February 01: Hear what the players had to say after round one of the Maybank Championship.
Arjun Atwal (Ind) – First Round 67 (-5)
It was hot, very hot. I don’t remember the last time being this hot. I’m pleased, it was a solid start to round one. Everything was pretty okay, I can’t pinpoint which part of my game was better. Everything was solid, I hit a lot of fairways and greens. I hit it close a few times and made some putts so it was good. It has been a while since I won in Malaysia but I always love coming back here. It has been fun.
Soomin Lee (Kor) – First Round 67 (-5)
It was very exciting. I really love this country and that’s why I always play well. I’m not feeling healthy. I hope that I can feel better in the next three days. My stomach feels upset. I don’t know what I ate wrongly. I love this golf course, the fairways are narrow. I just want to keep my ball on the fairway. Actually I love playing on Asian golf courses. I drove the ball so well on the front nine but I struggled on the back. I just practice a bit more on the pace of my putting and I should be okay.
Phachara Khongwatmai (Tha) – First Round 67 (-4)
I’m very happy with my first round but I have to practise my long irons more. All my shots were short of the target. I’ve been training my fitness and I feel stronger than before especially in this heat. I tried really hard to make birdies but I struggled on the par threes. I had quite a good finish here last year but this is a new year so I don’t want to think about last year. I hope to do well this week because I want to safe my European Tour card. I would be very happy if I could win.
Chan Shih-chang (Tpe) – First Round 67 (-4)
It is only the first day so it has been a while since I last shot a good opening round. My chipping was good and that helped. I’m feeling different because I’ve really struggled to shoot a low score on the first day. I’ve been thinking too much on my swing. I want to hit it faster and have the perfect swing but I couldn’t control the ball. I changed my mindset today, I hit without thinking and I could control the ball better. Eagle: Driver, I hit a three-wood from 236 yards out downwind and holed my 18-feet putt.
Gaganjeet Bhullar (Ind) – First Round 68 (-4)
It was a decent start to the tournament. It has been a long time since I hit 18 out 18 greens in regulation. I gave myself a lot of good looks on the greens and drove the ball well. I could have done seven or eight-under today. I started with a three putt on number 10 and made a quick recovery with a birdie. Otherwise it was a smooth sailing round. I’ve definitely grown as a player in the last decade. The goal is to get your game good for this tournament because this dictates the Order of Merit winner. The goal is to finish as high as possible in this tournament. It helps a lot coming back to a country which you are familiar. The fans here know about the Asian Tour and they know about me. It always feels good and it always feels like the home of the Asian Tour.
Mohd Wafiyuddin (Mas) – First Round 69 (-3)
It was tough but I have confidence from last week when I shot a final round 64 on the Asian Development Tour to finish seventh. This is a big event so I did feel pressure. I focussed on my game plan and told myself that if I can do it last week, why not do it again this week?
Todd Sinnott (Aus) – First Round 70 (-2)
It was playing 191 meters and it was playing uphill so you can’t see the green. I just hit a seven iron draw and I asked my caddy for the putter and he said I probably won’t need it and I laughed. We walked up and Daisuke Kataoka was ahead of us and when he reached the green he said it was not in but he was joking so that was it. I’ve had two hole-in-ones as an amateur so this is my first professional hole-in-one. When I got up to the green and knew I had the ace, I looked back at the tee to see if I won a car or something but nothing unfortunately!
Chris Paisley – First Round 65 (-7)
It was great and nice to keep the form going. I just played really solid, hit it well off the tee so gave myself a lot of wedges and short irons into the greens which were really good and gave myself a lot of birdie chances, couldn’t have gone better. That’s the hardest part, it’s very hot and not much wind, so scoring wise it is quite easy but to keep your focus is quite difficult with how tiring the heat is but it is good fun. I was pretty much in the fairway every hole and just felt like I had a lot of 100-yard to 140-yard shots, which is generally my strength, and hit a few stiff and lots to within ten feet so managed to hole a few putts as well. Really happy. I’ve been playing really well so nice to keep it going.
David Horsey – First Round 66 (-6)
It was nice to be out first this morning with the heat, it was a little bit cooler for the first nine holes and obviously got a bit hotter since with no cloud cover so its tough out there, best of the greens as well so very pleased. I hit a good tee shot and wedge thinking it wasn’t probably going to quite fly as far as it did at that time of day and it turned out it did, over the back and made bogey, but followed that up with birdie birdie eagle to get my round going.
Andrew Johnston – First Round 67 (-5)
I drove the ball well, I was happy with how I played. I think you have to put it in place and be sensible where you try and hit it, sometimes you have to get aggressive. I pulled the driver out on a couple of holes you can get near the green, that’s the way I tried to play it, just aggressive and stay positive and it was a good day.
David Lipsky (Usa) – Round one 67 (-5)
It was pretty good today I hit the ball really well today, but I didn’t make enough putts if not I could have gone even lower, but I am pretty happy with my round. It was fairly easy in the morning, but the wind picked up in the afternoon and got a little trickier. I’m pretty happy with my round and I just want to keep it going for the next few days.