Granberg Has a Simple Plan

Tue 04 Sep 2012

Granberg Has a Simple Plan

Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia September 4: Joonas Granberg of Finland is planning to keep things ‘simple’ in his title defence at the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters which starts on Wednesday.

Granberg will face strong challenges from the likes of Asian Tour’s rising star Panuphol Pittayarat of Thailand, who finished second last year, Singaporean veteran Mardan Mamat, who is celebrating a milestone 300th Asian Tour appearance this week and local stalwart Shaaban Hussin at the Kota Permai Golf and Country Club.

The RM1.2 million (approximately US$395,000) Asian Tour event has attracted a total of 30 winners from the region including exciting talent David Lipsky of the United States, who won his first Asian Tour title earlier this year, Prom Meesawat of Thailand, currently fifth on the Order of Merit and Siddikur of Bangladesh.

Granberg, who attended a press conference today dressed in traditional Malay costume to mark the Hari Raya Aidil Fitri celebration, knows he must steady his nerves in his hopes of a successful defence.

“I have to keep things simple and not try anything special. Somehow I don’t feel very relaxed and that’s my problem. I need to calm myself down,” said Granberg, whose victory last year was helped by a course record 10-under-par 62 in the first round.

“My opening round last year was amazing. I remembered I only had two hours of sleep due to jetlag but after an eagle on my first hole and a birdie on the second, I was wide awake. My game is quite solid. I always play one or two under but that was the first time I have shot a 62. It was an amazing feeling. Of course I’ll try for the same magic again,” added the 25-year-old, only the second Finn to win on the Asian Tour.

Panuphol, who is nicknamed “Coconut”, came close to a winning breakthrough last year where he led into the last day before finishing second. Last week, he went through a 3D biomechanical motion analysis in Switzerland and is hoping a few tweaks of his golf swing will boost his chances of a first Asian Tour title.

“I feel much better after doing the biomechanical analysis because I know what I’m doing now and what I did wrong before. I had the problem of not transitioning enough during my swing. I kind of stayed in one place and that made my swing kind of stuck and I couldn’t turn through it,” said Panuphol.

At the age 19, Panauphol said the biggest challenges for upcoming players was the fact that they have to compete against battle-hardened veterans such as Thaworn Wiratchant, a 13-time Asian Tour winner and the highest ranked player at third place on the Order of Merit here this week, and Mardan.

“It is hard for us because the players who are already in the tournament have 10 or 20 years of playing professional golf. They have got more experience than us but it inspires us to practise more and beat them,” he added.

Singapore’s Mardan, who won his third Asian Tour title at the ICTSI Philippine Open earlier this year, is delighted to become only the second player after Thaworn to cap 300 Asian Tour appearances. He is hoping to triumph at a venue which he has enjoyed success in previous World Cup qualifying with partner Lam Chih Bing.

“Winning is the biggest motivation,” said Mardan. “Every win has been special. I’m quite happy that at age of 45, I can still compete. I’m very fortunate. But I still want to get better every day. That’s the key to my success of playing.

“I feel good about this week. Hopefully I can hole some putts to get some success,” added the 45-year-old, who is currently 12th on the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit.

Shaaban will lead the local challenge and will draw confidence from his near miss at the weather-shortened ISPS Handa Singapore Classic earlier this year where he led going into the final round before finishing in tied 13th place.

“Obviously my hope is to win. This is a wonderful golf course so I need to focus on my putting for a good score. This is a very challenging tournament with a lot of Asian Tour stars. But my fight is not against them but against myself and the golf course,” said the Malaysian.

Sukree Othman of Malaysia, a resident professional at Kota Permai, is determined to better last year’s performance where he carded his best finish on the Asian Tour with a fifth place result.

“My form was good last year. I hope I can match or better last year’s performance. The challenge will be against myself and the golf course. I don’t have a target. I just want to do better. If I cannot win the tournament this year, I hope another Malaysian will,” said the Asian Development Tour (ADT) regular.

For further information, please contact Chuah Choo Chiang or Doyle De Costa on +603-5121 1246.


About the Asian Tour

As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Abacus (Official Apparel Partner), BlackBerry (Official Communications Partner), Cityneon (Official Event Overlay Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Srixon (Official Ball), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.