TGC preview What They Said

Wed 10 Dec 2014

TGC preview What They Said

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Q. You are the highest ranked player this week and will surely want to put on a good show for the galleries here?
Bubba WATSON: Yes I finished second here a couple years ago, obviously watching Sergio beating everyone last year. That’s why we’re here, we’re here to try and win a great golf tournament and trying to hit some good shots for the galleries here and hopefully you know grow the game of golf across the world.
Q. We know the tournament in Shanghai last month was your first win outside the US
WATSON: Hopefully I don’t double bogey the 17th hole and have to chip-in out of the bunker. You know obviously I’d love to play that good because I was able to drive it really nicely in China and made a few putts. So hopefully I’ll go out and perform at a high level like that. You know with great talent like these guys right here it’s always tough to win against great players like this.
Q. This is your first event playing at home this year. I’m sure you are excited to be here
THONGCHAI Jaidee: Yes, I’m glad to be back. You know I spent a lot of time outside Thailand. It would be almost three months and I spent a lot of time outside the country and I played a lot of golf. The Thailand Golf Championship is a great competition with Bubba, Sergio, Martin and Lee and you know also I look forward to see what they will do this week and good luck for this week and enjoy the tournament and also welcome to Thailand.
Q. It’s been a fantastic year for you Thongchai?
THONGCHAI: Yes I think this year is the best year of my life and I made the top-30 on the Official World Golf Ranking and this year is my most consistent year and I played a lot of golf and really was consistent in golf this year and my performance was very consistent this year. I try to give my best.
Q. Sergio 12 months ago you lifted the TGC trophy here at Amata Spring. It must be special to come back here.
Sergio GARCIA: Yeah it’s always nice to be back here. I think Sarath and all these people take good care of us throughout the week. It’s a really nice tournament to come play. It is always nice coming to Thailand and we always enjoy it, have some nice holidays here, so it’s great fun to be back here.
Q. Who do you see as the biggest threat from the Asian players?
GARCIA: Well like you said I think the level of golf in Asia is growing very strongly and very rapidly. You see a lot of Asian players coming on Tour and in Europe. And obviously you have Thongchai and he’s always great out there. There are a great group of Asian guys, Thai guys that come out there and have a chance to win.
Q. Martin, what do you think of Thailand so far?
Martin KAYMER: To be honest what I was very surprised about, was to see the people and how proud they are, how proud Thongchai is to be a host. You usually go from country to country but here you know you really see the people how supportive they are, how supportive of golf they are so you know I really think it will be a successful week for us. I’m glad to see so many international players, I think it makes Thongchai proud, so yeah it will be a good week.
Q. Martin you said yesterday you are here to win and that’s why you are here…
KAYMER: I think that’s the main goal for all of us, you know we come to every tournament we all want to win, we don’t just come to show up you know that’s not in our nature you know that’s why we are some of the best players in the world. We come here to win we want to perform well and I know it’s going to be difficult. You see the guys on the range they all practice just to be successful on Sunday afternoon. I think you have to take the ultimate goal in order to get the best out of yourself, and that’s why I said yesterday I came here to win. Basically winning is my hope and my wish.
Q. Thongchai you had an amazing putt last week do you think you can recreate that?
JAIDEE: Definitely not the putting…it was luck. That putt was a 100-foot putt, the longest in my life. With a putt like that normally a two putt would be good normally I three putt from there! Everything last week was great. Putting is the focus of all the players. For me golf is completely unpredictable.
Q. Sergio, you began the week with a touch of flu how you feeling?
GARCIA: It’s a little better just a sore throat but I had a really nice Jacuzzi bath and I think it helped me. I’m going to try to do it again today.
Q. Sergio, about your caddie?
GARCIA: She’s here, Kathy’s here. We talked about it a little bit and Juan Carlos is one of my best friends and obviously he loves golf and he’s a good player himself. He’s a three handicap so he knows what he’s doing and you know we thought it would be a nice idea to have him caddie this week for him to experience and you know obviously after the tournament we’re going for five days to Phuket and so have a nice little holiday here in Thailand. It kind of fits in nicely to be able to do it. But I know that my girlfriend wants to be back on the bag some time.
Q. Martin on Open how much are you looking forward to playing St Andrews next year?
KAYMER:  First, I think it’s a great opportunity for a lot of the Asian players to follow Thongchai a little bit. Obviously he has played a few majors before, he has played The Open before and he knows how great it is to play that event and hopefully some of the Asian players will get that experience too. For myself it’s my favorite golf course in the world really. No human has really distracted any nature there yet, and a great experience. I won the 2010 Alfred Dunhill, I was very close at The Open that year as well, just the whole spirit of the town the history for me that is really what golf is all about. So for me it’s really going to be one of the best major years of my career so far. Obviously the Open is the only major we have in Europe and for a European, at least I can speak for myself, it would be a great honor one day to lift that trophy especially at St Andrews.
Q. Bubba, did your win at Shanghai give you a little incentive of enthusiasm for tournaments overseas
WATSON: I’ve always wanted to just play golf so when I come overseas I just look forward to competing at a high level and trying to win. You know this is my third year here in Thailand, I love the people I love the golf course I love the atmosphere around here and so winning it just gave me confidence that I can win outside the United States. It didn’t make me want to add tournaments to my schedule overseas, but it made me want to prepare better when I do come outside, just like Martin was saying, you know lifting a trophy at the British Open at St. Andrews would be a dream come true, so obviously just competing outside the United States is a dream come true but trying to hold a trophy like I did in China made it pretty special.
Q. Bubba, you said the rough can be thicker than US Open
WATSON: Well you probably should ask Sergio since he’s won here, you know it’s a very tough golf course the way the wind blows, the rough last year was one of the toughest rough we’ve seen all year in all of the tournaments we played, very thick very tough to hit out of, so ball position is key. Sergio hits a lot of fairways, last year I’m pretty sure he hit a lot of fairways and you have to make putt, it comes down to putting but you know fairways are the first key especially with this golf course and this rough so you can position the ball on the green in the right place and then try and make your ten footers around this golf course and that’s the key to winning around her. Hitting fairways and then making your ten footers, keep the round going.
David Lipsky (Usa)
Of course, I hope to lock it up and have an unassailable lead by the end of the week. I already have a pretty good lead right now and if I continue to play well, which I’m already doing, it should take care of business. Anirban and Prom would really need to play pretty well this week in order to catch me and give themselves a chance for next week. As long as I play solid, that’s all that matters. The course is playing pretty wet right now and if the wind picks up, it’ll be advantageous to the longer hitters. I don’t really hit it short so I don’t really mind that.
Anirban Lahiri (Ind)
I’ve done well here last year and won The Open Championship International Final Qualifying in 2012 here so this is a place where I’ve done well. I always feel nice when I return to Amata Spring.
It has always been about finding the fairways because the golf course is so long and if you are not on the fairways, it is very difficult to give yourself birdie chances. This week if you don’t hit the fairways, you are not even going to look at par chances because the rough is really, really long. The ones that are going to hit more fairways are the ones who are going to score.
I’m a bit low on gas right now but I’ve been smart in how I’ve been preparing for my events. I just played the pro-am here this week. I’ve cut down on my preparations leading up to an event so I can rest a bit more. I’m quite happy with how I’m feeling physically. I’ve played seven weeks in a row before but this is probably the first time I’m doing nine weeks.
Given that I’m not used to playing so many weeks, I’m happy with how my body held up so far.
I’m trying to chase so many targets down. I’m trying to chase the Order of Merit crown, breaking into the top-50 in the world. I had to try to go and get on the European Tour, that’s why I went to Qualifying School instead of taking a break.
There is so much to play for and a lot at stake. I’m happy with my results and how I played. It is funny because there are so many different targets. At the end of the day, all you have to do is play good golf and it takes care of everything. At the end of the day I’m going to go out there and play my best.