Korea's Lee ready to impress #AfrAsiaOpen

Wed 11 May 2016

Korea's Lee ready to impress #AfrAsiaOpen

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Soomin Lee of Korea Soomin Lee of Korea
Beau Champ, Mauritius, May 11: Young talent Soomin Lee of Korea is hoping for a taste of success again when he makes his debut at the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open which starts at the Four Seasons Golf Club Mauritius at Anahita on Thursday.
The 22-year-old Korean created headlines when he claimed his breakthrough win on the European Tour in China last month. He will be looking to emulate his victory when he tees off at the €1 million (approximately US$1.09 million) event.
“I feel very comfortable with my game now. I have been playing well the last couple of weeks and I feel very confident for the week ahead. The last couple of weeks have been exciting. I claimed my career’s biggest win in China and that meant a great deal to me,” said Lee.
Lee’s victory in China was a sweet revenge as he had agonizingly missed out on a breakthrough win in Malaysia earlier in February. He settled for a tied-second place finish that week and has captured two other top-10s this season to sit in third place on the current Order of Merit.
“I was very disappointed when I didn’t win in Malaysia earlier this year but winning in China made up for all the disappointment. I have been playing well and I am happy with how I have been doing so far.
“It’s going to be a tough week with the strong winds. You have to keep the ball in play and try to hit as many greens and fairways as possible. My target is to stay bogey-free. If I can do that, I should be able to find myself in contention. The aim is also to get a good result this week and get into the Olympics,” Lee added.
Mardan Mamat of Singapore Mardan Mamat of Singapore
Singaporean veteran Mardan Mardan, who is also chasing for an Olympic berth this August, hopes to draw on his recollections from last year where he came in third, just one shot away from making the play-off where South African George Coetzee eventually won.
“It’s nice to be back here in Mauritius. I like the course layout but the wind is playing quite hard at the moment. Some holes are playing longer because of the wind. I am feeling more comfortable with my game after two practice rounds here.
“You can’t really hit a lot of greens and fairways in this kind of windy condition. Your short game needs to be sharp. That will save you a couple of shots. The season has not been up to my expectations yet but I am happy to keep myself inside top-30 at the moment. Hopefully I can regain my good form and play better in the remaining of the season,” Mardan said.
Ranked 367th on the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR), Mardan currently sits in the 60th place which is also the last spot on the Olympic Rankings, where the qualifying cuts off on July 11, 2016.
“Getting into the Olympics is a very important goal for me. I really want to fulfil this dream while I can. Now that I have the chance to fight for it, I will try my very best. Hopefully I can play well this week and put myself in a better position to qualify before the cut-off date in July,” added the 48-year-old.
BSO_PL_George_Coetzee_101112_002 George Coetzee of South Africa
Coetzee is ready to embark on a successful title defence at the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open after staying out of action for close to six weeks.
“It’s great to be back here in Mauritius. The golf course is pretty different from what we played last year but I am looking forward to the challenge. The key is to keep the ball in play off the tee. The greens are quite small. If you can chip and putt well this week, you will do well," said the 29-year-old.
Despite suffering from a serious ankle injury surfing last year, the defending champion says he has been back in the water enjoying his time off.
“It’s going to be a tough challenge on the island this week with the windy conditions. It’s been six weeks since I last played in a tournament and I had a good time off the course. It’s been fun the last few weeks. I went surfing the first two weeks and went fishing one week ago,” added the well-rested South African.
Other notable players to feature in what is the first tri-sanctioned event by the Asian, European and Sunshine Tours are Nicolas Colsaerts of Belgium, Miguel Tabuena of the Philippines, China’s Li Haotong, Australian Scott Hend and Jeunghun Wang of Korea.
For more information on the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open:
http://afrasiabankmauritiusopen.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 ECCO (Official Footwear Sponsor), FENIX XCell (Official Apparel Supplier), Fuji Xerox (Official Office Solutions Partner), Hilton Worldwide (Official Hotel Partner), 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/asiantourgolf , www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf.