HKO Rd 3 What They Said

Sat 18 Oct 2014

HKO Rd 3 What They Said

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MARCUS FRASER (Aus) – Third Round 65 (-5), Total 199 (-11)
Q.  Wonderful round and some beautiful short play there.
MARCUS FRASER:  Yeah, it was good.  Towards the end it was pretty good.  But the start of the round wasn't ideal.  Was a bit scrappy.  Then finally started playing golf on the back nine, which was good.  Very happy with the finish coming down the stretch.  That was good.
Q.  No element of surprise to see yourself where you are?
MARCUS FRASER:  No one is more surprised than I am, that's for sure, after eight months of sitting on the couch.  Hasn't been the best eight months, but you know, when you go out and play like that makes it worth it, that's for sure.
Q.  We touched on this yesterday but what did you expect out of this week?
MARCUS FRASER:  I felt like practice last week was really good.  Felt like I was sort of heading in the right direction.  Started practicing probably six, seven weeks ago and it was going along okay but last week felt like everything fell into place.  Then coming out and playing a tournament is just a completely different thing.  And not playing for eight months, you know, wasn't really too sure what to expect.  To come in and play the way I did on the back nine today was pretty pleasing.
Q.  I presume you couldn't have picked a better tournament to return to?
MARCUS FRASER:  Yeah I think I've had three Top 10s here in the past and a third a couple years ago.  I love the golf course.  I wish I could take this golf course every week we play.  I think it's the best golf course we play all year, and it's just a proper golf course where you have to play well.
You've got to stay out of trouble and you need to hole putts, which I'm pretty sure that's the way the game was designed.  Credit to the way they have turned it out this week, as well.  Probably the best condition we've ever seen, especially with the rough up.  It's pretty impressive.
Q.  What are your thoughts into the final day?  You didn't expect much but now you're right up there?
MARCUS FRASER:  I had no idea coming into the week and I've got no idea going into tomorrow.  Hopefully just go out and keep playing the way I'm playing and I feel pretty comfortable out there at the moment.  Forgotten how much fun it is to play a golf tournament, especially being in the mix, it's fun.
Q.  What's the injury update?
MARCUS FRASER:  I pulled out of Dubai I think first week of February after the first round.  I had it since the British Open last year.  I had cortisone in the top of my hand, had shooting pain across the top of my hand, so the surgeon went in and took bone out of the top of my hand.   Got all that right and had tendonitis on the left hand side of my hand.
So that was down, three months' worth of injections where they take your blood out, put you in the machine, spin the blood and inject it back into the tendon.  So that got rid of the tendonitis and then I was trying to do a bit of rehab and get back into practice and start playing again.
Been a long process but if I can play like I did today, it's all worth it.
Marcus FraserQ.  Do you still feel it?
MARCUS FRASER:  Still flicks around a little bit and caries on a little bit but just more stiffness and just trying to get strength from playing golf every day.  In my practice the last few weeks, the most I've done is play three days in a row.  But this week, I've played Tuesday, played the Pro Am Wednesday and played obviously the last three days.  So six days in a row is going to give it a good test and then try and play again next week.
These two weeks are pretty important to see where I'm at.
SCOTT HEND (Aus) – Third Round 67 (-3), Total 200 (-10)
Q.  Talk about a day that started so explosively?
SCOTT HEND:  Lost my way in the middle there, a little bit messy but nice to hang in there for tomorrow and not play myself out of it.  Just had a rough time in the middle of the round.  Overall pretty good.
Q.  The last hole you had a rough time but you got out of it in a nice style.
SCOTT HEND:  Played a pretty poor bunker shot.  The tee shot was bad concentration, and just the bunker shot was really a poor shot.  So lucky to get away with par and come tomorrow, see what happens.
Q.  Tell me if I'm wrong but presumably what you were saying about not playing often enough, there's that little bit of rustiness every now and again, you don't have every shot to the perfection you'd want?
SCOTT HEND:  Don't know about rust.  Maybe a couple brain cells missing.  You know, one of those things.  Just come tomorrow and have a crack at it.
Q.  Only the third day, but excitement seeing your name at the top of that board for a while?
SCOTT HEND:  No, not exciting.  Just trying to do my job.  I'll be excited tomorrow night if I've got a trophy and have a few celebration drinks at 8.00 at night, that's when I'll be excited.  Right now got a job to do and a lot of good players on the board.
Q.  You've put yourself in a good position?
SCOTT HEND:  Yeah, just stop making silly mistakes and play the golf course how it's supposed to be played and we'll have a chance.
Q.  You sound like you're beating yourself up about this, but can you shrug it off and go again tomorrow?
SCOTT HEND:  I'm not beating myself up.  Like I said, 67 is always a good score around here.  Like I said, I'm happy that I held on through the middle, a bit of a rough patch and managed to fight my way through it.  Like I said, tomorrow is another day.  I could come and open up with six straight birdies, who knows.  That would be nice, but a bit of a hard task.
ANGELO QUE (Phi) – Third Round 67 (-3), Total 201 (-9)
Q.  We ought to start with your putting, the last couple holes were terrific.
ANGELO QUE:  I've been putting well the whole week.  You've got to hole a lot of long putts to do well.  I don't think anybody who has played a low round in their lives didn't make a 40 footer in their rounds.  I started pretty bad and I made a couple of bogeys on the front.
Got pretty aggressive on the 10th.  Hit a driver and got it on.  And started from there and made birdie and just kept going.  17, I holed a 40 footer for birdie.
Q.  I presume it's going to be the same idea tomorrow, go for it, be fairly aggressive when you can?
Angelo Que of the Philippines Angelo Que of the Philippines
ANGELO QUE:  Depends on how I feel and what the yardage is.  I think today, because of the wind and the yardage, it worked to my advantage where I could just hit a soft driver and hopefully stays on the green and it did.  But it all depends on the wind and pin placement tomorrow.
Q.  You look like you're enjoying it out there and I know you said the other day you enjoy Hong Kong, a little bird told me it's the pork that does the trick here.
ANGELO QUE:  I think so.  I love this place.  I love the food.  I'm always well fed here.  I'm enjoying, really enjoying the course.  Even though I make a bogey, I don't get stressed out.  I just keep going.  I'm playing well and I can always get birdie somewhere.
Q.  Special restaurant you go to?
ANGELO QUE:  Just here.   I love the food here.  And also for two years in a row, Dominique Boulet has been inviting us over to his place and I've been requesting for pork and he's nice enough to oblige.  I've been really well fed at his place.
MARK FOSTER (Eng) – Third Round 66 (-4), Total 201 (-9)
Q.  How special was that back nine?
MARK FOSTER:  Yeah, it really was.  It came from nowhere, as well.  I was 2 over after eight, missed the green on 9.  Probably ironically saving the par at 9 inspired me a little bit to get back into it.  It really did come from nowhere.
Q.  You started the day in decent position and suddenly you're leading the tournament.
MARK FOSTER:  I knew the scoring was bunched.  I knew there are birdies out there and I never for one moment thought I was going to make that many.  Just kept telling myself to give myself chances coming in and get my score back.
Q.  Was there a particular highlight?
MARK FOSTER:  Yeah, probably five in a row, I just kept knocking putts in.  I just tried to keep the mentality where I kept going around    I was more pleased with the way I kept going forward.
Q.  Sounds like you can shrug off the last easy enough?
MARK FOSTER:  Yeah, it is a tough hole.  For me, I went with driver and I was riding a wave.  It just didn't work out.
Q.  You've been playing well, getting the form together in recent times?
MARK FOSTER:  Yeah, I've needed it, as well.  I forgot what it's like to play well.  It's been a long year not playing well.  So it's nice to play well for a few weeks.
Q.  You're nicely inside the 110 mark as things are but presumably there was a bit of frustration, edginess over recent times?
MARK FOSTER:  Yeah, it's been a tough few weeks.  I was still uncomfortable.  That's why I came down here.  I was far from certain before this week.  Everybody kept telling me I was, but I knew how many good players were around and I knew I had to come down here and do a job.
Q.  So to do a job did you have a figure in mind?
MARK FOSTER:  Not really.  I just wanted to concentrate on myself.  I was 102 and I knew if I played well, it would take care of me    I knew there's a lot of good players around me, and if they play well, which they have done this week.
Q.  Can you relax now and have the positive adrenaline and anxiety about your position in the tournament
MARK FOSTER:  Yeah, I'll focus on the tournament tomorrow and try and enjoy the day and see how that goes.
Q.  You retired from the Portugal tournament last week, why was that?
MARK FOSTER:  Back injury, yeah.  I couldn't walk last week.  It was a bit weird.  And to be honest, coming down here, I wasn't sure    I just came with the hope of playing.  Didn't hit a shot until Thursday morning.  Didn't arrive until Wednesday    well, Tuesday night, Wednesday morning.  Never hit a shot.  Just been laying on ice all week.  Not hit a practice shot or anything.
Q.  Muscle thing?
MARK FOSTER:  Yeah, I've got a bulging disc.  I was in for a scan in the hospital on Monday.  Get through these two weeks and it will be a break for me.
Q.  Was it something that if you weren't in doubt for your card
MARK FOSTER:  I went to see a specialist on Monday and he deals with a lot of golfers.  Backs and golfers    if we have a scan on our backs, any golfer, they are not any good.  It's an abnormal movement.  But it's worse than it should have been.  Thankfully the specialist did an unbelievable job on Monday and so far, so good with it.
Q.  I think did you have your first kid recently?
MARK FOSTER:  Yeah, ten months ago.  We had our first child, yeah.
Q.  How much does that change the pressure when you're struggling to retain your card?
MARK FOSTER:  Wife's going to kill me    it's one of the reasons I wasn't playing very well.  We got a lot of things wrong when she was born.  We didn't know what they were doing.  We were getting no sleep.  I took a long break because I wanted to spend time with them.
So I had three months off.  I waltzed into the desert and thought I'll be all right; I couldn't hit a shot.  So got no sleep, started playing worse and worse; yeah, she's the best thing that's ever happened    get that in (laughter).  But yeah, we got a lot of things wrong, but it's our first child.  We didn't know; nobody knows what to do, what's right.
Q.  All good now?
MARK FOSTER:  Getting there.  Don't see as much of them as I like but basically they have to stay at home and I have to go away and get some sleep.
Q.  You're 102; what do you think you need to do with the rest of the season to be assured of keeping your card?
MARK FOSTER:  I've racked my brains over the last month about this.  There's no answer.  There's a little gap, so if the people who are around 110, or 111 play very well, it could still be a very high number.  Everybody keeps brandishing the figure 240, but nobody knows that.
I saw a quote earlier that there's a lot of good players this year in that area, and no disrespect to other players, but Kjeldsen, Webster, Wall, certainly players who have played    I've been there too often but they have not been in that position very often and they will play well under that pressure.  As you can see every week it keeps jumping up and as you can see this week, 110,  111, 109, they are all played well.  Babbling on a bit but I reckon 240, 250.  I'll just keep going, yeah.
JYOTI RANDHAWA (Ind) – Third Round 68 (-2), Total 202 (-8)
Q.  What are your thoughts on being 8 under, now having had the first round lead?
Jyoti Randhawa of India Jyoti Randhawa of India
JYOTI RANDHAWA:  I think I like it here.  Less pressure.  Three or four groups ahead, and like two or three shots, anything can happen on this golf course.
But yeah, yesterday I was a little tentative, not being in that position for a long time, going into the second round, get a little nervy.  I started off not that great but I finished great, so I'm happy.
Q.  To have had that level par round kept you nicely in the hunt and nobody is moving away.
JYOTI RANDHAWA:  I was pretty happy and satisfied when I finished par yesterday, because when I started, it was going all over the place.  But yeah, to have finished par, and 2 under today, so I'm right there.  I like my chances.
Q.  Is there some satisfaction in consistency?  I know it's not a sexy word but that you can get it together over three days must be good.
JYOTI RANDHAWA:  I guess my game, you can't wish for more, you can't wish for less.  Just play your game and whatever you get in the last round, do what you did in the last three days and see what happens.
Q.  When is the last time you felt this good about your possibilities?
JYOTI RANDHAWA:  It's been a long time, two or three years back.  But to have come back and given myself a great chance into tomorrow, it's great.
Q.  Do you allow yourself to think of what is needed or just the unusual mantra of a shot at a time?
JYOTI RANDHAWA:  Exactly, yeah.  I just need to do what I did the last three days.  If anything, maybe the start, I'm not that great on the start and finished well.  But let's hope I can keep the start going and finish, well, also.
Q.  Your arm is pretty meaty.
JYOTI RANDHAWA:  My right forearm has been hurting me, there for a month.  Luckily this week it's getting better, so next week I should be full, fighting condition.
Q.  Doesn't harm your shots on the course?
JYOTI RANDHAWA:  No.  It helps me don't jerk my arm.  It's like a shock absorber, so I need that.
JAVI COLOMO (ESP) - THIRD ROUND 64 (-6), TOTAL 202 (-8)
I love this course, the city and the weather! Normally I come here in a good form. I really enjoy playing on this course. I feel like home here.
The course is not very long and I hit it very straight with the driver so I have a lot of short irons into the green. I can put the ball very close for birdie. The greens are very good and I putted very well. I putted very horribly on the first two days.
I played very well from tee to green but the difference was my putting. I made so many putts and that’s the difference.
All the players have the same problem. Sometimes you play well on one course and sometimes you don’t play well on another golf course. I like this course because it is tricky and you have to put the ball on the correct side of the fairway. You can’t think too much and just play.
Tomorrow is the same plan. To play in the present, shot by shot. Anything can happen so I will just enjoy it.
ERNIE ELS (Rsa) – Third Round 71 (+1), Total 202 (-8)
Q.  Bit of an up and down day?
ERNIE ELS:  Yeah, I guess the ninth hole was quite a hectic hole.  I was contemplating to go down the left all week and eventually decided to do that today.  And obviously hit it a little high off the tee and hit the tree and I was actually lucky to make six there.  That really derailed things.
Then I kind of put things together a little bit.  Obviously made eagle on 13.  Birdie on 14.  Then the last four holes, I missed putts on each hole.  So a little disappointing but I'm still in there with a chance.  I have to shoot a good one tomorrow.
Q.  Is the switch to the short putter; that just this season?
ERNIE ELS:  Yeah, I started this season in January.
Q.  Are you feeling the effect of that?
ERNIE ELS:  No, it feels good.  It really feels good.  Obviously I've missed a couple but to be honest I feel good.  The stroke feels good, the read, the stroke feels good.  I've just got to keep going.
Q.  Was it just a case you couldn't get that run going today?
ERNIE ELS:  Yeah, I hit a bad shot on 5, the par 3.  It was only a 7 iron and I left it to the right.  I left quite a few shots to the right.  I'm struggling with a bit of a right hip and it's tough to keep going forward.  There's a bit of pain there.  So missed a couple shots to the right, which cost me and then obviously a couple of putts.
So other than that, I'm fine.  Tomorrow I could be right in there tomorrow.
Q.  Still well in touch and you'll be confident of challenging tomorrow?
ERNIE ELS:  Yeah, obviously I'm disappointed now but tomorrow I'll be good to go and looking forward to 63.
Q.  You missed a couple makeable birdies, how do you feel about it?  Will you do some practice?
ERNIE ELS: Less you know, you can only hit it where you see it.  And today, 15, as I say, I missed it.  16 was a difficult one down the hill.  17 was a bad putt.  I pushed that one and 18 I hit it where I wanted to.
So all in all, I think 80 per cent of them are really good strokes.  Just not going in so I've just got to be patient.
Seems like I'm trying things this week that I don't normally try and it's cost me a little bit.  Coming in, I hit really good putt.  I just didn't make anything coming in unfortunately.  So a little disappointing but I've got an outside chance.
Q.  Is there a reason why you might try things that you shouldn't normally be trying?
ERNIE ELS:  You know, it's there.  Like 4, it's hard for me.  I'm quite an attacking player.  When there's 255 yards to go on a par 4, I mean, come on, I'm going to try and have a go.
And then on 9, down the left side, you've taken so much off the hole if you go down there but obviously I hit a tree right off the tee and things went haywire.  If junior golfers watched me play, play the percentages, you'll be okay.
Q.  You've said all along that you like the course and you liked what you saw.  But I suppose it tells you the respect the course needs.
ERNIE ELS:  Absolutely.  I think obviously you've got to give it respect, play the course with the percentages and go from there.  I tried a couple of crazy things and didn't come off.  But I'm three shots behind Marcus, some really quality players ahead of me but I don't see there's any reason not to still go for it.
Q.  What do you feel is necessary come the final day?
ERNIE ELS:  Something low obviously.  I'm not sure what it's going to be.  See what the weather's like, but I'd like to go really low just for my own best wishes.