#ATQS Rd 1: What They Said

Wed 21 Jan 2015

#ATQS Rd 1: What They Said

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Hua Hin, Thailand, January 21: Read what players have to say following the opening round of the Asian Tour Qualifying School Final Stage presented by Sports Authority of Thailand on Wednesday.
Danthai BOONMA (THA) – First Round 65 (-6)
I had a bogey-free round today which was good. My putting was good as well but I think I hit my second shots the best. It was not as windy when I played in the morning so it was an advantage. I was in contention at the King’s Cup last year and I had a good finish that week. That was my very first professional event so I gained a lot of confidence from that week. I’ve only played three professional events since but I’m happy with how I have been doing so far.
I’m trying to stay focused for Q-School this week. It’s my first time here. I haven’t really set any targets for the year yet. I will just try and get my Asian Tour card this week and we will see how it goes from there. This is a challenging course but the less-windy conditions this morning made it easier to hit the greens and fairways out there.
I want to gain more experience and build up my career through playing on the Asian Tour. There are a lot of good Thai players who have done really well on the Asian Tour and a few of them have been encouraging me to come and try it out here. Kiradech Aphibarnrat was one of them. He told me to come here and gain more playing experiences which will help my game.
I am still trying to cope with the stress since turning professional. I will tell myself to at least make the cut so I guess that’s where the pressure is. I practise a lot as well to keep my game in shape as well.
S. Chikka (IND) – First Round 66 (-5) Springfield Royal GC
I actually didn’t start well today. I made a bogey on the second hole but I found the momentum after the two straight birdies from the fifth. I made a good birdie on the ninth as well. I almost holed my second shot. I hit the ball decently and my putting was very good today. I managed to hole some really good putts.
I’ve been playing well. I worked on a couple of things and the game’s feeling good now. I just need to stay calm and relaxed and I will be fine. There is a lot of wind out there so I will have to be patient and work towards holing a few more putts this week.
The course conditions are looking better. The greens are faster and the fairways are looking good as well. We didn’t get much wind last year but it is really windy this time round. It’s going to be a tough test. Tee shots are very important. If you hit good tee shots and you putt well, you will be fine. The greens are tricky and sloppy out there.
My driving was a little off heading into the back nine but it got better from the 12th hole. Missing by a mere one shot last year really taught me a lot. It actually made me a stronger person. I really learnt a lot from my experience last year. This year, I am just going to focus on what I need to do. I had a good season on my local tour last year and I got to play a couple of Asian Tour events as well so I’m pretty satisfied.
I am just going to stick to my game this week and hopefully I can finish in top-40 and ties to secure my Asian Tour card for 2015.
Lee Chieh-po of Chinese Taipei Lee Chieh-po of Chinese Taipei
LEE Chieh-po (TPE) – First Round 67 (-4) Springfield Royal GC
I just turned professional this month so I’m trying to take it easily this week. I’m pleased with how I played today. I finished second at the first stage at Imperial Lakeview Golf Club last week so I’m feeling confident with my current game. I heard it’s tougher at Lakeview and the scores are not as good over there as compared to Springfield so I thought if I’ve played well at Lakeview last week, I shouldn’t have much problem playing at Springfield today.
I have planned to turn professional this year since quite some time ago. Winning the professional tournament on the local tour back home as an amateur last November was a boost in confidence for me as well.
Daniel CHOPRA (SWE) – First Round 68 (-3) Springfield Royal
Daniel Chopra of Sweden Daniel Chopra of Sweden
I hit it nicely. I started off from the front nine and hit it really good but I missed like six to seven birdie chances in the first nine holes. I had a bad drive on nine and made a bogey. However, I managed to make amends with three consecutive birdies after the turn. I hit it as nicely as I can on the back nine and I had a good finish with a birdie on the last. I am happy with that.
There is a lot of work to do on this golf course. You got to keep it dry. You will get some big numbers if you make a bad swing. If you can avoid trouble off the tee, then you will be fine.
CHOO Tze-huang (SIN) – First Round 70 (-2) Imperial Lakeview GC
I think my mental game was good today. I spent a lot of time working on my game two weeks before. I kept track of the changes that I’m making. My putting is getting better over the past couple of months and it worked well for me today as well. Previously, I was more into ‘feel’. I play well only when I feel good. I won’t be as positive about my game and I can’t really commit to my shots. I tend to worry too much. But with the changes I’m making now, I think I am more focused on doing the right thing with my swing. I am more committed to my shots and I will just move on if I hit a bad shot.
I’ve been working with a new coach in Thailand for about two weeks to a month. It has been good. He has kept things very simple for me. He made some changes that I always have been told to make. Knowing that I’ve to alleviate my game to the next level, I kind of committed myself to making those changes now.
This is my fourth year at the Qualifying School. I think I’m more prepared this time round. Having played the same courses in the last three years, I think I know the courses better. I think I’m more prepared mentally compared to the previous years.
The courses are in great condition. It’s always tough to play this kind of courses at this time of the year because it is always windy. You need to stay patient to play well here. I take Q-school with a mindset different from other regular tournaments.
The year I made it (two years back), my dad told me the Q-School is like a marathon. You take it slow but you need to give yourself a chance to make sure you’re in the right position. I’m glad I put myself in a good position heading into the next three rounds today. Hopefully I can keep moving in the right direction.
Liu Yanwei of China Liu Yanwei of China
LIU Yan-wei (CHN) – First Round 70 (-1) Springfield Royal GC
It’s my first time here. I’m really excited to be here. I played in the PGA Tour’s Sony Open in Hawaii last week and it was a great experience. Liang Wen-chong was there as well and he has been very encouraging when he knew I was going to try and get my Asian Tour card this week. Although Liang hasn’t been to the Qualifying School before, he told me that the Asian Tour is a good platform for me to advance my career. He was really supportive of me coming to play on the Asian Tour
A lot of Chinese players have chosen to stay at home especially now that we have the PGA Tour China Series. But I feel that I should come out and explore. I feel that there are a lot more opportunities out here. If I can get an Asian Tour card, I will be opened to more playing opportunities.
I played the courses here before going to Hawaii so I’m pretty familiar coming to this week. The courses are looking good. It can get really windy out there so it’s going to be a tough test. I will try and stay calm and relaxed this week. We will see how it goes.