#AfrAsiaOpen - Preview What They Said

Wed 11 May 2016

#AfrAsiaOpen - Preview What They Said

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Anahita, Mauritius, May 11: Read what players have to say ahead of the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open which starts on Thursday.
George Coetzee. Picture by Sunshine Tour. George Coetzee. Picture by Sunshine Tour.
George Coetzee (Rsa) – Defending champion
I am definitely looking forward to the week and hopefully get some proper rest before the tournament starts. I actually felt like I played better than before after my ankle injury last September. But golf is a funny game, you never know what to expect.
I think I will need a couple more months for the pain to really go away so right now, I just have to get the ankle ready and trust the ankle to get the game going. It’s a long process. I am not trying to fix anything right now.
I don’t know how my game will be. It’s been six weeks since my last event, so it’s been a while since I’ve been tested. There’s definitely some rust to work off before the tournament starts. The last six weeks have been fun. I went surfing the first couple of weeks and broke a couple of boards – luckily no ankles! Then I went fishing last week and had a great time with (Richard) Sterne and (Charl) Schwartzel and another couple of mates in the Seychelles. It was great to be out there doing other stuff and not talking only about golf.
It’s probably going to be another couple of months before the ankle is pain-free. It’s a slow process. I’ve been working hard on trusting it and committing to it when I swing.
The key on this course is keeping the ball in play off the tee. The greens are quite small and tricky to hit, so I think if you can chip and putt well this week you’ll do well. I think we are all going to have a tough challenge on our hands this week. If the wind keeps blowing like this, I don’t think the winning score will be double figures under par. I think we’ll even do well to stay under par.
Mardan Mamat (Sin)
I like the course layout here. The wind is playing quite hard at the moment. It’s going to be a tough factor this week. It wasn’t as windy last year. That’s the main difference. Some holes are playing longer because of the wind. I am feeling much comfortable with my game after two practice rounds here. I had a lot of fun at the pro-am tournament yesterday. My partners played well and we won.
You can’t really hit a lot of greens and fairways in this kind of windy conditions. Your short game needs to be a little bit sharper. That will save you a couple of shots. The season has not been up to my expectations yet but I am happy to keep myself inside top-30 at the moment. Hopefully I can get my confidence back and play better in the remaining of the season.
Getting into the Olympics is my main target right now. It’s a very important goal for me. I really want to fulfil this dream before I retire. Now that I have the chance to fight for it, I will try my very best. I want to represent my country for the Olympics. Hopefully I can play well this week and boost my world rankings so that I can be in a better position to qualify before the qualifying cuts off in July.
Jeunghun Wang of Korea Jeunghun Wang of Korea
Jeunghun Wang (Kor)
I got so much confidence from my win in Europe last week. I am really looking forward to the week ahead. I have had a great season so far and I am happy with my game at the moment. The wind’s blowing hard right now and I think it’s going to be an important factor this week. I think it’s going to be a tough week with the wind but I will just keep doing what I have been doing and we will see how it goes.
I have had a great week in Morocco, having secured a career breakthrough win on the European Tour. It was a very important win for me. But it’s a brand new week now. I want to get better and better. I didn’t think about winning although I know I had the chance. Now that I’ve done it, I hope to keep improving.
Soomin (Lee) won a couple of weeks back and I was very happy for him. Playing on the Asian Tour has helped a lot in my game over the years.
Danthai Boonma (Tha)
It’s very windy out there. It’s a going to be a good test of your game, especially your long game. Your approach shots have to be good too as you might need to get up and down out there. It’s been really nice here in Mauritius. I am enjoying every moment of it. I’ve been struggling to hit top form after winning in Singapore last year but I will try not to push myself too hard. I learn and gain experience every week. It’s good as long as I make improvements. Hopefully I can turn the season around with a good showing this week.
Soomin Lee of Korea Soomin Lee of Korea
Soomin Lee (Kor)
I feel very comfortable with my game right now. I have been playing well the last couple of weeks and I am feeling very confident for the week ahead. The last couple of weeks have been exciting. I claimed my career’s biggest win in China and that meant a great deal to me. I missed out on winning the Maybank Malaysian Championship earlier and I was very disappointed with my game.
Winning in China was like a sweet revenge. I have been playing well so far and happy with how I am doing. I am very happy to see Jeunghun (Wang) win on the European Tour last week too. He is a very talented player and he is still young.
Just one week before he wins, I told him his turn will come soon and it really did. I am very happy for him. There are a lot of good players from Korea, like Byunghun An and K.T. Kim. It’s always great to see your friend and someone from the Asian Tour playing well on the international stage.
It’s going to be a tough week with the winds. You have to keep the ball in play and try to hit as many greens and fairways as possible. My target is to stay bogey-free. If I can do that, I should be able to find myself in contention.
I am hoping to get into the Olympics with a good result this week.
Li Haotong (Chn)
I am excited to be here. It’s my first time here and I’m enjoying it so far. I haven’t been around yet and would definitely love to explore the island if I have the time this week. I am really looking forward to this week and I hope to play well.
It’s my first time playing in a tri-sanctioned event. There are a lot of good players out here. My aim is to play well this week and earn more world ranking points to solidify my position on the Olympic rankings. Winning on home soil a couple of weeks back has given me a boost in confidence. I was struggling to play well for about eight weeks before my win.
The golf course is looking good. It’s very windy but I think it’s fair because everyone plays under the same conditions. I will have to stay patient. It will be the key to play well this week. I don’t have any targets for this week. I just want to play my own game and enjoy myself out there.
Every week is a new week. The pressure to play well is always there and it doesn’t matter if you have won before or not. I told myself to just try my best out there. It’s a very nice environment here. It makes you feel relaxed when playing golf here. Hopefully that will help me play well this week.
Getting into the Olympics is very important for me. I am thankful that my win at the Volvo China Open has put me in good position to qualify for the Games in August. It will be a dream come true if I can represent my country in Rio de Janeiro. It will be an honour for me. The aim right now is to keep playing well and keep trying to boost my world ranking. If I can do that, I will definitely be in for the Olympic Games.