Stars hail #HoTramOpen

Tue 01 Dec 2015

Stars hail #HoTramOpen

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Ho Tram, Vietnam, December 1: The Asian Tour stars have hailed the Ho Tram Open, saying the US$1.5 million event has lived up to its billing as ‘Asia’s Grandest Stage.’
The golfers have enjoyed star treatments since arriving for the inaugural Asian Tour event, which starts on Thursday, and were captivated by the stunning award-winning The Bluffs Ho Tram Strip course.
Chiragh Kumar of India, who won his first Asian Tour title last month, said: “It’s a wonderful links-styled golf course and it’s in such great condition. I think this must be one of the best golf courses that we play on every year.
“The wind here will certainly be a factor and you need to control your golf shots this week. You can score in the morning as it’s hardly any wind then and it picks up in the afternoon. It’ll be an interesting week and a great place to be,” he added.
Asian Tour winner Berry Henson of the United States believes The Bluffs Ho Tram Strip course will offer a different challenge this week.
“There’s a links feel to it, it’s open and there are no trees. It’s built on natural sand dunes and it’s definitely different from most Asian courses. It’s a good test. The condition of the course is remarkable. The staff here has done a great job. For a first year event, they seem to have crossed all the ‘ts’ and dotted all the ‘I’s,” said Henson.
(L-R) Hole 8 and 2 The Bluffs Ho Tram (L-R) Hole 8 and 2 The Bluffs Ho Tram
“I played 18 here and it’s a great Greg Norman design. I’ve played a bunch of Norman designs and it really gives you the opportunity to go for the par fives. If you miss it and go a little off line, you get penalised. The par threes here are really good holes. It’s not long off the tee but the wind will make the course tough this week,” he added.
Thai rising star Jazz Janewattananond, who turned 20 last week, hopes his first Asian Tour win will come at the Ho Tram Open.
“This is one of the best venues in Asia I think, one of the greatest. The course design is very good, condition is perfect. It’s windy because we’re next to the ocean and I think we’ll have a good test this week. There are a lot of good holes on the golf course. It’s a links-styled course and certainly one of the best on Tour,” said Jazz.
The 41-year-old Lin Wen-tang of Chinese Taipei, a six-time Asian Tour winner, was delighted to make his first appearance in Vietnam. He is anticipating a challenging week in the windy conditions.
“The greens here are very undulating but this golf course is a beauty. It’s also very windy here and you just feel good here as the golf course looks fantastic. It’s my first time visiting Vietnam and I’m happy to be here on a beautiful golf course. We don’t get a chance to play on such a golf course on the Asian Tour. It’s great to see a new US$1.5 million tournament on the Asian Tour. It’s good for all of us,” said Lin.
Chikka S of India, ranked 66th on the Order of Merit, says he is not feeling any pressure this week as he needs a good result to break into the top-60 by the end of the year to retain his Tour card.
“This is my first time here and this golf course is beautiful. I’m so impressed with how the way the golf course is set-up. You have many interesting par threes and par fives and with the course facing the ocean, it makes this course very picturesque. It is amazing here.
“The whole property itself is great. Coming out here and looking at the facilities and how they welcomed the players is phenomenal. I would say that this is one of the best events I’ve played in my career so far,” said Chikka.
Englishman Oliver Wilson, who holds one win in Europe, is looking forward to his appearance at the Ho Tram Open. “I got in last night and received a five-star arrival,” beamed the 35-year-old Wilson.
“It’s paradise really, a stunning setting. It’s fantastic to be here. I played nine holes this morning and it’s very interesting. It’ll be a fun course to play. It’s windy and you’ve got to really think your way around the course. You need to have strategy and to be in the right places. I know they are trying to make it as good as possible – Asia’s Grandest Stage – and so far from what I’ve seen, I’ve got to agree.”
Ends.