Rd 2 #MMO What They Said

Fri 06 Feb 2015

Rd 2 #MMO What They Said

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Lee Westwood (Eng) – Second Round 67 (-5), Total 133 (-11)
Q: I take it 11 under par with a 67 today isn’t too shabby?
A: It was good. I played nicely again. It was pretty solid again and I probably only hit one poor shot all day, from the middle of the fairway on the fifth hole. I was going in with a five iron and blocked it right into the water. I was trying not to pull it left and just slid into it a little bit and hit it in the water to end up making six when I should have made four. But other than that it was very good and I felt very comfortable out there. I hit a lot of fairways and some good iron shots and made some nice putts. It was great to birdie two of the last three and go from one in front to three in front.
Q: And it was a very nice putt on the last, wasn’t it?
A: I got a good read – it was one of the nice ones, straight down grain so you just have to start it on line a hole outside right and get a good roll on it. It looked in from six feet short, so it’s always nice to make those.
Q: How was it playing in the heat of the afternoon?
Lee Westwood of England Lee Westwood of England
A: It was beautiful out there, I was even tempted to put a sweater on once or twice
Q: An athlete like you, it doesn’t affect you, does it?
A: No, not an athlete like me. I could go round again. No, you obviously have to battle through the conditions in the afternoon. It’s like playing in a sauna, but you come to expect that when you play in Asia. I’m used to it and it obviously suits me.
Q: Does the course change as the temperature rises?
A: No I thought the course played really well. The greens were great, considering it was the afternoon. If you started it on line the ball rolled very nicely. They’re not spiky at all. The whole golf course is excellent. Considering how many tournaments are played here, they do a brilliant job getting it in shape every time.
Q: A new song in your head today?
A: Maroon 5 – Sugar. I’ll probably use that again tomorrow.
Alejandro Cañizares – Second Round 65 (-7), Total 133 (-11)
Q: Your thoughts on shooting the best round of the week, a 65?
A: It was a lot of fun. I played really well. I wasn’t so good off the tee today, but I putted really well. I made some great up-and-downs when I missed a shot, and I’m very happy overall. I can’t wait for the weekend, it’ll be a lot of fun.
Q: That putt at the end must’ve been pretty special, to go into a tie for the lead?
A: It was. I started making some good putts on the back nine and I felt very confident. I read it nicely and it went in – a great way to finish.
Q: Is there any difference in the way the course plays at this end of the day?
A: Yesterday was a little cooler. It was tough to keep your concentration today because of the weather, but luckily some clouds came over and it wasn’t as hot as it is when the sun is on you. The course is playing nicely and the greens are rolling very well. It’s a great track and a very nice tournament.
Q: What has it been like playing with one of the top Malaysian players in Danny Chia?
A: It was fun. He’s a nice guy and we enjoyed it. It was good seeing all the support for him.
Q: You’ll be with the defending champion, Lee Westwood – that must be nice?
A: It’ll be a lot fun. It’s a great position to be in and I couldn’t ask for any better. Hopefully I can keep it going.
Bernd Wiesberger (Aut) – Second Round 66 (-6), Total 136 (-8)
Q: This is a nice habit, a 66 on day two and you’re right up there again.
A: Yes, I missed talking to you yesterday so I decided I had to go a little lower today. It was a nice day and I finished really well. I holed a long curling putt on the sixth, which was my 15th, and I hit it really close on the last two. I felt comfortable out there and it was much better today.
Q: Yesterday didn’t start well, did it, so it’s good that you could grind it out?
A: I have to say I wasn’t at my best yesterday. Mentally I was a bit tired and not in the zone like I’ve been the past few weeks. I got the bill for it straight away by making a bogey on the second – which was a good bogey as I was looking at a triple bogey when I hit it right. I struggled on the front nine but got away with it on the back to shoot under par and kept it going today.
Q: Have you ever played so well, so consistently?
A: Yes I’m feeling good. I’m trying not to think too much about it; just let it happen. Sometimes you get in a groove and play well and things happen for you, and I just hope it lasts a long time.
Q: How has the change in conditions from the desert affected you?
A: I guess if you play well it doesn’t really matter what course you’re on or what country you’re in. I played well here last year so I knew it was a course I can score well on, and I came in good form, so I’ve been looking forward to this week.
Peter Lawrie (Irl) – Second Round 66 (-6), Total 137 (-7)
Q: I take it that’s pretty special, isn’t it?
A: Yes, I’m delighted to be here and very lucky to have received a sponsor’s invite, so I thank Maybank for that. To shoot 66 today was wonderful.
Q: And seeing your name at the top of the leaderboard.
A: It’s been a long time coming. I’ve been in the doldrums for the past 20-odd months, since the Irish Open in 2013. It’s been a long wait, but hopefully I can keep my name up there.
Q: It’s been troublesome, hasn’t it?
A: It’s been difficult. I’ve struggled with a lot of swing changes and confidence, but my confidence is coming back and I can see the ball going in the hole, so it bodes well for the rest of the year.
Q: Putting it into context, you lost your playing rights and had a very emotional back end of the season, and you weren’t sure if you were going to carry on for a while.
A: No, I struggled with my confidence all last year and I kept on getting kicked and kicked. When you’re down and you keep on getting kicked, at some stage you say you’re not going to get up. But at some stage things have to turn around, everything changes and I’m here now. I’m delighted to be here.
Q: There have been signs that this is coming, haven’t there?
A: Slowly but surely. The swing is in good shape now and it’s just a matter of trusting yourself. There are still bad habits in there that I’m trying to keep at bay, but yesterday and today I played flawless golf. I haven’t put a foot wrong yet and I’ve holed a few putts to be near the top of the leaderboard.
Q: Tell us what flawless golf means around here, in what are slightly tricky conditions?
A: It’s not half as hot as it normally is. It’s a month earlier and the humidity’s not as bad. The golf course is in great shape.
Q: You have to learn how to manage yourself in these conditions?
A: Very much so. You take everything at your own pace. You’re trying not to be too far behind and playing catch-up; you’re trying to pace yourself the whole time. And you’ve got to drink plenty of water and isotonic drinks to stay hydrated.
Q: You’re in a lovely position for the weekend, is it a case of not getting carried away?
A: I definitely won’t be getting carried away. I haven’t been in this position for a long time so there’s no chance of that. I’ll just do my best and maybe a top five will get me into next week. It’s tough this year relying on sponsors’ invites. I’m writing begging letters and I’m a sole trader, not being with a big management group. It’s difficult, but I’ll keep trying and when I get the opportunities I’ll hope to play well.
Richard Bland of England Richard Bland of England
Richard Bland (Eng) – Second Round 70 (-2), Total 138 (-6)
Q: Your thoughts on being on six under par at the halfway stage?
A: I’m very pleased. When you come to somewhere that plays as differently as this, to be a couple off the lead after two rounds is very satisfying.
Q: You looked like you were really getting it going there for a spell.
A: Yes, both days I’ve had slow starts but got into it. Yesterday I was two over through five or something but then played the back nine in 31. And today I had a good middle stretch. I made a silly bogey at 14 and didn’t give myself too many looks at birdie coming in – I was thinking about lunch!
Q: Did you find any benefit in playing earlier today?
A: It was a little bit, but then from the middle of the front nine it started heating up. Yesterday it felt cooler all day. The last couple of hours on the back nine was probably the hottest it’s been all week. But we’re just thankful it’s a lot cooler than in April when this event has been held before
Q: Are you a different player after last year, when you weren’t threatened with losing your card?
A: It was a big step forward for me. The last couple of years I’ve had some issues off the course and I’ve had some injuries, which haven’t helped. I’m a lot more settled off the course now, a lot happier, so gradually it helps on the course; it lets you just go and play golf. I’ve had a bit of a slow start this year but I guess I’ve never really been out of the blocks that quickly. I always seem to find my feet in the middle of the year, so I’m not panicking.
Q: This is a good position, isn’t it?
A: Definitely. I’ve always like the desert swing at the start of the year and it’s a great place to see where your game is. I’ve never actually done that well there, so I knew coming here that this was one of the tournaments I could do well in. I think I was 15th last year. I’m just happy I’ve got a shout for the weekend.
Paul Waring (Eng) – Second Round 68 (-4), Total 137 (-7)
Paul Waring of England Paul Waring of England
Q. Enjoyed playing in the better conditions in the morning?
I beat the heat and it was nice. It is different from the last few years I’ve been here. Happy to get through the round.
Q. And shot a good score.
I played nicely. I holed a couple of putts early on and got myself under-par nice and early. I just kept going. I had one little blip on the par three 11th. Apart from that I felt pretty good and felt I took some chances which is nice as well.
Q. Nice birdie on 10 which pushed you into the lead?
I wasn’t aware of that but I holed a nice 10 footer for birdie. I lost a bit of momentum because I didn’t hole some putts coming in but very happy today.
Q. Feeling better about your game?
I played much better today. I had more control of the golf ball and hitting more fairways and the greens. It was just one of those days where the game just clicks a bit more.
Q. How’s life as a married man?
I’ve been married six weeks now. Nice to have the wife with me all the time now.
Q. Thoughts on the last two rounds?
I’m very happy to be near the lead. We still have two more rounds to go so we will see how it goes.
Prom Meesawat of Thaiand Prom Meesawat of Thaiand
Prom Meesawat (Tha) – Second Round 72(E), Total 140 (-4)
I played good. This course is tough and I tried to stay patient. I hit a lot of good shots but I struggled with the speed of the greens. My goal was two-under for every round so I guess I’m in a good position!
I’m still finding for my swing. I’m trying to get it back and get more confidence. I’m striking the ball better. The course is not playing easy this time.
I gained a bit of distance after receiving advice from Namchok Tantipokhakul. He told me to hit more balls at the driving range to get my tempo back. So I went to the driving range on Wednesday and started hitting a lot of golf balls and it worked!
I hit my second shot from the bunker over the green and had to settle for a double bogey (hole 2). I hit a lot of good shots so I have the confidence to climb up the leaderboard in the next two days.
Juvic Pagunsan (Phi) – Second Round 69 (-3), Total 140 (-4)
Three under no bogeys, assess your round?
It was really a good day. I didn’t hit it really good but I saved a lot of pars out there. The course was tricky and the winds were swirly. Three birdies today and no bogeys, which was lucky. I made some good birdies. On the first, I made a 12-footer, pitched it to two feet on 10 from about 60 yards and then on 12, I made a five foot birdie.
You don’t have a great record here but you’ve handled the course well this week. What’s been working?
I practiced a lot during the off season in the past few months. I changed my swing a little bit and working hard on my fitness as well every day. I’ve had good preparation for this tournament. I’ve worked on getting stronger and it’s helped a lot. My fitness has been good.
You feel comfortable on the course?
If you miss it on the wrong side, you’re in trouble. I got a bit lucky with some saved pars. I’ll just have to keep my focus. Whatever happens, I just want to go out to play some good golf. I’m very happy with how I’ve progressed in my career. I can play both Tours in Japan and the Asian Tour now.
Do you feel you’ve gotten better since becoming Asian Tour number one in 2011?
My game feels the same. If I have a chance to win, I’ll try to take it. I won’t be aggressive tomorrow although I’m a few behind the leader and I’ll just stick to the same game plan. You need to be patient on this course.