Dubai Open Rd 3 - What they said

Sat 20 Dec 2014

Dubai Open Rd 3 - What they said

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SHIV KAPUR
Q.  Shiv, not the best of starts but you fought back really well.
SHIV KAPUR:  Yeah, it was a nightmare of a start.  I didn't really hit any poor shots and made a couple of bogeys to start with, and then actually holed about a 15 footer for par on the fourth hole to sort of keep the round sort of going. You know, sometimes those par putts keep the momentum of the round going, and give you that belief that, okay, now it's time for a wake-up call.  Nothing really happened for me on the front nine.  But standing on the 10th tee, I just turned to Neeraj (his caddie) and said, "I need a back nine like the front nine I did at Muirfield.  Let's go out and play with that sort of attitude." I came up one short of doing that and I had eagle putt on the last, agonisingly close. Happy with the way I fought back.  There was a time where I could completely thrown myself you out of the tournament, so I'm tied for the lead, not too bad.
Q.  Such a bunched leader board tomorrow.  Will there be a lot of leaderboard watching or just focusing on your own game?
SHIV KAPUR:  I think if you start watching leaderboards, you get away from what you're trying to do, especially when the leaderboard is bunched the way it is.  I haven't looked but I'm going to guess there's more than ten guys within a shot or two shots of the lead. You've got to just go out there and play your own game.  I'll probably look at the leaderboard around 15 or 16 and see where I am and if I need to take a few more chances or not.  But first, front nine at least, it's going to be all about just making as many birdies as you can and trying to separate yourself from a crowded leaderboard.
Q.  Do you take confidence having won here in The Challenge Tour?
Shiv Kapur of India Shiv Kapur of India
SHIV KAPUR:  Absolutely.  I think any time you've won, you can draw on those experience.  You know what it takes, and I think what I've learned in the past is it's not necessarily you have to play your best golf to win.  You just have to be patient sometimes. Like today was a classic example of, I was far from my best the front nine and I was completely out of the tournament, but you're never really actually out of it.  That's one thing I learned is that you can have your B Game and still be in contention, but you have to make the putts and the birdies when it really matters.  I think I will definitely draw on past experiences.
Q.  Can you think of one hole or one shot on the back nine, that, hey, let's get the birdies.
SHIV KAPUR:  Well, I birdied 11.  That was my first birdie of the day, so kind of gives you a little bit of a kick start saying, okay, here we go.  And then birdied 12 right after that.  And then I said:  Okay, I'm back to even par for the day.  Tournament starts now and let's see how many birdies we can make coming in and made three more birdies coming in.  My target actually was to get to around 9 under and I got to ten, so I'm pretty pleased.
Q.  Will you do anything different tomorrow?
SHIV KAPUR:  Hopefully have a better start.  I don't think preparation wise anything different.  Attitude wise, I think it's just a question of doing the same basics right here, fairways and greens, and hoping the putter gets hot at the right time.
Q.  Does it make a difference that you live in Dubai you and know Dubai well and you know the conditions well; you've played on a course not many have played.
SHIV KAPUR:  There is obviously your comfort zone.  When you play at home, there's a comfort zone factor.  I feel at home in Dubai completely.  When I play in India, when I play here, it's a similar sort of feeling.  So whenever you're in a comfort zone, it's a lot easier to go out and play.
ARJUN ATWAL
Q.  Arjun, the adrenaline must be flowing now?
ARJUN ATWAL:  I'm actually tired.  I don't know what was flowing.  I got a little tired towards the end of the rounds but it was a good day.
Q.  Must be good to be the joint lead going into tomorrow?
ARJUN ATWAL:  Yeah, it is.  It's been a while.  So, you know, we'll see.  We'll see how it goes.
Q.  What will be the key tomorrow, do you reckon?
ARJUN ATWAL:  Just make a lot of putts.  Make a lot of birdies.
Q.  Have you been doing that this week?
ARJUN ATWAL:  Yeah, yeah, started yesterday and was pretty decent today.
Q.  Confidence going into the final day?
211114_RWMM_Arjun Atwal (IND) 02ARJUN ATWAL:  I don't know, I'll let you guys know tomorrow.  We'll see.  We'll see.  I'm okay.  50/50.
Q.  What is it about the Indian golfers doing so well?  There's two of you now tied there.
ARJUN ATWAL:  Yeah, we're decent golfers I guess, that's why, as we've proven on this tour and other tours.  It's going to be fun tomorrow I think.
Q.  You won last four years ago; would you be drawing back on those experiences and the experiences of winning so many Asian Tour events tomorrow?
ARJUN ATWAL:  No, just going to play.  Those are done, finished.  I'm just going to go out there and just play.  I never do that, anyway.  It's just a new day.
WANG JEUNG-HUN
Q.  That was a good round.  That put you in contention for tomorrow.  What do you think of your chances for winning tomorrow?
WANG JEUNG-HUN:  I just don't want to get pressure.  I just try to play my own game tomorrow.
Q.  What has been working well for you the last three days?
WANG JEUNG-HUN:  Actually my putter improved much and then my iron shot was good, and no wind when I play.  So I think I can play like this.
Q.  Do you feel comfortable being the joint leader in the last tournament on the Asian Tour?
WANG JEUNG-HUN:  I'll be nervous, yes.  Actually, yes.
Q.  Feel a bit of pressure?
WANG JEUNG-HUN:  Yes.
Darren Clarke of the USA Darren Clarke of the USA
JBE’ KRUGER
Q.  That must have felt really special.
JBE' KRUGER:  It was.  After making 1 on the second, I knew the Lord had something special today.
Q.  What did you hit off the second tee there; on a tough pin, as well, because Darren Clarke was coming in and saying that was one of the hardest pins on the course today.
JBE' KRUGER:  Yeah, I think so.  I hit 7 iron but probably pitched perfect and probably trickled down.  Chan had played with me and left it short, and he hit an absolutely amazing chip and couldn't stop it short.  So it was a pretty tough pin.
Q.  And the rest of the round went really well with an eagle, as well?
JBE' KRUGER:  Yeah, like I say, the Lord has got something special around every corner.  It's been a long year, so it's very special to be able to put it together like that.
Q.  Ball striking wise, was it everything going?
JBE' KRUGER:  Not really.  I still hit a lot of poor shots.  I think I probably only made probably four putts inside ten feet today.  So I hit it quite close but the par 5s hit for two and just 2 putted.  It's still a lot of work but I'm really confident.
Q.  Puts you in great position to try to win your second win on the Asian Tour, isn't it.
JBE' KRUGER:  Yeah, it's been a long time coming, but like I always say, the guy who putts best on the last day mostly wins.  So maybe the putts drops tomorrow.
Q.  You could have been even better, you dropped a couple of shots.
JBE' KRUGER:  Yeah, I 3 putted 17 just now and in the early part of the round, I probably hit it inside of ten feet probably five times and didn't make one.  So it could have been a lot lower.  But you can't complain with a round like that.
Q.  Where does this leave you now going into the final round?
JBE' KRUGER:  Hopefully one shot clear (laughs).  It's the same golf every day.  You still have to hit it well, but like I say, you have to putt well.  I'm glad I'm in contention to actually try and win, but it all comes down to the day and all comes down to putting at the end of the day.
GAGANJEET BHULLAR
Q.  So you've been pretty consistent, 69, 69, 69?
GAGANJEET BHULLAR:  Sort of, but today I hit the ball really well, better than the last two days.  Gave myself a lot of birdie opportunities.  I didn't hole anything coming down the last few holes.  I think I must have hit about 15 or 16 greens in regulation today. I was quite happy, if I'm looking from the ball striking point of view, but I really do need to work on my putting.  I think putting is going to be the winning key for tomorrow's round.
Q.  It's quite a bunched leaderboard, isn't it.
GAGANJEET BHULLAR:  Yeah, it could be anybody's game.  But I would say it was a huge advantage for the guys who played in the morning, because there was no wind.  Even now there's less wind but there was less spike marks when those guys played, and it was a proper set up for the guys who teed off before ten o'clock. I think it's going to be quite interesting.  A lot of the experienced guys are on the top of the leaderboard.  Fans will definitely expect some good golf tomorrow.
Q.  You've been up there all three days.  You must be confident for the final day.
GAGANJEET BHULLAR:  Absolutely.  I'm here to win.  Nobody cares if you finish second or third or whichever.  I'm just here to win and I'm just going to go out there and give my hundred per cent tomorrow.
DARREN CLARKE
Q.  Guess it's the old cliché but it's moving day and you really moved up the leaderboard.
DARREN CLARKE:  Yeah, I've played really well all week.  I hit the ball really, really well yesterday, too, and then made a mess of the last hole.  Made no putts and made a mess of the last hole, the ninth yesterday. Today I wanted to go out, play well and keep doing what I've been doing.  Hit an awful lot of good shots today and holed a couple of putts.
Q.  Conditions good for scoring?
DARREN CLARKE:  Very little breeze this morning so makes it a little bit easier but saying that, the pins were toughest today that they have been all week.  There were some real hard ones there today.  Obviously 64, I'm pleased.
Q.  What do you think the winning score needs to be?
DARREN CLARKE:  I don't know.  I don't know and I'm not concerned because hopefully the guys won't get too far ahead and I'll put myself in there with a chance for tomorrow.
Q.  You confident for tomorrow now?
DARREN CLARKE:  No, I'll just go and play, try and play the same way as I played today I hope and see what the outcome is.
Q.  One of your better rounds in a recent while?
DARREN CLARKE:  I shot two 64s    I played in the Pro Am in Turkey two weeks ago, the Banco Classic, and it's a three round tournament, and I shot two 64s down there on the first day and last day.  So I'm playing okay.  I'm playing better again which is nice.
Q.  Talk about the eagle on 16.
DARREN CLARKE:  I hit driver off the tee and just missed the green right down around into a very, very tricky lie in the rough and I hit a beautiful little pitch and lobbed it up there and trickled into the hole. I had another chance for eagle on last but left it short but through a bit of a misread more than anything else.
Q.  Always end of the year?
DARREN CLARKE:  No, well, I'm here to play.  I'm not here to make up the numbers.  You know, especially this past year where my game has been okay but not great. My timing has been off a little bit because of all the weight that I've lost.  So because of that, it's taken a bit of time and it's starting to come back now.