#HoTramOpen Rd 1 What They Said

Thu 03 Dec 2015

#HoTramOpen Rd 1 What They Said

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Charlie Wi (Kor) – First Round 62 (-9)
Did you think you would shoot a 62 on this course?
When I showed up here on Tuesday and played the first few holes, I thought ‘Wow, this is a tough golf course.’ The good thing about this golf course is the wind is always constant so after playing a few rounds here, the players will get a feel of the course. The wind didn’t really pick up like how it can here so I took advantage of the situation.
What kick started the five birdies in a row (from hole 4)?
I didn’t know I had five birdies in a row. I usually mark my scorecard after nine holes or so. When I saw the birdies, I told myself I’m on a good run! I hit the ball really close. If you drive the ball on the fairway, you will have a lot of short irons into the green.
Charlie Wi of Korea Charlie Wi of Korea
Any highlights for you today?
What really got me going today was on the number seven. I hit my nine iron to about 25-feet and holed that. That was a surprise because I wanted to get it close and move on. When are things are going well, stuff like that happens.
Nice to be meeting old friends on the Asian Tour?
Yeah but it is not like what it used to be. I used to see familiar faces on the Asian Tour but the newer generation have come up and there are so many young and good players now. You see so many young players coming up and it is fun to watch them play.
Danthai Boonma (Tha) – First Round 64 (-7)
What was the key to your good score?
I hit it straight and putted very well especially on the first nine where there was no wind and I didn’t make a bogey. I bogeyed on hole one but I bounced back with five birdies in the row from the fourth hole. My putter was on fire. The golf course is a little bit short but it is very windy. If you can putt good then you can make birdie.
Happy you took advantage of the early start?
Yes, there was not much wind in the morning so you must score here.
What do you think of this golf course?
It is a nice golf course but it can get very windy. If you hit it into the rough, you will be in trouble here.
After playing in the practice round did you expect to shoot a 64?
I didn’t expect this result at all! I thought making par would be good enough so I’m very surprised with my score. I had one long putt on hole number eight from 15-feet.
What did your first Asian Tour win mean to you?
It was good. I feel more confident now.
What do you think about the Ho Tram Open?
This is a good event and I’m enjoying myself here. They treat us very well. The golf course and hotel are very nice also.
Thaworn Wiratchant (Tha) – First round 64 (-7)
Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand
Very happy. Every thing worked. Putting was really good. I was making some long putts, holed about four long ones. Eagle on five, hit driver and three wood to about eight yards and holed the putt. Condition was good for scoring. Some holes, the wind was up but I managed to keep the ball in the fairway.
No bogey on the card was good. Holed some good putts for pars on two holes which kept the round going.
Happy with my season, getting old now. Every week make cut, it’s very good for me. Danthai is a very good player. He’s young and hits the ball very long, can easily reach par fives in two. Played in the national amateur team and not surprised to see him come up.
Now I’m getting old and I have to play with young players. Never mind, just keep making cut I’m happy.
Nicholas Fung (Mas) – First Round 65 (-6)
I started with an eagle. It was a lucky shot! It was 85 metres to the green but I pushed my chip right and it spun back into the hole. It was a blind shot so I didn’t know it went in until my caddy told me.
I tried to take it easy because I had no advantage. I started quite late in the morning and the wind was already blowing. The course is not long so I had some good birdie chances today. It will be tougher tomorrow so I just need to avoid making mistakes.
I’ve been telling myself to stay positive and relax. I was in contention in the last two Asian Tour events but put too much pressure on myself.
Lin Wen-tang (Tpe) – First Round 65 (-6)
I missed only one fairway in these windy conditions so I’m very happy. Every aspect of my game was good. I only made one mistake on the 17th hole. I looked at the leaderboard and I saw that I had a chance to finish second but I missed a two-feet putt for par! It was shocking because my putting was so good.
Luckily I birdied the last hole (six feet). I know it is very difficult on this course if the wind is blowing. I’m very comfortable playing in these conditions because it is very windy in Chinese Taipei. You need a lot of energy to walk on this (hilly) course. I’ve been going to the gym and at the age of 42, my fitness is now better.
Michael Tran (Vie) – First Round 66 (-5)
I was looking forward to playing with Darren Clarke and Jeev Milkha Singh. I actually felt comfortable out there. My putting has always been off but if I can get my putter going then I feel I can play well every week.
I played on this course two months ago but the wind direction has changed. When I played here on Monday, it felt like I was playing on a new golf course.
Darren and Jeev are great players and I wanted to do as good as them but today I played better so I’m very happy. I three-putted the first hole (bogey) but hit it close on hole two, four, and six. Those were very good birdies because it was howling.
My mum watched me play tournament golf for the first time. She walked 18 holes so I’m proud to play well in front of her.
Sergio Garcia (Esp) – First Round 66 (-5)
Tell us a few of your highlights of your round and were you surprised scoring is so low today?
Not really surprised because it was a little bit breezy but wasn’t too bad and a lot of the pins were down on some of the holes. The greens were perfect so you could make some puts then.
Highlights – some of the birdies, they were quite simple though. The putt I made on the 5th hole and the chip shot on sixth – that was one of the best shots I hit today. Overall it was quite solid I think.
Sergio Garcia of Spain Sergio Garcia of Spain
You’ve played the course twice now, what do you like and not like about it?
It is a learning process, getting to know a new course. I think the golf course is quite solid. It has a couple of things on the greens I would like to see differently, maybe on 16th that bid ridge looks a bit out of place but other than that it is in great shape. It gives you the possibilities of being a little bit aggressive or a bit more conservative so it gives you options. A lot of the courses now are about hitting the driver as far as you can but this one gives you options, which is nice. Obviously you can really put some good pin positions around some of these greens so gives you a lot of playability.
What did you think of the Vietnamese player you played with today [Truong Chi Quan]?
Really nice kid, we had a good time. He started really well but hit four really bad shots that cost him a lot. Other than that he looked quite good. He is still young and still learning. I am sure he was quite nervous, I have been in that situation playing my first few pro events as an amateur but he looks ok.
Your ambitions as a golf course designer and any characteristics you’d like to put into course you design?
Good question, I think that at the moment, its something I want to do as my career comes down a little bit, more towards the end. At the moment I want to focus on golf as much as possible. If I want to do golf course design I want to do them as well as possible to I want to take time and at the moment that is not easy. I like the kind of courses that are not extremely long but have some dog-legs, small greens, subtle slopes. Those are the kind I like. Challenging but don’t have to be extremely long. Small targets. That’s my kind of idea.
Juvic Pagunsan (Phi) – First round 66 (-5)
It was challenging. But if you hit it good, the course is gettable. The pins were not really tough today. Definitely happy with five under today. A good round for me. I felt good coming into the week. Confidence is getting higher. This is my fifth straight event and hopefully I can continue to play well.
Hit a good shot on the 12th hole but the wind took in into the rough. Then hit a flier over the green and struggled from there for a good double bogey actually. Made a good eagle on six, hit a good drive and then hit a good utility shot from 245 yards to about five feet.
You can shoot a good score here even if the winds is up. This morning, there was a bit of wind but it’ll pick up in the afternoon. The main thing is to strike the ball well.
Gaganjeet Bhullar (Ind) – First round 66 (-5)
Gaganjeet Bhullar of India Gaganjeet Bhullar of India
I hit the ball so good today, hit 16 greens in regulation and it was disappointing to make bogey on my last hole on the ninth. Made six really good birdies, out of which five were from within three feet. I’ve been struggling with my putter a bit, so I’m going to keep working on my stroke after this and hopefully can push on for three rounds.
It was actually easy out there. A lot of the flags were accessible. A lot of par fives were reachable in two. You can see the leaderboard that a lot of guys are taking advantage of that. The course in great shape, probably one of the best we’ve played all year.
The first half of the season, I was really struggling with my ball striking. Second half, I figured out something and I’ve been hitting it really good. But I’m struggling now with my putting. Other than that, my sand play, short game with the lob wedge, it’s definitely improved. Some small things to work on and I’ll be back in the winning circle.
I think it’s a case of not stroking the ball well. I’ve been good in green reading in Asia but I’ve been struggling with the pace. Missing 10, 15 footers. Pretty good from five feet and 30 feet. Just need to work better on my pace.
Robert Rock (Eng) – First Round 68 (-3)
You must be pleased with your solid start?
I am quite pleased with that, obviously would have liked a bit better but lots of things can go wrong and three under is ok, keeps me in shape and it looks like I have done some homework on the course.
How was playing with Sergio today?
It was an absolute pleasure. He is a great guy to play with and awesome to watch. I was trying to work out what I have been doing wrong all these years.
First day overall?
Everyone will be happy with how many have come out to watch and they have seen some good scoring by the looks of it.
What do you expect tomorrow?
Depends what kind of wind we get but Sergio has cruised around in 5 under without holing much so it shows that is possible. I’ve got to get a bit better at reading the greens.