RWMM-Rd 1 What They Said

Thu 20 Nov 2014

RWMM-Rd 1 What They Said

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Manila, November 20: Read what players have to say following the opening round of the US$1 million Resorts World Manila Masters presented by 918.com on Thursday.
Mardan Mamat (Sin) – First Round 65 (-7)
I hit the ball solid from tee to green. I hit it close and I managed to hole some putts. It’s not easy out there, especially the front nine. It was really windy. I am hitting the ball good so I’m happy with how I played today.
I'm trying to not think about keeping my card. I will just try and play my game out there. It’s not the end of the world for me if I don’t make it into top-60 on the Order of Merit at the end of the season. I want to enjoy my golf and keep the good form going.
I’ve played this golf course since I was an amateur and the course has been in good shape all these while. It’s always in good condition. I’m very impressed with the course. I think 65 is my best score here. I think I shot a 67 on this course before but I can’t remember when it was. It has been a good 20 over years playing on Tour!
The rough was not as long as last week’s so it is not that challenging. Putting will be the key to win this week.
It’s always nice to come back to the Philippines, especially since I won the Philippine Open two years back. I have got nice memories here.
AK2_1212Daisuke Kataoka (Jpn) – First round 65 (-7)
My putting was good. Tee shots were always on the fairway and second shots were always on the green. Putting was very good. Think I took about low 20s in total putts. Greens are difficult. Downhill, they are very fast but uphill, they are very slow. Difficult greens. I had good touch today.
I will go back to play in one tournament in Japan next week and after that, I will come back to play on the Asian Tour, will try to keep my card.
This is the first time I’m playing Manila Southwoods. I’ve had good results in Philippines. I’ve played at Wack Wack and The Country Club and have top-10s there. I seem to score well in the Philippines.
Every course here in Philippines is tight. My driver is short but straight. So it fits my game when I play on tight courses. Here, there are many water hazards, but it fits my game.
201114_RWMM_Terry Pilkadaris (AUS) 17Danny Chia (Mas) – First Round 66 (-6)
I’m hitting it solid. I have been playing well. The wind picked up on my back nine and there were a bit of misjudgment with the winds out there but overall, it’s been good. If you hit it good, every golf course will suit your game. I’m in good form now so hopefully I can keep that up.
It helps a lot to be on form at this time of the year. Hopefully I can keep up the good form and secure a good result this week, which will allow me to get my card for next season. The fairways are quite wide so you have to drive well and putt well to score here. There is not much rough out here. I would say it will be very much a putting competition out there.
There were a couple of tricky pin positions today. The course condition is great and it is playing beautifully. Since I came back to play after my injury this year, I haven’t played in such windy condition yet. I think the wind is going to get stronger this week so you have to be very careful. You need to know where the wind is going and all.
My caddie Mohamed Ali caddied for Liang Wen-chong last year but he nearly cost me a few shots today! He’s been with me for a while now and it has been good.
It was good to finish top-10 last week. I found something that clicked in my swing after the first round and it has been working for me since. I'm not going to tell you what it was. It's a secret.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Tha) – First Round 66 (-6)
I had a good drive on the 18th where I sank a four-footer eagle putt which was the highlight of the day. My ball striking was really good.  The golf course is in a good shape and great condition. Some bunkers were quite firm but other than that, it was all good. The golf course is perfect.
This is my first time playing in a professional tournament in the Philippines. It has been good so far. It is near Thailand and I always feel at home whenever I travel to countries in Asia. It’s good to be back as I haven’t been here since my amateur days.
I was actually hesitating if I should play this week because my knee is not feeling too good. I only decided on Monday actually. This is my 10th week in a row and I wanted to rest but anyway I will still try my best and we will see how it goes this week. I will go back and get enough rest before tomorrow’s round.
Kalem Richardson of Australia Kalem Richardson of Australia
Terry Pilkadaris (Aus) – First Round 67 (-5)
It was a pretty good round for me. I kept the ball in play and I had lots of opportunities to score. My front nine was better just before the wind built up. I like this golf course. You've got to drive the ball good and hit as many fairways as possible. You have to think more if you hit it into the rough. You get a chance if you hit it onto the fairways.
I haven’t played much this year as I was playing on the Challenge Tour in Europe. I was chasing that for a bit but it’s good to be on form towards the end of the year. Hopefully this week will be a good start as I will be trying a couple more events till the season ends.
The season’s been okay for me. I didn’t start off well but I think it’s starting to come back now. It was pretty straightforward out there, not too much trouble.
Juvic Pagunsan (Phi) – First round 67 (-5)
Bogey-free, you must be happy?
It’s a really good start. I just played well today. I didn’t think about whether I shot birdies or bogeys today. It’s either bad or good, I just want to go out to play.
What was the key?
I just kept my focus on every shot, just tried to hit fairways and hit the greens and make two putts. If I get lucky, I would make a one-putt for birdie.
Were you affected by the winds at all?
We were lucky as we played in the morning. The wind wasn’t a real factor, except for the last few holes. The afternoon players will have more wind.
Will this start give you a good chance to win?
It’s a good score, and it could have been better. I missed a few shots. I played here three times last week as I skipped a tournament in Japan last week. If I have a chance to win this week, I’ll take it. I just need to keep my focus. It’s all about hitting good shots. If I have a chance, I’ll take it.
Next year, my plan is to play more on the Asian Tour. I discussed this with my manager recently and we’ll play the Asian Tour and Japan Tour. That’s my plan.
Shiv Kapur of India Shiv Kapur of India
Anthony Kang (Usa) – First Round 67 (-5)
I am actually surprised to get a good round today. Coming from last week where I haven’t played well, I thought I would just give myself one or two birdies a day. I’m surprised that I had a lot of birdie opportunities, maybe about nine or ten. That was how it went for me out there. I had a solid round except for the ninth where I hit a double. Otherwise, it’s all good. I just stayed out of trouble out there. I hit a lot of short putts for birdies which made it less stressful for me.
I am just working on trying to hit the ball straight and trying to find the fairways. I want to give myself less stress as well. I’ve been hitting it sideways, left and right and it’s really no fun playing golf that way. But today, it was more pleasurable to play. I’m sure all the top guys out here will think there’s no stress hitting it onto the fairways.
Lu Wen-Teh (Tpe) – First Round 68 (-4)
My game’s feeling good at the moment. I think this course suits my game a lot. It’s not that long so I think I should have a chance this week. The course is really beautiful. It’s in a good shape. I didn’t play last year and the last time I played here was ten over years ago. The trees out there grew so much taller now!
I would say putting is the key to play well here. It’s an advantage to long-hitters so putting is important. I have been struggling with my hand injury so I am not expecting much in my game now. It’s pretty alright so far.
Himmat Rai (Ind) – First round 68 (-4)
I’m happy with the way I played. Tee to green, I kept the ball in play and kept to my strategy. I’m feeling good overall, I putted well as well and really enjoyed it out there. I guess that’s what it’s all about, enjoying my game.
I just been working and I like to focus on the positives a bit. I’m playing better and my scores are getting better. I played well in the Asian Development Tour tournament in India, so I can take some positive momentum from there. I’m just looking forward to the rest of the year.
I think it’s all about not playing much in the off season and then coming out a bit rusty. I worked a fair bit before the season started, got a lot fitter and started hitting the gym harder with my trainer. Getting stronger and hitting the ball better. That’s how golf is, you just need to get it together at one point.
It’s obviously very back end heavy and I like my game and it’s suited for this week, and every week for the rest of the season. I don’t want to get ahead of myself and try to enjoy every day as it comes and see where it goes.
I think it’s a ball striker’s paradise, you have to hit it long and straight. I think if you can keep it in play you’ll have plenty of scoring opportunities.
201114_RWMM_Wang Jeung-hun (KOR) 02Shiv Kapur (Ind) – First Round 69 (-3)
Happy?
It was decent. I didn’t take advantage of the par fives but I thought I played pretty well although I left a couple of shots out there on the par fives which are the scoring holes here. All in all, I played solid. It’s a decent start as I’ve not really got off to good starts in the first round and I’ve always been fighting my way back. Nice to put myself in the hunt early.
Did conditions become harder later on in the round?
The winds were swirly early on and then the sun came out after a few holes. The breeze dropped a little bit, it wasn’t ridiculously tough. It was tricky. In the practice round, we had a similar kind of breeze and from the same directions. But when you know you’ve played the practice round in a certain wind, you know the club and where it’s coming from.
How did the swing feel?
The swing is feeling good. I’ve had one or two shots that I let go. Five under would have been a good score and three under is average. Basically that’s what it was.
What’s held you back from better starts in the past?
I guess it’s Thursday blues. I don’t know. I haven’t had one of those good starts on a Thursday this year. I’ve always been fighting my way back and I’ve done a pretty good job fighting my way back. But I always leave myself a bit too much to do by being seven or eight shots back after one or two rounds. I’ve got off to a decent start and hopefully I can build on it tomorrow and be the thick of things over the weekend rather than trying to make up on a big lead.
Towards the end of the year now, any goals for yourself?
Before the end of the year, I want to win a tournament. I’ve had a steady season but I’ve not won a tournament. I like to try to end the year with a win. I’ve got this week, the Dunhill in South Africa and then the Dubai Open. Hopefully I can try to win or contend before the year is open.