#FijiIntl Rd 1 What They Said

Thu 17 Aug 2017

#FijiIntl Rd 1 What They Said


Fiji, August 17: Read what players have to say following the opening round of the Fiji International on Thursday.

Gavin Green of Malaysia Gavin Green of Malaysia

Daniel Pearce (NZL) – First Round 66 (-6)

I holed a really nice putt on the first hole for birdie which got the momentum in the right direction. I managed to birdie the 11th hole as well and made a couple of good up and downs through the back nine to save par. I birdied 17 and then had a bit of a run through the front nine, the first four holes. It was just a lot of good golf.

It was quite breezy when we first started but I think the win definitely eased as the round went on. It got a little easier but the putter was pretty hot today. I rolled in a lot of putts from all over the place which was nice.

Gavin Green (Mas) – First Round 68 (-4)

It’s a good course but if the wind blows, it’s a beast. I hit a lot of one-irons off the tee today. I hit my one-iron to about 250 or 260. I am able to knock it down especially in the wind. I hit my driver only four times, including the 17th hole where I eagled today.

I was very tempted to hit it as hard as I can on that hole but I hit a soft one which still went quite far down there, given the downwind. I hit a pitching wedge to about 15 feet and made that eagle putt. It was nice as I had two straight birdies before that.

On the short par-three 15th hole, I hit a good wedge shot pin high right to about 10 or 15 feet and made the birdie putt. The birdie on the 16th hole was a weird one. There was a lot of trouble around so I played it really shot. I hit five-iron off the tee and a six-iron for my second shot to about 10 feet again.

I had a great momentum before making the turn. I came back with nine straight pars but it’s alright. I had a couple of big saves. If you tell me I will shoot a 68 here before the round, I will gladly take it, given the windy conditions here. I am definitely very pleased with how I played today.

I am not new to these windy conditions. I get a lot of these back in Mexico when I was still in college. I am glad my coach had made us practice in this kind of conditions then! I have experiences playing in this kind of strong winds.

I think Austin (Connelly) and myself were really feeding off each other out there. When I made the eagle, he eagled as well. We back on making birdies back and forth. He played pretty solid too. It’s nice to be in Fiji, we get to meet a lot of different people.

If the wind keeps blowing like this, I am not going to change my game plan at all. I will stick to the same game plan and focus on making as many pars and birdies as possible.

Rahil Ganjee of IndiaRahil Ganjee of India

Rahil Gangjee (Ind) – First Round 69 (-3)

It was windy out there but I was prepared for it. I just stayed patient and I managed to hit some good shots out there today. I was waiting for my birdie chances but it’s so windy out there you can’t really force it. You just have to let it come to you. I guess I was patient enough so it came.

I had a good finish with a chip-in eagle on my last hole ninth. I hit my third shot with a lob wedge over the bunker for about 25 to 40 yards. That was the highlight for me. I really wanted to finish like that! I got confused with my tee time for the first time in my career even though I remember looking at it properly. It was a lesson learnt.

Liu Yan-wei (Chn) – First Round 70 (-2)

I played nicely the whole round except for the bogey on the last. It was really windy out there but I stuck to my game plan. My tee shots were very good today. I am very pleased with how I played because I didn’t hit it well at all in the pro-am tournament yesterday.

You really need to control the ball well here. Tee shots are very important. It can be costly if you hit wayward drives on this course. Today’s round has definitely boosted my confidence but I will continue to do what I need to do for tomorrow.

I will credit my good iron-play for the three birdies today. All three were pretty much the same.Nothing really stood out.

Vijay Singh (Fij) - First Round 71 (-1)

I think it’s pretty good; I enjoyed the new holes, all the new greens putted better than I thought they would, except for a couple where horses went over it and all that. I was really happy with the conditions here.

I’ve already spoken to a lot of players and all good.  I mean I didn’t hear any negative on any holes, except for the eighth hole today with the pin placement! It’s almost impossible to hole that.  But it’s a new green, we all expected that. I’m happy how the weather turned out too.

I’ve been around the block a lot of times to know what a good hole is supposed to be and what a bad pin placement is supposed to be.  That pin placement on eight I guess everybody is going to complain about it today but, the only thing wrong about that is that the tees were not forward.  If the tees were forward it would have been playable. But it’s a brand new green, everybody expected it to be firm, so hopefully tomorrow and the next few days it’s going to be a better pin placement at the right time.