#SingOpen Preview: What they said

Tue 26 Jan 2016

#SingOpen Preview: What they said

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Sentosa, Singapore, January 26: Read what leading contenders have to say ahead of their challenge at this week's SMBC Singapore Open.
Jordan Spieth (Usa)
On Ryder Cup being the priority this year
Yeah, it’s an event that, as an American, for a while we’ve always wanted to win. We’re all very passionate about it just as Europeans are. We’ve had a really rough go at it and haven’t won that in quite a while now. The reason I’m so excited about this year is that I feel like American golf had a fantastic season last season. And I’m excited because I think it’s off to a good start this year as well. We’ve got a nice mix right now; it looks like a Ryder cup team with old and young guys, with veterans, and we just feel that in talking with a few of the other guys, especially the younger guys, there’s more passion this year and more confidence this year at least going in about nine months before than it seemed like we had two years ago. It’s going to be our own turf and it’s going to be really really fun to play a Ryder Cup in America, I’ve not experienced that and so that’s a huge goal for this season, but there is only so much I can individually do, but you  know, I need to do my part winning enough points to hopefully make up the difference with the rest of our team in bringing the Ryder Cup back to the US, which I felt we should have had four years ago. But hopefully this year is our year.
On being in Singapore so far, and the humidity affecting his game.
Since arriving yesterday, I’ve spent yesterday resting, just laying low trying to catch up on sleep, strength, hydration and long trips. Last night we went for a nice dinner and I got to see a little bit of what Sentosa Island has to offer…the…Resorts World? We walked around there to check it out a bit. I’m looking forward to getting into downtown Singapore at least one night to see what this island has to offer, it’s pretty unique and I’ve heard a lot about it over time. I’ve only heard great things about the city in Singapore
This golf course is ranked in the top 60 in the world which is pretty special. Once Thursday starts I don’t mind the humidity (and heat), I mean, I am used to it in the summer in Texas. It’s a bit more of a hit this time of the year because I’m not used to it, but that won’t be a problem getting down on the golf course. I’ve looked over the yardage book already and it looks like a tricky golf course so I’m going to need to get as much information as I can. I’m sure the wind will play be a factor, and sometimes the downfall in playing a couple of weeks in a row where you have to travel long distances in that you don’t play get the preparation or knowledge of golf course that you only have but we can still go with it.
On his goal for the Masters this year
To do what we did last year that’d be nice! Hopefully we have a nice momentum going into the Masters. I play a couple of weeks prior, so I’ll be running in as, I think, my third event in a row, which is normal for me there, that’s what it was last year.
Hopefully put myself in contention during at least one of the prior two weeks in either Austin or Houston two places that I’m very familiar with and build some confidence as I lead into the masters. But for now it’s trying to build strength up, trying to maintain everything we’ve started at the beginning of season, then once it’s a couple of weeks before I’ll start changing the plan. Physically, in the gym, what you’re doing, and practice-wise, I’ll probably do a little less in the gym and more maintenance, more practice leading into the Masters. We’ll try and do the same exact plan we had going last year.
On his toughest opponent at the Masters this year
Everyone in the Masters is certainly capable of winning, they’ve all won. It’s an event that you get some confidence early in the week, and normally the hardest part is the start to that week because we consider it the biggest and best tournament in the world. I consider it that way just personally because it’s what I thought about it growing up, so there’s those first team nerves. You know, you just want to get going and get started well, so if anybody does that, they’ll be able to feed that off the crowd and keep it going. As far as seeing one competitor, it’s too difficult to do so as there are so many great players that are going to be there this year.
On playing more games in Southeast Asia
There aren’t any plans yet as it’s very early to plan for this until it’s six to nine months in advance. I’ve spoken very highly of Thailand as it’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been, so there’s sureness of interest. And I wouldn’t be over here now if I weren’t interested in playing around the world
For me it doesn’t matter as long as somewhere it’s in the schedule too, if it fits the schedule. Bubba can come for a week in the middle of everything and it doesn’t affect him a whole lot. For me when I look at these events, I see the end of season or beginning of season schedule in order to make these trips to have more time and stay in the rhythm for the PGA Tour for the rest of the year.
On what success should look like to Jordan at the end of this year.
I want to talk about the goals that we set out as a team to specifically go into those; I want to you know, keep them between us as a team. There are specific goals on specific teams but I want to contend on the back of at least a couple of majors – that’s a goal.
And then when I look back at December I want to look back at the statistics from this season and say ok, in December this 2015, I wanted to improve this part of my game, this part of my game, this part of my game, and I wanted to maintain these other little parts. And I want to be able to look back at the end of the season and say, you know what, the parts that I singled out, I worked on and committed to, and we did improve it as a player in those categories and then hopefully maintain the rest. And the results are going to come if I can maintain the parts that I think are at the top of the game and then I continue to improve on weaknesses that I have. You know last season even in some of my best events I did have weaknesses, and if I can improve on those specifically then the results are going to follow this year.
On Japanese players
The quality of players that they have are is fantastic. The fact that the majority of Japanese players on the tour are kind of held within that part of the world, you got to think that so many of these young players are going to make it to the European tours and PGA tours. There’s really a ton of talent you’ve already seen and they’re able to travel and bring it over to the states to higher strength of fields and still win. That’s a trend you’ll continue to see.
Jeev Milkha Singh of India Jeev Milkha Singh of India
Jeev Milkha Singh (Ind)
It’s always fantastic to go back to a golf course where you have won before. Those memories come back to you and you feel really positive and you’re upbeat about playing that week.
My win here in 2008 was one of my biggest wins here in Asia and I’ll always cherish that as I love every moment of it. You got very positive vibes and you come here on a high.
The course is in fantastic condition and I know it’s going to be a really exciting week. My career has been good. I had a few injuries but I’ve always believed that next week is going to be a good week.
I’ve held that same thought process and it’s the same this week. I haven’t practiced much but it’s always good to sometimes start out fresh and I think it’s going to be a good year.
I played only three holes today before our practice was suspended as the lightning came and we had to leave the golf course.
But the greens are in fantastic conditions. The winds are going to blow and you need to know how to hit your shot.
The Asian golfers have lots of talent and they are capable of winning anywhere around the world. I just feel there could be an Asian winner this week.
We haven’t had the Singapore Open for the past three years. Since then, Asian golf has grown and there’s lots of depth and strength.
You will see more Asians winning around the world.
You become an underdog after you reach 40. It just the way you think and the attitude you have. I come into the week, telling myself it’s a new week and you just have to try to follow your routine and process and you take whatever comes your way.
If you put pressure on winning, it’ll be very tough. You just go out there and try to do your best and that win will come to you.
Mardan Mamat of Singapore Mardan Mamat of Singapore
Mardan Mamat (Sin)
It’s nice to have our National Open back on our schedule after three years. My preparations have been very good and I just had my practice rounds where the game’s shaping up really well.
I just have to work on my fitness levels and as for my shoulder injury, it’s getting better already and I’m almost 95% towards full fitness.
I’m sure there’ll be lots of expectations from the home crowd but I’m old enough to know how to handle these kind of pressure.
My advice to the young generation of local boys is to play your own game and be focused.  If they can do that, they should do well.
SMBCSO_Ben_An_01Byeonghun An (Kor)
This is my first time in Singapore. My caddy and I went out yesterday and it’s definitely a great city. I’ve not played the course yet but I heard lots of good things about the Serapong course and I’m just looking forward to the event and playing well.
I haven’t played that well since last December. Confidence plays a huge role and I know I just got to keep believing in myself. I took about three weeks off since the Thailand Golf Championship and I worked hard on my game.
I had a bit of confidence going into the EurAsia Cup two weeks ago and then also at Abu Dhabi. I love the hot weather than the cold so we’ll see what happens.