#HIO2015 Preview What They Said

Tue 17 Feb 2015

#HIO2015 Preview What They Said

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Anirban Lahiri (Ind)
My first memory of the Indian Open is walking in Calcutta Golf Club when I was 12. Arjun Atwal won that event and I still remember some of the shots he hit. I was just a kid and I didn’t even play golf seriously! I thought to myself that it would be so great to be one of those guys.
We have four Asian Tour members win the last four co-sanctioned events. It will be nice to continue that streak. It is nice to have so many of our members winning events but I would like to say that I want an Indian to keep this trophy on home soil.
This is the event you want to win as an Indian. The Indian Open is a tournament which is steep in history. Delhi Golf Club has such a fantastic
Anirban Lahiri of India Anirban Lahiri of India
history to it. It is definitely one of those events where you want to play and win it.
Jeev Milkha Singh (Ind)
I’m very excited to be back. It has been a while since I’ve come back to play at my National Open. There’s a lot of history especially on this golf course. The Delhi Golf Club is a course where I’ve played in a lot of junior and professional tournaments. It is good that we have our National Open here.
Like what Miguel said, this is a golf course where you need a lot of patience. You got to be precise, accurate off the tees, have distance control and you have to stick to your decisions. I’m going to take the driver out of the bag. Overall I’m excited to be back. Good to see the young Indian players doing well especially Anirban Lahiri who is inside the top-50 in the world.
In a way I do feel proud because these young guys look up to me but I’m just doing to do my job in the best way possible. The guys are giving me the respect and I’m grateful for that. I still feel that I got a few years in me and I’ll give it a go again.
Miguel gives us hope for sure. He competes well every week and it is fantastic to see that. He gives us hope that if he can do it, why not us? Not only him but also Greg Norman and Tom Watson. I think it is great to see such people do things which are possible. We look up to them and one day we want to do the same.
I’m injury-free. I got my distance back. Honestly speaking, I haven’t hit the ball as good as this compared to the last two years. The results haven’t shown but I’m working on the right stuff. I think I’ll have some good weeks this year.
I think the Indians will have an advantage at DGC because we’ve played here many times. S.S.P. Chawrasia won an European Tour event on this golf course. Indians will play very well this week. I played at DGC in 2012 at the Panasonic Open India.
These kids have more knowledge and awareness about fitness and what they need to work on. They have the right guidance by their coaches. They know what’s the right stuff for them and they work hard at it. That’s the main reason why these young players are doing well especially Anirban. In the future, I think we will see more young players coming from out of India and they will be inside the top-50 in the world.
Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain
Miguel Angel Jiménez (Esp)
Asian golf is very popular now. There are a lot of tournaments and a lot of people are coming to play here. The game is growing more and more in India and around the world. Golf is not about Europe or America but it is global with top golfers from all over the world and some of the young Indian players are starting to follow what Jeev has done for so many years.
Jeev is the pioneer of Indian golf and to see a new generation of Indian players coming through is great for the game here. Lahiri is obviously playing very well and will now start to play in the top tournaments around the world and that will help him to get better and better.
I am looking forward to the week at the Delhi Golf Club. I played a few holes this morning and it is an old style course where you do not have to hit the ball 300 yards off every tee. It is much more important to be accurate from the tee and to keep the ball in the fairway because the rough can be very difficult to play from and you can get a lot of fliers.
It’s going to be very difficult to keep the ball under control from the rough, so I think to have a chance of winning you have to be playing from the fairway. The tee shots will be the most important factor this week. If you can keep it in play off the tee then you will build the score from there.
What is my secret? It’s simple – I am doing what I love to do in my life and that is the secret. If I didn’t still love to play golf and to compete then I wouldn’t be here. But this is my life and I am happy and I am still competing at a good level so I will continue to play.
You have to want to be out here and then if you want to be out here then you have to stay fit and strong. I go to the gym at least four times a week to stay in shape. I do a lot if stretching work in the gym and it keeps my body in good shape.
Then, you also have to enjoy your life and what you are doing. I have my cigars and my rioja wine and this also keeps me happy. It’s very important to enjoy yourself at the right times because we work so hard to get to a good level and I think you need to remember that life is there to enjoy as well as to work hard.
Siddikur Rahman of Bangladesh Siddikur Rahman of Bangladesh
Siddikur Rahman (Ban)
I feel great because I have good memories on this course. I played one of my best golf in my career at the 2013 Hero Indian Open. This is my favourite golf course and I’m looking forward to this week.
My first event in Malaysia was a warm-up tournament for me. My back was bothering me and to be honest, I still don’t feel comfortable with my back. I played okay in the last two events but unfortunately, I didn’t make the cut.
My coach (Shane Gillespie) is with me and he is motivating me this week. According to my stats, I’m not hitting enough greens in regulation. That’s my strongest point in the past. My short game is there but I’m not finding enough greens to go low.
I feel at peace and happy here. I don’t feel any pressure even though I’m defending my title this week. When you do bad or good, it is part of golf. I learn a lot from my mistakes and that has helped me improve.
In 2004, I won the All-India Amateur Open at DGC and I finished second here on so many occasions, losing only in a play-off. Finally in 2013, I won on this golf course. I played in the pro-am this morning and played really well.
Rashid Khan (Ind)
This is my home course and I’m going to play in front of my home crowd so it will feel special.
I’m going to play more on the Asian Tour this year. I’ve changed my approach in tournaments but it didn’t work in the first two Asian Tour events. Even though I didn’t enjoy good results, I’m still happy with this new strategy. It will take time to work.
I just need one good week and I’ll be more confident after that. I did a lot of mistakes last year. I won two events but I wasn’t consistent. I always had one bad round so I want to avoid that this year. I want to make less mistakes and be myself on the course.
Prom Meesawat of Thaiand Prom Meesawat of Thaiand
Now my game is at the next level where I can’t afford to make mistakes. If you look at the last two events, the winners won by one shot so that’s what I need to learn. You can’t do mistakes and focus in your game.
I’m still working with my mental coach and I will see her before the start of the tournament. 
Prom Meesawat (Tha)
After playing for two weeks, my game is warming up. I’m in a good position at the moment with my form. After a long break, it isn’t easy to find your best game.
I’ve found my rhythm after practising and playing competitively. I feel that I’m slowly finding my best form again. This is another good week for the Asian Tour players to win again. We’ve enjoyed some good winners in the co-sanctioned events and I think we can continue to do that.
We know this golf course well and we’ve played here many times. My driver is back in my room! That’s the plan when I play on this golf course. I never use the driver on this course. I used it when I played on this course earlier in my career but I’ve learnt from that mistake! 
Danny Chia (Mas)
This is not the first time I’m away from home during Chinese New Year but playing golf is my job and it is a huge sacrifice which I have to make. This is part of golf. My wife understands this but my 10-year-old daughter Calista Chia is still young.
Obviously, it is difficult to be away from them during Chinese New Year. I will miss my family most during this festive time so I’ll spend as much time as I can with them when I’m home.
Believe me when I say that it isn’t easy to spend Chinese New Year in a different country without your family so I hope that I can get a good result this week and make up for what I’m missing at home.
I’ve enjoyed a good two-week stretch and I hope to continue my form. The Delhi Golf Club is not an easy golf course and I’ve never played well here. Hopefully that will change this week.