February 02 : Read what the players have to say after round two of the Maybank Championship.
Phachara Khongwatmai (Tha) – Second Round 65 (-7), Total 133 (-11)
I’m very happy with my score. My plan is to shoot under-par every day and play against the course. I don’t want to think ahead or compare my score to another player. It is only two rounds so the tournament is not over yet. I want to focus day by day and hole by hole. I learnt a lot at the EurAsia Cup. My partner Hideto Tanihara taught me a lot and he calmed me down because I was very nervous. It has been a long time since I’ve been bogey-free. I putted very well because I didn’t hit the ball close to the hole. Overall putting was the key. Honestly I didn’t realise I had five birdies in a row. I was just focused on each hole.
Nino Bertasio (Ita) – Second round 65 (-7), Total 133 (-11)
It was very easy to be honest. I’ve been playing the par fives so a couple of birdies here and there, on the par fours and par threes and here I am at 11 under. It is actually quite easy to make bogeys here. The greens are quite tricky, and I think I only missed three greens, so I made it quite easy to be honest. I have been having fun on the golf course and playing well, so I’m looking forward to it.”
Lee Westwood – Second Round 62 (-10) , Total 134 (-10)
I played alright the first three weeks of the year, I mean I missed the first two cuts but I sort of got in my own way mentally, not sure the reason for that but today I just freewheeled really and had fun out there. Until the eighth hole, my 17th, I hadn’t holed anything over five feet. Tee to green it was brilliant, one bogey and 11 birdies, and now in contention. It was enjoyable, there were a lot of birdies going in out there. It’s nice to be in contention and to know this golf course well. I won the Malaysian Open here 21 years ago now, and I’ve won this tournament and was touring pro for this course, so I’ve probably played it more than most and I know where to hit it. I hit it close a lot and a pretty pain free round. Gave myself a lot of birdie chances, so it was a really good ball striking round and I holed out well as well. I was pleased with the way today went and hopefully we can build on that more.”
Chris Paisley – Second Round 69 (-3), Total 134 (-10)
I was really happy with it. It was a bit scrappy compared to yesterday and I didn’t have my best game, but stayed patient and managed to shoot three under and keep the run going. The weather just missed us today. Early on in the round I thought we are definitely going to have a suspension but we obviously didn’t, so hopefully more of the same and will keep playing well.”
Yuta Ikeda (Jpn) – Second Round 64 (-8), Total 134 (-10)
I’m very happy. I played very well with eight birdies and no bogeys. There was a huge crowd of Japan and Malaysian fans so I like coming here to play golf. My short game and putting were very good but I really kept things simple. It is very important to find the fairways here to give yourself a chance to reach your target. If it was a more difficult hole, I would just aim for the centre of the green, make a two putt and leave with a par. If I’m lucky I would have a birdie. I played the same yesterday but I had more birdie chance today so it was very good. I struggled on the greens (on Thursday) because it was so tricky. I couldn’t judge the lines on the greens. Now I’m in a good position and I’m glad to finish 36 holes.
Hideto Tanihara (Jpn) – Second Round 64 (-8), Total 135 (-9)
Honestly, I didn’t do anything different in the first and second rounds. Somehow, things just fell into place for me today. I judge the speeds on the greens better so I guess that’s why I holed more putts. There are a lot of good players including the Japanese who are playing well so I had to keep making birdies to have a great weekend. It is very hot so all you need to do is to keep dry (laughs).
Daisuke Kataoka (Jpn) – Second round 67 (-5) Total 135 (-9)
Short holes were good for me and I had a lot of birdies. I am hitting it very good and my putting was good too, had a lot of good breaks. I made about five long putts today that I was very happy about. I think the most difficult hole for me would be hole two but I did well the past two days, birdied it yesterday and made a par on it today. I like playing in Malaysia, the biggest difference is that the grass is different from back home and the heat is a bit unbearable. I just had to conserve my energy in my second nine because by then I was very tired. I was under the umbrella all day which helped and I just drank a lot of water. Overall, I am very happy with how I did and tomorrow I just want to play the same game.
Khalin Joshi- Second round 70 (-2) Total 137 (-7)
I started off 10 and was hitting it good but I was just missing putts. On hole 12 I hit a pretty good tee shot but I got unlucky when it plugged in the side of the bunker and it only came out after two shots so I had to settle for double bogey when I missed my putt. I recovered right after on hole 13 when I holed a 13-footer for birdie. I made a lot of good saves and birdied putts as well. I am feeling really good with the way I am hitting the ball this week. The only challenge here would be the greens, I would hit pretty good putts but would miss it. I miss the cut the last two weeks by a shot and I was upset with myself because I am missing out due to small mistakes. I am hoping the weekend goes pretty well and I just told myself to make the cut and I did. I just made sure to stay positive especially on the last few holes when I come down the stretch to not think about my score and just focus. Just eliminating the small mistakes made a big difference this week and I believe that I can actually win on a higher level.
Gavin Green (Mas) – Second Round 69 (-3), Total 137 (-7)
It was a weird start. I wasn’t comfortable at the start and I didn’t hit it well off the tees. I was struggling to find the fairways and was hitting it left. It showed when I hit my tee shot out of bounds on my first hole (10). I made bogey but recovered with a birdie and I was fine from there. This is my fourth week in a row so I might be fatigue. It is good that I finished 36 holes because now I can rest and hang out with my brother (Galven). It is the third straight cut I’ve made so I can’t complain. It is always nice to be within striking distance with two more rounds to go. Anything can happen. I’m going to keep to the same game plan which seems to be working well. I’m going to attack the par fives and play it smart. My caddy and I have a good relationship in terms of calling out shots and club selections. I’m comfortable so we will see how it goes on the weekend. (On his first bogey) It was just the first hole but obviously making birdie straight after was huge. After that I birdied the par five 13 and I was up and running. No problem. The birdie on the ninth hole from 15 feet was good. Always nice to end with a birdie. It was a pretty simple
Michael Tran (Vie) – Second round 65 (-7) Total 138 (-6)
I got a bit lucky on the greens today and I just wanted to get as close to the line as possible and I holed a lot of putts because my caddy and I read the lines well. The greens are very undulated and for me to have putted well is pretty great. I made the cut the first time I played Maybank but last year I missed the cut, so I came into this week treating it like any other tournament. It’s probably the biggest tournament I’ll play this year and I just want to enjoy the moment. I feel very good about my round. I had it going for about 11 holes and I really needed that. After the first round I was very worried about today, but I started off so good and I did not even think about my score. For me to play in the Maybank Championship is like a dream come true, it is like a Major for me. For the first time I have my best friend on my bag we turned professional together and he has been very supportive. There isn’t really a lot of tournaments for us to play, and its surprising since a lot of us from Asia are used to play in these conditions so we should have more tournaments to play in. I think my mindset is to just take it one shot at a time, my goal was to make the weekend, and now I can go into the weekend with no expectations.