was picking up. I guess my mental game wasn’t as good. I wasn’t able to stay as focused as there were spectators following but it’s something I had to manage.
I could have avoided most of the mistakes today. The other reason why I played well today could also be due to my playing partner William Harrold. He played really well and I think I managed to rub off some good vibes from him.
We were just chatting and enjoying ourselves out there. We were very relaxed. It’s a good start for me nevertheless. I think it’s one of the best that I have had all this year.
I have planned to go to the Asian Tour Qualifying School next year but I still hope to get a good result this week.
Liu Yan-wei (Chn) – First Round 69 (-3)
You need to avoid the bunkers out there. I drove it into a few today and ended up making bogeys. On this golf course, you really need to hit fairways and greens. If not, it will be tough. Besides that, I am really happy with my round today.
I putted well overall although I missed a couple of short ones. Nothing really stood out today. I just think you really need to keep the ball in play on this golf course. Even if you missed, you got to miss it on the right position pin high.
You can’t be putting up and down the sloppy greens out there. This is really important out there. The pin positions were pretty sensible today. Some were still really difficult. You just got to manage it yourself and hit it to the right side.
I made all my birdies from within six to 12 feet so I am pretty happy with that.
Hung Chien-yao (Tpe) – First Round 69 (-3)
I thought I didn’t play too well today. I didn’t putt well. The greens are really tricky here. I thought it won’t be easy to handle after playing the practice rounds earlier.
I am feeling very relaxed this week actually, having already secured my card for next season. I made an eagle on the par-four sixth hole. I hit it right on the fairway but only to realise someone had played from that exact same spot earlier.
I was just aiming to hit the green and the ball just went in. I had hit my second shot from about 77 yards. I was quite lucky today I thought. I had a chip-in birdie from the bunker on the eighth hole as well. The bunkers are really difficult out there. You have to avoid it at all costs.
I am going to work on my putting now. Hopefully I can putt better tomorrow. I won a professional title in China before and I don’t really feel any stress coming to play here.
I didn’t think too much out there. I just want to play my best and enjoy my game out there.