Barr rekindles love affair with Macau

Thu 17 Oct 2013

Barr rekindles love affair with Macau

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Macau, October 17: Australian Scott Barr battled to a three-under-par 68 for the joint first round lead at a wind-swept Venetian Macau Open on Thursday as he renewed his love affair with the US$800,000 Asian Tour tournament.
Barr, 41, produced a measured performance at the par-71 Macau Golf and Country Club, shooting four birdies against a lone bogey to set the early pace with rookie Ben Campbell of New Zealand, who shot the tournament’s first hole-in-one, and Finland’s Kalle Samooja.
Birthday boy Ernie Els of South Africa salvaged a 71 after fighting back from being four-over-par through his opening seven holes to lie three shots behind the leaders.
Two-time champion Zhang Lian-wei rolled back the years with a 69 for a share of fourth place with Thai teenager Jazz Janewattananond and Prom Meesawat, Australian Marcus Both and Bangladeshi Siddikur, who led on four-under before bogeying his closing two holes.
Singapore-based Barr broke onto the Asian scene some 10 years ago in Macau when he lost in a play-off to Colin Montgomerie after agonisingly lipping out a birdie putt for victory on the 72nd hole.
Zhang Lian-wei of China Zhang Lian-wei of China
“It’s a long time ago. I thought about it this week. I horse-shoed the last hole then and the pin was about the same spot today and I know what that does,” said Barr, whose four birdies included a birdie on the 18th hole.
“It’s history, this week is the priority. I hit the ball good enough and made some up and downs early in the round and kept it going. The ball wasn’t flying early this morning.  It was very windy, very dark and murky. I knew it was going to be tough. I have played here a lot and I get the idea of the wind and what to hit.
“It’s a long way to go. I’m not sure what the forecast is going to be but if it stays like this, I’m actually looking forward to it,” ” added Barr, who is still seeking the elusive first Asian Tour victory.
Less than 24 hours after arriving at the Venetian Macau Open, four-time Major champion Els, who turned 44 today, looked to be in trouble after playing his first seven holes in four over. However, the Big Easy, as Els is known around the world, birdied four of his last 10 holes to make his birthday cake taste sweeter.
“I have to be happy with that. It was a tough start. It’s still blowing now,:” said Els, who is seeking his 71st professional victory this week. “I started hitting some nice shots, made a little adjustment with my putter and made some three or four footers. All in all, it’s not a bad day. It’s a demanding course. When you’re off, you’re going to make big numbers.
““I always love coming here. It’s a wonderful place in the world to come play golf. I’ve seen the (Asian) Tour grow nicely and there’re so many great players now. Golf is such an exciting sport in Asia and you just want to be part of it,” added the South African, who will spend the next three weeks playing in the region.
Samooja, who has made only one cut all season which he attributed to his swing change, charged home in 30 thanks to an eagle on the second hole. The 25-year-old is hoping his new swing will hold out in the wind in Macau.
“I’m in the middle of a swing change. You will never know what happens the next day. You can have a good round and stay in the game but in the next round, it can be whatever,” he said.
Campbell aced the challenging par three 17th hole, which drops 140 feet from the tee box on the cliff to the green, with a six iron. “I was rapped about it and couldn’t take the smile off my face. I lost track what I was shooting and it was good,” said the 22-year-old.
The evergreen Zhang, who won here in 2001 and 2002, thrilled his fans with four birdies against two bogeys to trail the leaders. “The wind made it difficult. You have to control your distance and try to keep the ball on the fairway. Sometimes, the ball goes this way but after you hit the ball, it goes another way,” said Zhang, China’s pioneer in professional golf.Venetian Macau Open - Round One
“I’ll try to win the tournament. But it’s only one round. I’m not too old … 48 already.”
Three players failed to complete their opening rounds and will resume on Friday morning.
Jointly organised by Macau Sport Development Board of Macau SAR Government (MSDB) and Golf Association of Macau, the tournament is sanctioned by the latter and the Asian Tour, and promoted by IMG. Following a successful foray into the world of golf last year, The Venetian® Macao-Resort has returned as title sponsor of the event for a second successive year.
Sponsors joining The Venetian® Macao in support of the tournament include Rolex, Srixon, Air Macau, Blue Girl and Bonaqua, as well as first time sponsors Lamborghini, Maui Jim, Subway, Hytera, Twinwoods Wine and Hong Kong Descente, which carries both the Le Coq Sportif Golf Collection and Munsingwear.
For more details on the Venetian Macau Open, please visit www.thevenetianmacauopen.com
Ernie Els of South Africa Ernie Els of South Africa
Scores after round 1 of the Venetian Macau Open 2013 being played at the par 71, 6606 Yards Macau GCC course (a- denotes amateur):
68 - Scott BARR (AUS), Kalle SAMOOJA (FIN), Ben CAMPBELL (NZL).
69 - Marcus BOTH (AUS), ZHANG Lian-wei (CHN), Jazz JANEWATTANANOND (THA), Prom MEESAWAT (THA), SIDDIKUR  (BAN), Jason KNUTZON (USA).
70 - Sujjan SINGH (IND), HUNG Chien-yao (TPE), Jeev Milkha SINGH (IND), LU Wei-chih (TPE), Elmer SALVADOR (PHI), CHAN Yih-shin (TPE), Chawalit PLAPHOL (THA), Adam GROOM (AUS), Jay BAYRON (PHI), LU Wen-teh (TPE), James BYRNE (SCO), Simon GRIFFITHS (ENG).
71 - Ernie ELS (RSA), Ryan MCCARTHY (AUS), Sam BRAZEL (AUS), Daisuke KATAOKA (JPN), TSAI Chi-huang (TPE), Nicolas MEITINGER (GER), Rory HIE (INA), Sutijet KOORATANAPISAN (THA), LIANG Wen-chong (CHN), Antonio LASCUNA (PHI), BAEK Seuk-hyun (KOR), LEE Sung (KOR), Anthony KANG (USA), Adam BLYTH (AUS), Thammanoon SRIROJ (THA).
72 - LAM Chih Bing (SIN), Carlos PIGEM (ESP), Adilson DA SILVA (BRA), Stephen LEWTON (ENG), S.S.P CHOWRASIA (IND), CHIANG Chen-chih (TPE), Thanyakon KHRONGPHA (THA), Timothy TANG (HKG), David PALM (SWE), Arjun ATWAL (IND), Darren BECK (AUS), Kwanchai TANNIN (THA), Himmat RAI (IND), Peter GUSTAFSSON (SWE), YEH Chang-ting (TPE), Shankar DAS (IND).
About Macau Sport Development Board of the Macau Special Administrative Region Government
Macau Sport Development Board, under the capacity of the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macau SAR Government, is a public organization of administration autonomy. The organization is responsible for the implementation of sport strategy and policy formulated by the Macau SAR Government. Its objective is to stimulate, encourage, and promote all kind of sports in Macau, also to create an essential condition for sport development.
For the development of competitive sports and ‘Sport for all’, the Macau Sport Development Board organizes various high level international sport competitions as well as recreational classes and thematic ‘Sport for all’ activities each year, in an endeavor to promote the international status of Macau, reinforce communication and co-operation with other countries and cites, enhance citizens’ quality of life and arouse their interest in sport, so as to accelerate and facilitate the enhancement of the level of sport in Macau.
For more information, please visit www.sport.gov.mo
About Golf Association of Macau
The Golf Association of Macau is the governing body of golf in Macau and promotes the sport across all levels with the city. It is the co-organiser and official sanctioning body of the Venetian Macau Open.
About The Venetian® Macao-Resort-Hotel
Opened in 2007, The Venetian® Macao-Resort-Hotel is Macao's first integrated resort featuring stunning replicas of the famous canals and architectural icons of Venice, Italy. The Venetian Macao features 3,000 suites, 1.2 million square feet (111,000 square metres) of convention and meeting facilities as well as a 15,000-seat Cotai Arena designed for world-class sports events and electrifying entertainment. The Venetian Macao is also home to the unique, 1,800-seat luxury Venetian Theatre, hosting the best in international and Chinese entertainment; more than 30 renowned restaurants; MALO CLINIC Health & Wellness; the incredibly fun QUBE indoor playground and more than 300 retailers at Shoppes at Venetian. Outdoor recreation areas include swimming pools and cabanas and a mini-golf course.
For more information, please visit www.venetianmacao.com.
About Cotai Strip Resorts Macao – Macao’s Integrated Resort City
Sands China Ltd. is the leading developer, owner and operator of integrated resorts in Macao. The befittingly named Cotai Strip Resorts Macao, situated on reclaimed land between the islands of Coloane and Taipa, is the one destination that provides a stunning array of experiences at the heart of Cotai. Cotai Strip Resorts Macao has transformed a gaming-centric day-trip market into an integrated resort city and international hub for business and leisure travellers.
Pulsating with life, both night and day, Cotai Strip Resorts Macao features an expansive offering of affordable luxury available nowhere else in Macao, with approximately 9,000 hotel rooms and suites, international superstar live entertainment, duty-free shopping with 600 retailers offering an unparalleled array of name brands, 1.3 million square feet (120,000 square metres) of meeting and exhibition space for Asia’s leading conferences and exhibitions, gaming excitement, transportation offerings and well over 100 dining options, including international restaurants, bars and lounges. Cotai Strip Resorts Macao is a must-see destination providing every guest with an unforgettable experience and unparalleled excitement.
Comprised of the The Venetian® Macao-Resort-Hotel; The Plaza™ Macao, featuring the Four Seasons Hotel Macao; and Sands® Cotai Central, featuring the world’s largest Conrad, Sheraton, and Holiday Inn hotels, Cotai Strip Resorts Macao is where Asia’s ultimate destination is all within reach.
Cotai Strip Resorts Macao….truly Macao Starts Here™. For more information, please visit http://en.cotaistrip.com/.
About the Asian Tour
In 2013, the Asian Tour will celebrate a momentous milestone with its 10th season. As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Abacus (Official Apparel Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Srixon (Official Ball), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts), Subway Restaurants (Official Quick Service Restaurant) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf, www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf, www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf
About IMG
IMG Worldwide is a global sports, fashion and media business, with nearly 3,000 employees operating in more than 30 countries around the globe. IMG’s areas of expertise are diverse and wide ranging:  IMG College; IMG’s Joint Ventures in India, China, Brazil and Turkey; IMG Media; IMG Events and Federations; IMG Fashion; IMG Models; IMG Art+Commerce; IMG Clients; IMG Academy; IMG Consulting and IMG Licensing.  More information is available at www.imgworld.com.  Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.