#DiamondCup - Preview What They Said

Wed 21 Sep 2016

#DiamondCup - Preview What They Said

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Osaka, Japan, September 20: Read what players have to say ahead of the Asia-Pacific Diamond Cup which starts on Thursday.

Jeunghun Wang of Korea Jeunghun Wang of Korea

Jeunghun Wang (Kor)

I have been resting in Seoul for the last three weeks since returning from the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. I was in hospital for two weeks due to a stomach problem and I was running a fever too. I couldn’t eat at all when I was there but I am feeling much better now.

I only started practising just three days before coming here. Before that, I could barely hit 100 balls as I was still low on energy. The doctors have told me it could be a while before I regain my full strength. I have been eating well and working on my fitness lately. I am happy that I can recover in time for this week. It is my first time here at this golf course. I am looking forward to the week.

It has been a big year for me so far. I think I have improved a lot as a golfer especially mentally. I am able to handle stressful situations now and I have gained a lot more playing experiences, having played on the European Tour this year. The game has improved too and I feel like I am getting better and better. I just got to keep practising.

I have played in my first Major and represented my country in the Olympic Games too. It has been a pretty big year for me so far. I want to try and achieve better results in the remainder of the season and see if I can win the Order of Merit. I will try my best.

Playing in Europe has been very different. I haven’t been playing well there but I think it’s a learning curve for me. I needed to gain more experiences playing over there. The weather, the courses and the people are very different compared to Asia. I feel like home coming back to play on the Asian Tour in Japan this week.

Liang Wen-chong (Chn)

I came to Osaka on Monday. I was already in Japan for another tournament last week. The game’s feeling alright. I am just trying to take it easy this week. I have played this course a couple of times. It’s nice to come back here.

The course is in top condition as always, despite the rain earlier. The greens are quite soft but overall, it’s all good. It’s anybody’s game this week really. The course is playing longer with some of the par-fives converted to par-fours. That will be the main challenge. Tee shots will be key this week.

I have been juggling between playing on the Asian Tour and the Japan Golf Tour these past few years. That will be my focus again this year. I have become pretty used to playing in Japan so hopefully that will be an advantage for me. I strive to play well in every event I am in. I will definitely give it my best shot again this week.

I plan to play in Chinese Taipei next week. My target is to play nine events on the Asian Tour this year. Hopefully I can achieve some good results before the end of the season.

Nicholas Fung of Malaysia Nicholas Fung of Malaysia

Nicholas Fung (Mas)

I played nine holes yesterday. The course is playing long because of the rain these two days. But other than that, the course is in a good shape. I think I am slowly getting back my good form. I have played well recently. I finished third in the Asian Development Tour event back home two weeks ago.

This is my first time in Osaka although I have played in Japan before. It is always nice to be here. Playing in Japan is always different from playing back home or in other parts of Asia. The courses here are always in good shape. The grass is different and the weather as well.

The season’s been good so far. Now that I have more or less secured my card for next year, I am working on other goals, like claiming my breakthrough win and qualifying for the CIMB Classic at home next month. I hope a good result this week can boost my rankings. I need to break into top-10 on the Order of Merit to qualify for the lucrative event. That would be my main aim for now.

Prayad Marksaeng (Tha)

I still feel good physically. My game has been feeling good and I hope to maintain my good form this week. I am very happy to have won thrice on the Japan Senior Tour so far. It is very different playing on the Senior Tour and on regular Tours. I feel more relaxed playing on the Senior Tour actually.

When you go back to play on the regular Tour, the course set-up is tougher and the strength of the field is stronger. I can foresee a very challenging week at the Diamond Cup as we have got some of the top Asian players playing against the top local players.

I think I have played enough in my career to be familiarized with all the different kind of courses around, especially in Asia. Right now, I think I just need to focus on my mental game and keep up with my fitness. The golf courses in Japan are about the same standard throughout the country whereas in Thailand and on the Asian Tour, the courses vary. You need a bit of adjustment if you are playing in Japan for the first time.

The weather will also be different in Japan. You can walk a long distance without getting tired in Japan but you cannot really do that in other parts of Asia because it’s usually too hot. Raining in Japan won’t cause much delay in play as you don't get much lightning. But it’s different in other parts of Asia. The delays are usually longer because there will be a lot of lightning.

This course is the most challenge venue for the past editions of Diamond Cup. I like the course nonetheless. I seem to have won a lot of tournaments in this region. I won Diamond Cup in this area in 2008 as well. You need consistency in your game to play well on this course. I am prepared to give my best performance at the Asia Pacific Diamond Cup this week.

Thitiphun Chuayprakong of Thailand Thitiphun Chuayprakong of Thailand

Thitiphun Chuayprakong (Tha)

I have had a lot more playing opportunities after winning in Bangladesh. I get more chances to play in bigger events like the co-sanctioned ones which have stronger fields. That has given me a lot of good experience and confidence.

The game is getting better. I feel like I have found my own style and I can just play my game without holding back anything. My short game has improved also and now I am working on my meditation which can help me stay focused on my game longer.

Winning in Bangladesh makes me feel like everyone on Tour has the ability to win in any event. Everyone has the same chances. This include myself too. I told myself that I just have to prepare well and get ready for the next win. My best game is always the next one.

Chan Shih-chang (Tpe)

The game’s feeling good at the moment. I am working on my fitness and keeping up my practices as usual. I am very excited for this week. I hope to do well in Japan. I am aiming for a top-10 finish. My confidence has soared since I won in Thailand. It was a dream come true. That victory had opened up a lot of opportunities for me. I get to play in bigger tournaments now and I hope to secure more good results in the remainder of the season.

Miguel Tabuena (Phi)

Playing in Japan is always fun. The Japanese love their golf. We always get good crowds especially on Sunday. I just love playing in Japan. I love the people and food. I have never performed well in Japan but I’m looking forward to doing well at the Diamond Cup. You can expect good quality greens and tight fairways in Japan. It is always fun playing in front of a big crowd. Japan will be the start of a long stretch of Asian Tour events so I hope to gain some momentum there.