#DiamondCup Rd 1 What They Said

Thu 24 Sep 2015

#DiamondCup Rd 1 What They Said

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Scott Strange (Aus) – First Round 64 (-6)
I played nicely. I birdied my first two holes and played solid from there. A fast start always gives you the momentum for the rest of the round. This is a tough course. You got to drive it straight. If you hit it into the rough. If you hit a fairway you can attack the pins, if you miss it you have to try and make par.
It just a combination of some things coming together. I had a rough time in the last couple of years. I lost a few family members and lost my way. I’m coming back to where I was again five or six years ago. You need some good results to get the confidence going again.
I lost my sister (Natalie) to cancer (in 2008). I lost my way until 2013 because my mother died of cancer (Sylvia) as well and my good friend past away. After that, I started thinking that there is more to life than golf. Now I’m starting to piece things together by being a father and playing golf. In some ways, I feel that I’ve matured at the age of 38!DSC_3050
In some ways, winning would prove to me that I still have it but you can never speculate or try to dominate a tournament for 72 holes. There are too many factors. If I manage to win this week or in the next year or the year after that, it is a step forward.
There are a lot of good player here. It is day one with three more days to go. I could miss the cut! You never know in this game. It is that sort of sport.
Eagle hole 3: Chip in (83 yards)
Birdies on holes 10 (20 feet), 11 (10 feet) and 13 (10 feet)
Richard T. Lee (Can) – First Round 66 (-4)
My tee shots were absolutely great. I missed only two fairways. I learnt from last year where I was hitting the ball too hard. I toned it down by 70% on the tee shots today to find more fairways. It makes it easier on your second shot when you are on the fairway because the rough is up.
I made a lot of putts and had six birdies which is outstanding on this golf course. I’ll take my round today. I’m usually an aggressive player. Sometimes I spray my tee shots but this is a course where you can’t do that. You have to make sure that you find the fairway.
We are used to playing on courses which are wide open. Coming here, you got to hit fairways and be consistent on your tee shots because the rough is deep and you will have trouble hitting your shot.
When I was a junior, I played a tournament in Japan. I was playing for Team Canada and at that time I thought all courses in Japan were tough. Then I came here last year and said, ‘Yes, it is tough in Japan!’.
I went to the Japan Qualifying School last year and didn’t play well. It was a lesson learnt from Qualifying School. If I win then it will be a good thing for me because I get to play on the Asian Tour and in Japan. That would be great.
Panuphol Pittayarat (Tha) – First Round 67 (-3)
Panuphol Pittayarat of Thailand Panuphol Pittayarat of Thailand
It is a great day out here. I had a slow start this morning. It was chilly and I couldn’t get the rhythm going. I rolled the ball well in my last nine. I’m confident with my ball striking so it will all be down to putting.
I birdied the long par-four on hole 2 from 20-feet. I’ll take a four there but I holed a long birdie putt. It actually lipped out and went in again! That kept me thinking that I can finish under-par. I took it easy today so I’m pleased with the result.
I finished tied 17th here last year so I like this course a lot. I like Japan. I didn’t expect to shoot this low but everybody want to play well. Hopefully I keep doing what I do best.
I had a 4am wake-up call which is 2am in Thailand! It was a sleepy morning. It is like working so I had to get up.
I played a lot on the local tour and I’ve been working on my ball striking which is getting better. I haven’t been getting the job done so I’ve been training hard. It paid off today and I’ll need to maintain the rhythm.