Dubai Open Rd 1 - What they said

Thu 18 Dec 2014

Dubai Open Rd 1 - What they said

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Dubai, December 18: Read what the players are saying after the first round of the Dubai Open.
Kalem Richardson (Aus) – First round 66 (-6)
Q.  That sounded like a special day.
KALEM RICHARDSON:  Yeah, I mean, I played pretty solid.  I was playing with one of my best mates (Nathan Holmes).  It was a pretty crazy day for me.  Playing golf in Dubai, it's amazing really, you just look around and see the scenery and you're just enjoying yourself no matter what happens, and feeling pretty relaxed being the last event of the year and Christmas being next week.  Yeah, it was a very crazy day for me.
Q.  What was the key to the day?
KALEM RICHARDSON:  Just holing some putts really.  That's really what it was, a few 15 , 20 footers, and that's the difference between a couple under and 6 under.
Q.  Is this a reflection of how you've been playing the last few weeks?
KALEM RICHARDSON:  Yeah, I've been playing solid, just the last couple weeks I've been a bit tired and this week I've taken a different approach and basically haven't done anything for three days.  I hadn't actually seen the course, so I was playing blind today.
Q.  Have you been taking in the sights of Dubai then?
KALEM RICHARDSON:  Yeah, we went out last night and had a bit of a look around and had a look at all the buildings and all the scenery and had some good food.  Yeah, it's been an amazing week.  I'm taking to kind of relax this week, but it would also be nice to contend again.
Q.  You've had a few opportunities this season.  How do you reflect on the last 10, 11 months on the Asian Tour?
KALEM RICHARDSON:  My last six weeks have been really solid.  I had a couple of top 5s and that's the key with my card.  I feel like I've been getting more confident as the weeks go on.  When I miss a green I don't panic anymore because I know how to get up and down.  Yeah, it's just been a learning curve, and really excited for next season.
Pavit Tangkamolprasert (Tha) - First round 67 (-5)
Q. Two eagles in the round, as well.  You must be really happy.
PAVIT TANGKAMOLPRASERT:  Yes.  The first one I hit from 280, around 10 feet, but on 18 I hit a bad drive in the bunker and then I laid up, and it's 170 yards to the pin, and I hit, a bit downwind, I hit 8 iron, and it went in.  It's big confidence from there.
Q.  Conditions were not easy.
PAVIT TANGKAMOLPRASERT:  Yeah, the wind changed like a lot, and you have to be like pretty sure to hit before because it's very difficult to calculate the wind here, but yeah, I got my coach here this week.  He's helped me a lot.
Q.  After winning the ADT Order of Merit and then getting your Asian Tour card, has the feeling changed for you?
PAVIT TANGKAMOLPRASERT:  Yeah.  Actually I think I have to start playing next year, but this year I have to gain experience.  Order of Merit is the bonus for me.  Just play, play, gain experience, learn from the players, because the Tour, I think it's quite a bit different from the ADT, the standard and quality here.
Q.  You played in the last few Asian Tour events. What has been the biggest difference for you, thinking you need to push yourself to get to that level and have a chance of winning?
PAVIT TANGKAMOLPRASERT:  Yeah, only thing is I think I have to be more steady when playing on the Asian Tour because if you miss, you can miss cuts, but in the ADT you can go for it, the cut is a bit higher, but in Asian Tour you have to try and make cut first, but the last two days you can go up.
Q.  First time playing on this golf course; does it suit your game?  Do you feel comfortable here?
PAVIT TANGKAMOLPRASERT:  Yeah, I like the greens here, and the fairway, the condition, everything is like Amata Spring where I played last week.  Yeah, the grass, and the greens are very nice.  I putted very good.
Q.  What will it be important to do the next few days now that you're in this spot?
PAVIT TANGKAMOLPRASERT:  Yeah, just keep playing.  I'm enjoying my golf game at the moment, and looking forward for the next year.
Chris Cannon Chris Cannon
Chris Cannon (Eng) – First round 67 (-5)
CHRIS CANNON:  I had a plugged lie  on two, so that was good, off to a good start, but otherwise, yeah, I just played really solid golf.  Really simple as that.  I made a good putt on 4, the par 3, but other than that I had some good chances throughout the front nine, continued to play solid, and then, yeah, just    yeah, I just played a solid round of golf, really.
Q.  It was the up and down on the second that got you going?
CHRIS CANNON:  Yeah, obviously when you start off, it's always nice not to drop a shot early and things like that.  It was a really tough up and down.  I played it quite nicely using the slopes and stuff.  It was just a great way to start, and yeah, just finished from there.  I just played really solidly and made a couple of putts, but it was just a good round of golf, really.  Simple as that.
Q.  Does it feel like the best opening round in any professional tournament?
CHRIS CANNON:  Yeah, it probably is actually, yeah.
Q.  So your confidence for the weekend?
CHRIS CANNON:  It's very good.  I mean, golf is sort of golf.  You do the same thing, you pick a target, you hit it out there and get your job done and move on.  I think that's always what I've thought about it and the way I've continued to play, just compete 100 percent and see where I come out.  Yeah, I feel my game is good.  If I play well, I definitely feel it can happen, a really good result.
Q.  How would you assess conditions out there?
CHRIS CANNON:  It was interesting because when I started there was barely a breath of wind the first three holes, but suddenly, I think it was on the fifth tee shot, it really picked up.  I've played it a fair amount recently around here, and it's been very calm, which is kind of unusual the first time it does pick up, but it started a decent wind there, from 5 onwards, and certainly on the back nine it was blowing tough, which obviously makes it a little bit tougher and things like that.  But if anything I enjoy that.  I've always played well in the wind, drive on that stuff.  It's always a good challenge.  I enjoy that.  But yeah, it was definitely getting trickier out there.  In the practice round it's been near pretty benign really.
Scott Barr of Australia Scott Barr of Australia
Scott Barr (Aus) – First round 68 (-4)
Q. Certainly a good start.
SCOTT BARR:  Yeah, it was a good start.  Just kind of played okay, putted pretty well most of the day.  Tried to avoid the trouble, don't really know the course very well.  This is the kind of course you can get better on it as the week goes by because you know where everything is.  A couple times I hit it and just went, I didn't even know that was there, with one practice round, one pro am practice round
Q.  You've been in good form the last few weeks?
SCOTT BARR:  Yeah, possibly. I've been injured this week, so my mind was just getting out of that before I started.  It's niggling a little bit in my elbow.  Yeah, look, I wouldn't say it was the greatest round of golf I've ever played, but I just got the job done.
Q.  Is this a good test?
SCOTT BARR:  It's a good test with your irons.  I think off the tee it's quite generous here, but the wind is picking up now, and certainly you've got to think about position with your irons, which way you want to bring the ball in, and you've actually got to really set up some shots with your irons.
Q.  You had an eagle in there, as well?
SCOTT BARR:  I hit two sort of good strategy, par 5, 3 wood shots and an iron in and holed a nice one, so it was good.
Q.  How long was the putt?
SCOTT BARR:  Putt was about 35 feet.  It was good.
Prom Meesawat of Thailand Prom Meesawat of Thailand
Prom Meesawat (Tha) – First round 71 (-1)
Q.  How was it?
PROM MEESAWAT:  Yeah, it was pretty good, compared with my body condition this morning.  The winds was a little bit strong and gusty on the back nine.  Like I told you, this golf course, when the pin position for the tournament is going to be very difficult, not much space to put the ball in play.  I hit the ball good today.  I had three birdies from rescue clubs.  That helped me a lot.  But I still missed a bunch of putts for birdie and eagle putt from 10 feet on No. 8 that should go in.  But anyways, it was a good start to start the game.
Q.  Is it difficult to play on a new golf course?
PROM MEESAWAT:  Yeah, of course, especially the green, but it's the first time for everybody, so we have to work on it and do a lot of work on the greens.  Like I said, where the pin is put for the tournament, it's not easy to hit.  Sometimes you miss a wrong spot, then you get in trouble.  You can't get it close with the next shot.  But still, par 5, reachable, two reachable par 5s.  It's like, this golf course, the wind picks up, it's going to be really difficult to play.
Q.  All in all a good start in your tournament here to maybe try and put you in position to  win?
PROM MEESAWAT:  Yeah, right now, the first thing I have to do is just get my back good because I know my game, even though I had a bad back, I hit still iron shots very good.  But I want to get 100 percent now, get better as I can.
Angelo Que (Phi) – First round 70 (-2)
Q.  I suppose that's a decent start.
ANGELO QUE:  Yeah, I'm pretty happy with my start.  Shooting under par any tournament is always good.  My target was just to shoot 1  or 2 under, which I did, although I missed a couple of short putts, but I was hitting the ball very solid.  I only missed one fairway, didn't hole the putts that I hoped to hole today, but all in all, still very happy.  2 under, it's getting windy now, so this course might not be that good if the wind picks up and pins are not really that easy.  You've got to really hit good shots in in order to hit it close, so I'm very happy.
Q.  I suppose the key here is hitting the fairways and playing a good second shot into the greens?
ANGELO QUE:  Yeah, which I pretty much did today.  I only missed one fairway.  I hit every fairway, and so I had a chance to attack the pin pretty much every hole.  You know, that helps, so hopefully tomorrow or until the last round it's going to be the same where I just keep hitting the fairway.
Q.  How is the groin feeling?
ANGELO QUE:  The groin is actually better now.  I'm getting a little bit of sniffles now so I'm having a hard time breathing, but should be okay.  I think I'm just really tired, so just need to get some rest after lunch and then just take it easy.
Q.  How are you enjoying Dubai?
ANGELO QUE:  I'm enjoying it.  A couple of the guys went skiing the other night, but I just took the tube going down, more for the kids.  I didn't want to hurt my groin more.  Enjoying it here actually.
Mardan Mamat (Sin) – First round 68 (-4)
Q. Five birdies on the card today in rather windy conditions.  You must be quite happy with that?
MARDAN MAMAT:  Yeah, quite happy. After the back nine the wind started blowing.  I was able to take advantage of the morning conditions.
Q.  Is this a good test of golf out there when the wind picks up especially?
MARDAN MAMAT:  Yeah, the wind doesn't look that strong, but it's a lot of difference.  It's almost two, three club difference sometimes against the wind.  Like No. 3 I had like 177 to the pin, and I hit 3 iron against the wind.  It's not easy with the wind blowing.
Q.  And the birdies were from good birdie putt range or was it long putts that you made?
MARDAN MAMAT:  Both of them were from about 10 feet.
Q.  Is this a continuation of Manila where you had a breakthrough after a long while?  Has the performance just carried on the last few weeks?
MARDAN MAMAT:  Yeah, it's the same routine. The confidence is back, so I think everything is back in place and just need to enjoy the golf more.
Q.  How did you treat Zaw Moe after winning in Manila for giving you that tip?
MARDAN MAMAT:  Oh, he got two weeks hotel free and then a few dinners.
Craig Hinton (Eng) - First round 67 (-5)
Q.  Tell us about your 
CRAIG HINTON:  Didn't start the best.  Bogeyed the first and bogeyed the last.  Middle part, 16 holes, was just flawless golf, really.  Just played really well.
Q.  Especially in the tougher half of the draw, as well?
CRAIG HINTON:  Yeah, I don't know what the wind was like this morning, but everyone said it was a little bit calmer this morning.  Yeah, solid round of golf, and hopefully get the early conditions tomorrow and go and shoot a low one again tomorrow.
Q.  Where did this round come from?
CRAIG HINTON:  Yeah, exactly, that's the thing; where has it come from?  I mean, my year has been -- I've had 12 tournaments and 10 missed cuts.  I think I've had one round under par.  I couldn't tell you.  I've got no idea.  It was a shock to me; let's put it that way.
Q.  Have you been able to put your finger on the poor run that you've had this year?
CRAIG HINTON:  The first sort of three weeks, three tournaments, I was ill, just trying to get used to the food, conditions, just basically the grass out there I really struggled.  I've played quite a lot in Dubai the last two years, so I've sort of gotten used to the grass out here.  It's a bit more like back home, whereas out in Asia, it's just tall grass and all the different sorts of grass each week, so I've struggled to just get used to around the greens.
Q.  You're one off the leader.  Where does this put you -- it must give you confidence going forward the next three rounds?
CRAIG HINTON:  Yeah, definitely, it gives me confidence for sure.  Bogey on the last, a little frustrating.  It was a short one there.  But I've never been in that position on the Asian Tour before, so yeah, got a lot of confidence going forward.