Kiradech aims to play it smart #VenetianMacaoOpen

Wed 14 Oct 2015

Kiradech aims to play it smart #VenetianMacaoOpen

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Macao, October 14: Thai star Kiradech Aphibarnrat is ready to navigate his way to victory at the US$1 million Venetian Macao Open starting on Thursday to cement his position in the world’s top-50.
After jumping into a career high 49th place with a second successive top-five finish in Europe last week, the big-hitting Kiradech now turns his attention to the treacherous Macau Golf and Country Club which is hosting the Asian Tour’s finest who include title holder Anirban Lahiri of India, countryman Thongchai Jaidee, second-ranked Andrew Dodt of Australia, Chinese ace Liang Wen-chong and four-time Major winner Ernie Els.
“My game is on fire right now,” declared Kiradech, who has triumphed twice in China and Scotland this year. “My game is solid and I’m hitting the ball great. My iron play is sharp.
If you look at the past few months, my results have improved.”
141015_VMO2015_Andrew Dodt (AUS) 12The 26-year former Asian Tour number one is no longer just interested to grip it-and-rip it to please his fans, preferring instead to think his way around golf courses to achieve the right results.
“I’m choosing the right shots now. I’m growing up and thinking better. It’s made my game much better and I’m improving,” he said.
“When I played last week (in England), I laid up on a par four which was 272 yards to the flag and I hit a four iron. My playing partner Robert Karlsson came up and asked ‘what’s wrong bro, are you sick?’ as I was hitting driver against him at every hole during the Paul Lawrie Match Play final. But on that hole last week, my driver was too long and I didn’t want to hit a controlled three wood as there’s water. So I laid up and I still got a birdie there.
“This course here doesn’t suit my game as it’s narrow. But I think I’m more cool-headed on the course and I’m sure there will be a lot more three woods and irons off the tees here.”
He was happy to break into the world’s top-50 for the first time and said the goal now was to remain in the elite bracket to get himself into the World Golf Championships and Majors, such as the Masters Tournament, next season.
“I want to play more in the big events. I’ve practised hard and now that I’m in the top 50, I want to stay there and maybe jump into the top-40 next. I want to play in events like the Masters,” he said.
Countryman Thongchai, who featured in the Presidents Cup last week for the Internationals where he contributed 1.5 points, is keen to improve on his Venetian Macao Open record where he has two top-10s and one top-20 in his last three visits.
“It’s nice to be back in Macao again. The course seems more difficult as the rough is growing and is very long. It’ll be important to hit fairways,” said the former paratrooper, who won in Germany last month.
“I’m confident coming back to play on the Asian Tour. I’ve played well recently, played the Presidents Cup and I’m fresh. We have a strong field here and we’re playing for US$1 million which is good for everyone.”
Liang Wen-chong of China Liang Wen-chong of China
Australian Dodt, who is second on the Order of Merit, is prepared to challenge leader Lahiri in the Merit race although he trails by some US$548,000. He hopes a recent six-week break at home to recharge his batteries and fine-tune his game will provide the spark needed for a second win of the season.
“I had three weeks of doing nothing, just getting my energy back, feeling fresh and then I got back into the gym and started to practice. I led after two rounds here in 2009 and finished top-10 and there’s a massive premium on hitting it straight,” said the 29-year-old Aussie.
“This time of the year is a good time to be playing well as we’ve got some really big events. I think about the Order of Merit quite a bit actually. Anirban has got a bit of a healthy lead and it’ll take a lot to chase him down. But having said that, there are some big events and if youwin one, it’s a nice big cheque. You just have to try to play well week in week out and the rest will take care of itself,” he said.
Liang, the first Chinese to win the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit in 2007, is hoping to emulate Zhang Lian-wei’s success at the Venetian Macao Open. A runner-up finish in Chinese Taipei and a tied sixth in Japan in the past fortnight have given him confidence.
“I’m in good form with a top-10 last week and I’m also looking forward to playing with Ernie in the first two rounds,” said Liang, who was victorious in Japan in the middle of the year.
The Venetian Macao Open, into its 17th edition, will see its total prize fund increase for a third consecutive year, taking it to the all-important US$1 million mark.
The Venetian Macao Open is organised by the Macao Sport Development Board of Macao SAR Government and the Golf Association of Macau. Sanctioned by the latter and the Asian Tour, The Venetian® Macao is supporting the iconic event as title sponsor for the fourth successive year.
For more details on the Venetian Macao Open, please visit: www.thevenetianmacaoopen.com.
About Macao Sport Development Board of the Macao Special Administrative Region Government
Macao Sport Development Board, under the capacity of the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao SAR Government, is a public organization of administration autonomy. The organization is responsible for the implementation of sport strategy and policy formulated by the Macao SAR Government. Its objective is to stimulate, encourage, and promote all kind of sports in Macao, also to create an essential condition for sport development.
For the development of competitive sports and ‘Sport for all’, the Macao Sport Development Board organizes various high level international sport competitions as well as recreational classes and thematic ‘Sport for all’ activities each year, in an endeavor to promote the international status of Macao, reinforce communication and co-operation with other countries and cites, enhance citizens’ quality of life and arouse their interest in sport, so as to accelerate and facilitate the enhancement of the level of sport in Macao.
For more information, please visit www.sport.gov.mo
About Golf Association of Macau
Founded in 2000, the Golf Association of Macao is a non-profit organization, with the mission to promote, support and ensure the quality, traditions and development of the game of golf in Macao.
With the mission to encourage and promote golf in Macao, it provides coaching, training and selection of the Macao teams for participation in international events at all levels, and promotes and runs appropriate international and domestic golfing events in Macao, which helps to represent Macao in the golfing world and be a member of appropriate regional and world governing bodies.
About The Venetian® Macao
Opened in 2007, The Venetian® Macao is Macao's first integrated resort featuring stunning replicas of the famous canals and architectural icons of Venice, Italy. The Venetian Macao features 3,000 suites, 1.2 million square feet (111,000 square metres) of convention and meeting facilities as well as a 15,000-seat Cotai Arena designed for world-class sports events and electrifying entertainment. The Venetian Macao is also home to the unique, 1,800-seat luxury Venetian Theatre, hosting the best in international and Chinese entertainment; more than 30 renowned restaurants; TAIVEXMALO Day Hospital & Spa; the incredibly fun QUBE indoor playground and more than 350 retailers at Shoppes at Venetian. Outdoor recreation areas include swimming pools and cabanas and a mini-golf course.
For more information, please visit www.venetianmacao.com.
About Sands Resorts Cotai Strip Macao – Sands China’s Integrated Resort City
Sands China Ltd. is the leading developer, owner and operator of integrated resorts in Macao. The befittingly named Sands Resorts Cotai Strip Macao, situated on reclaimed land between the islands of Coloane and Taipa, is the one destination that provides a stunning array of experiences at the heart of Cotai. Sands Resorts Cotai Strip Macao has transformed a day-trip market into an integrated resort city and international hub for business and leisure travellers.
Pulsating with life, both night and day, Sands Resorts Cotai Strip Macao features an expansive offering of affordable luxury available nowhere else in Macao, with approximately 9,000 hotel rooms and suites, international superstar live entertainment, duty-free shopping with more than 650 retailers offering an unparalleled array of name brands, 1.5 million square feet (120,000 square metres) of meeting and exhibition space for Asia’s leading conferences and exhibitions, transportation offerings and well over 120 dining options, including Michelin-starred restaurants, bars and lounges. Sands Resorts Cotai Strip Macao is a must-go destination providing every guest with an unforgettable experience and unparalleled excitement.
Comprised of The Venetian® Macao; The Plaza™ Macao, featuring the Four Seasons Hotel Macao, Cotai Strip; and Sands® Cotai Central, featuring the world’s largest Conrad, Sheraton, and Holiday Inn hotels Sands Resorts Cotai Strip Macao is where Asia’s ultimate destination is all within reach. And coming in 2016... the crowning achievement of Sheldon G. Adelson’s vision of the Cotai Strip… The Parisian Macao.
Sands Resorts Cotai Strip Macao… Be at the Centre of It All! For more information, please visit http://en.sandsresortsmacao.com.
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 FENIX Golf (Official Apparel Supplier), Fuji Xerox (Official Office Solutions Partner), Hilton Worldwide (Official Hotel Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Sponsor), Oakley (Official Eyewear and Footwear Sponsor), Srixon (Official Ball), Titleist (Official Web Partner) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). Sentosa, Singapore is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf, www.twitter.com/asiangolf, www.youtube.com/theasiantour, and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf
About IMG
IMG is a global leader in sports, events, media and fashion, operating in more than 25 countries. The company represents and manages some of the world’s greatest sports figures and fashion icons; stages thousands of live events and branded entertainment experiences annually; and is the world’s largest independent producer and distributor of sports media. IMG also specializes in sports training; league development; and marketing, media and licensing for brands, sports organizations and collegiate institutions. In 2014, IMG was acquired by WME, the world’s leading entertainment agency, to form WME | IMG.