#AfrAsiaOpen – Rd 1 What They Said

Thu 12 May 2016

#AfrAsiaOpen – Rd 1 What They Said

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Beau Champ, Mauritius, May 12: Read what players have to say following the opening round of the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open on Thursday.
2016 AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open: Day 1Andrew Dodt (Aus) – First Round 66 (-6)
If someone offered me six under at the start of the day, I’d have taken it. It’s not easy out there. If you’re off by just a little bit, it gets magnified by the wind. I played really solidly. I didn’t make many mistakes and the momentum of the round just kept flowing.
Knocking those six-footers in for par just keeps the momentum going. I did hole some key putts today. I didn’t hit a good shot into the tenth, but managed to chip in for birdie and that kept the round going. Then on 11 I went in the fairway bunker and hit a seven iron out to about two feet. It just got to the round off on the right note and it continued from there.
It was pretty breezy, and when you get out to three, four and five you’re right on the beach and more exposed. I hit an eight iron from 96 metres at one stage. I haven’t done that before.
When you play well the conditions don’t really matter, and I think that’s what happened today. Having said that, this course can bite you at any stage, so there’s a long way to go and a lot of golf to be played.
You just try and stay in there and hang tough. You have to stay patient and limit the mistakes. Holes like 14, 15 and 16 are just straight into the wind and pars are very good scores there. If you can get through those holes, there are a couple of birdie chances coming in.
I probably won’t shoot 66 tomorrow, but I’ll get a good night’s sleep and try and play well again tomorrow.
2016 AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open: Day 1Rashid Khan (Ind) – First Round 68 (-4)
I am very delighted with how I played. It was really windy when I played my practice rounds earlier this week and I wasn’t expecting to shoot a good round when I started out today. I played really well. I started with two birdies in my opening three holes and that gave me some confidence heading into the round.
Apart from the wind, the course is kind tricky as well. You need to hit it really straight on some holes. It’s difficult when you have to control your ball under the windy conditions. I was really lucky on the 18. I hit a straight shot and the ball landed just before the out of bounds zone.
I hit the ball really good on this golf course. I found the greens and holed some putts today. I holed my longest putt on the eight for birdie. It was a 50-footer downhill left to right.  That was probably the highlight for me today.
I played this tournament last year but missed the cut by one shot. It was a pity but I am glad to be back here and putting myself in good position for the next round. I had a slow start to the season but the game’s slowing coming back. It’s going to be the same game plan for me tomorrow. Nothing changes.
Siddikur Rahman (Ban) – First Round 68 (-4)
I really enjoyed my round today. My hitting was good and my short game was solid. I had two chip-ins on the second and 15. I made some really good putts as well. It was a great day. I made some mistakes with the yardages on the 17 which resulted in my only bogey of the day. But it was alright. I am happy with how I played.
It was windy but I enjoyed the challenge out there. I love playing on challenging courses because it sets me thinking. I expected the wind and I am glad I tackled it well! I am looking forward to the next few days. It’s great to be playing here in Mauritius and playing in the first tri-sanctioned event.
I chipped in from 20 yards on the 15 and on the second, my ball was in a tough position. I chipped the ball and it went in on the second bounce.
Jeunghun Wang (Kor) – First Round 69 (-3)
It was really windy out there. It wasn’t easy so I am happy to return with a 69. I tried my best out there and I hope to remain consistent for the next three rounds so I can try to push for another win again. I stayed patient out there.
Winning in Morocco last week really gave me a lot of confidence in my game. I only dropped one bogey playing under this windy condition. I can’t complain. The three birdies on the front nine gave me the momentum heading into the round.
The last few days have been great! I received a lot of calls and messages from family and friends, congratulating me on my win. I am really happy. It has been really enjoyable. It will be nice to give myself a chance to try and win this week.
It’s actually my first time playing holes 16, 17 and 18 today. I didn’t get to play in my practice round. I sank a five-footer for birdie on the last after nine straight pars. It was a good finish.
Natipong Srithong (Tha) – First Round 70 (-2)
The wind was really blowing strong today but I managed to stay cool throughout the round. I stayed patient as well. I think playing on this golf course has allowed me to improve my game as I learnt how to play under windy conditions. It’s a good test.
I got off to a poor start with two straight bogeys but I remained focused and fought back with two birdies to turn in even-par. I dropped another shot on 11 but regained back with three more birdies. I am happy with how I played today.
I had a great birdie on the long par-four 16. I putted in from about two flags’ length away. I had a good finish with birdie on last as well. I will stick to my game plan again tomorrow. Hopefully I can put up another good round.
(Photo courtesy of Sunshine Tour)