#DiamondCup - Rd 4 What They Said

Sun 25 Sep 2016

#DiamondCup - Rd 4 What They Said


Osaka, Japan, September 25: Read what players have to say following the final round of the Asia-Pacific Diamond Cup on Sunday.

CHAN Shih-chang (TPE) – Final Round 62 (-8), Total 270 (-10)

I felt very comfortable out there today. Everything was good. I haven’t been hitting my driver good the last few days. I managed to hit it better today. I guess the experience of playing the last three rounds helped. I was just trying to put the ball on the fairways. My iron-play and short game have been pretty solid the whole week so I was just focused on hitting good drives today.

I didn’t expect to play so well today. I was six shots back before the round. My target was actually to finish inside top-five today. I am very happy now. This is a very challenging course for me because it is very long and the rough is quite long. You really got to get the ball on the fairways. The pin positions have been tough these few days too.

Today just went according to my game plan. I was able to stick to my strategy. The turning point was on the 13 I think. I think I am really lucky on that hole. I hit my second shot into the bunker but I managed to chip in for birdie from about 30 yards with a 52 degree. I thought it would be great if I can chip it close and make the putt to save par but I chipped it in. That was really good and I got a lot of confidence from there. I felt my good luck was coming.

Even then, I didn’t know I can have a chance to win. I just thought I try to make more birdies and see how it goes. I told myself not to think about anything else. I hit a four-iron to about 220 yards on the 17 and left myself with a four to five yards birdie putt. I

am happy to grab the birdie chance there.

I haven’t had much experiences playing in Japan. The playing conditions are very good here. The greens are softer here too. We can hardly find soft greens back home. I feel like I can play my irons better on this type of courses because the ball won’t keep bouncing. I was confident and I was just aiming for the pin out there.

I only know I was leading on the 14. I wasn’t feeling nervous. I guess it’s because I have just won earlier and I didn’t know how the players playing behind me are going to finish. I told myself to just play my best and not think about anything else. If it’s yours, it’s yours. If it’s not yours, no matter how hard you think about it, it won’t be yours. It will just affect your game.

I was really impressed with how Phachara played the last two weeks. I was just discussing with the other Taiwanese players last night that Phachara might win. It’s good to see Asian Tour players play well.

This win will give me a lot of confidence. It will be a great boost for my career. This is my biggest win ever since turning professional 10 years ago. From winning on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) to winning on the Asian Tour now, I think my biggest change is my mindset. I have grown to become a better player not just because of how I play but also how I think now. I used to get angry easily on the course last time. I guess it’s because I was still young. I don’t get angry easily anymore now. The playing experiences helped.

Ippei KOIKE (JPN) – Final Round 69 (-1), Total 272 (-8)

My shots were all over the place in the last three rounds and I was not able to give myself any birdie chances. I am happy to give myself a chance to play in the final group today. It was a good experience and I learned to play with patience. I was aiming for eagle on the 18 to force a play-off but my second shot went into the bunker. I didn’t know I was in the lead at a point. I was surprised to see Chan leading at 10-under-par coming down the stretch. It was unexpected but he was too good. I was happy with how I finished. It is not an easy course. This result will give me a lot of confidence.

Phachara KHONGWATMAI (THA) – Final Round 72 (+1), Total 274 (-6)

I did my best already. It’s still a good finish for me. I learned a lot this week. It was a very good experience for me. I didn’t hit the ball good today but I had quite a few good recoveries. I would have finish worse if I wasn’t able to save some shots out there. I wasn’t feeling nervous or stressful out there. I just play my own game. I didn’t win but it’s not a problem. I am still young and I think my chance will come again soon. I didn’t expect to play so well this week. I would like to thank the sponsors for giving me an invite for this event. I am happy with my result and even happier to keep my card for next year. Chan played really well today. I am happy for him. I am looking forward to playing in Chinese Taipei next week.