Phachara plans to keep things simple #MyanmarOpen

Wed 25 Jan 2017

Phachara plans to keep things simple #MyanmarOpen

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Yangon, Myanmar, January 25: Thai teenager Phachara Khongwatmai will not get ahead of himself when he tees off at the US$750,000 Leopalace21 Myanmar Open which starts on Thursday.
The 17-year-old qualified for The Open for the second straight year through the Qualifying Series in Singapore last week and will be among the elite field contending for the prestigious title at the Pun Hlaing Golf Club.
Prayad Marksaeng of Thailand Prayad Marksaeng of Thailand
After finishing second to Prayad Marksaeng at the SMBC Singapore Open last week, Phachara plans to keep things simple and not give himself unnecessary pressure at the event sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour.
Man of the moment Prayad, who won his 10th Asian Tour title at the age 50, will be aiming for back-to-back victories. He finished runner up to Tetsuji Hiratsuka of Japan at the Myanmar Open at the same venue in 2010.
Indian rising star Chikkarangappa S. believes he is slowly hitting top form after missing the halfway cut in Singapore last week. He enjoyed his best season on the Asian Tour in 2016 and hopes to rise to the occasion at the Pun Hlaing course, a venue which suits his game.
Local veteran Zaw Moe, who turns 50 in June, will look to Prayad for inspiration as he aims to become the first player from Myanmar to win his National Open. He is among 15 local players in the elite field this week.
Interesting facts of the day:

  • In his last six tournaments, Phachara Khongwatmai has finished inside the top-five on four occasions.



  • Phachara holds the world record as the youngest amateur player to win a professional golf tournament at the age of 14.



  • Prayad Marksaeng finished second at the Pun Hlaing course in 2010 but he was 10 shots back from the winner Tetsuji Hiratsuka, who is also in the elite field this week.



  • If Prayad wins this week, he will be the oldest player to secure back-to-back victories on the Asian Tour. The last player to win two straight tournaments on the Asian Tour was Lee Westwood in 2011.



  • Chikkarangappa S. will make his debut in Myanmar but said the Pun Hlaing course has a similar layout to the Royal Calcutta course in India.


Zaw Moe of Myanmar Zaw Moe of Myanmar

  • Zaw Moe will make his 12th appearance at the Myanmar Open. His best result in his National Open was tied 13th in 2000. No local player has ever won the prestigious trophy.


Key Quotes:
Phachara Khongwatmai (Tha)
My game is good, everything seems to be good. I was very happy when I finished second in Singapore. I was thinking of making the cut so when I finished runner-up it made me feel very happy.
I don’t want to think too far ahead. If I think of winning and I don’t win, I will feel very sad. If I put my expectations lowers, it doesn’t give me too much pressure as well.
It feels so good to qualify for The Open for the second straight year. I didn’t expect to qualify immediately after making my debut in 2016. I thought it will be a few more years before I play in my next Major but I’m glad I did it.
"I don’t want to think too far ahead. If I think of winning and I don’t win, I will feel very sad. If I put my expectations lower, it doesn’t give me too much pressure." - Phachara Khongwatmai.

Chikkarangappa S. (Ind)
The golf course is in great shape. The layout is really nice. This is probably one of the best layouts I’ve seen and very similar to the Royal Calcutta course in India. I love the fairways and the conditions here.
My game is feeling good. I’ve made some tweaks in my game but it should be fine. The flow is coming and I’m getting better and better. I’ve not had a good break yet so I haven’t adapted to the new changes yet but I’m happy with my progress.
I didn’t have much break because my last day of golf was on Christmas day and then I had one week off. I had to immediately get back to practice. I love playing golf but sometimes the body gives up a little bit if you play back-to-back weeks.
It is always good to get off to a good start because it gives you a momentum. But if you don’t get off to a good start, it is okay because there are still other courses and tournaments where you can perform.
Zaw Moe (Mya)
S.Chikkarangappa of India S.Chikkarangappa of India
I’ve been playing in the Myanmar Open for many years and it feels like it is part of my duty to play here.
Mardan and I talked about Prayad winning in Singapore and his victory gives us the older players some hope. Prayad does not smoke or drink so he is still in very good shape. He does not practice much as well so maybe that’s why his body lasts longer.
Mardan and I practice a lot so I guess we have to change our plan and start focussing on fitness.
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), Hilton Worldwide (Official Hotel Partner), Titleist (Official Web Partner), Bloomberg TV (Official International Media Sponsor), Bloomberg Businessweek Chinese (Official Business Publication Sponsor) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). Sentosa, Singapore is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur.
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