That is a dream start to be honest with you. I birdied the first hole. I felt comfortable from the outset. Did all the right thing today I suppose, I put the ball in play from the tee. Obviously with ball in hand and placing the ball on the fairway, you had a perfect lie for every shot providing you put the ball in the fairway. So that is what I did well and was able to take advantage. Not really, not yet. The beginning part of the week was really busy. I have been getting acquainted with the tournament, sponsor commitments, Pro Am, all that type of stuff. My week gets a bit easier now. So maybe I will get a chance to sample some of the sites and some good restaurants. I don’t know, will I need it, just gotta play solid. I mean we will see what happens. This course, the way it is today, it is there for the taking. Obviously there was no wind, it was perfect golf conditions. The fairways are soft, the fairways are playing wide and generous but the greens aren’t too soft but therefore they are rolling really true. They perfect for going low but we will see what the weekend brings. So far a great start and I am trying not to get ahead of myself. I think the key this week is recovery. It is hot. Hot and steamy and soft under foot. It is a long walk out there so I am going to be focusing on recovery. Try and find an ice bath somewhere and jump in that, maybe go for a swim, go to the gym. Do all those kinds of things, take care of my body.
I think it’s the best I played so far this year, didn’t make any mistakes at all. I missed it on the right side of the green and it was a near perfect round where I put myself in a good position up there on the leaderboard. The eagle on nine, I hit a good drive, had about 242m to the pin and then hit my hybrid and left myself an 18-footer which I holed. I will have to play pretty much the best golf of my life with all the good players in this field, if I want to secure my card. The mindset I have for this week is to win and my performance looks like its been getting better because of all the years I have been playing on tour. As far as the plans I have for 2018, this is my last tournament for the year on the Asian Tour so I just aim to secure my card. If I don’t make it on the Asian Tour I will try my hardest on the CGA tour and the Japan Tour.
Phachara Khongwatmai -First Round 65 (-7)
I am very proud of how I did today. I didn’t hit it good but I had three chip ins and I made a comeback to 7 under par. Today was good because the weather was perfect and there was no wind. I chipped it really good today, its be a long time since I felt so good about my game and I am very happy that I got back the feeling for this tournament. I won’t think about the leading score I am just going to play my own game. I will just stick to hitting it on the fairways and playing the same game like today.
Choo Tze Huang (Sgp) – First round 66 (-6)
It feels good. I have been playing well for the past couple of months leading up to this. I have been in the same mind set in the past couple of months and I really enjoyed myself out there today. I made some mistakes but recovered well. It is a good feeling to shoot a bogey free six under today. It is a new feeling. Putting myself up there in this position is always good. I am going to keep plodding along the next couple of days and see where I finish at the end of the weekend. I have changed my practice a bit and my mind set. I am trying to put more fitness in and practice my putting more. That is really paying off especially with my putting. That is helping me make more putts when I have the opportunity. And on the mind set side I am just trying to enjoy myself. I am controlling my emotions better and tell myself par is a good score and be patient and it seems to be working out well.
Gavin Green (MAS) – First Round 70 (-2)
It was a tough start for me I couldn’t get anything going. For some reason I felt like I was asleep playing golf. I couldn’t hit my driver well and nothing was clicking so I was really frustrated. But I think its due to jet lag and fatigue kicking in. But I managed to pull myself together and finish strong with four birdies. Definitely had to practice a lot of patience today and I know what I have to work on. A couple more days ahead so I just want to try and make the cut and play better tomorrow.
Mardan Mamat (SGP) – First Round 70 (-2)
Good that I played under par, I have played here a lot of times and it’s a great golf course. The key is to stay patient especially on the greens. This course plays longer but the conditions are still good. I think this year has been up and down overall I just want to finish high this week and give myself a chance.