#ThaiGolfChamps-Preview What They Said

Wed 09 Dec 2015

#ThaiGolfChamps-Preview What They Said

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Chonburi, Thailand, December 9: Read what players have to say ahead of the US$1million Thailand Golf Championship, which starts on Thursday.
Lee Westwood (Eng) – Defending Champion
Yeah it's lovely to be back obviously. Winning last year makes it a bit more special. The golf course is in great condition again. Assembled a great field, so all set for a great week ahead. The forecast is looking good. Looking forward to getting going tomorrow. I've always played pretty well in Asia. That win in Indonesia earlier this year was the third time I've won that tournament. It will be nice to win this tournament for a third time too.
For me it's important to try and get into the top 50 in the world. So it's nice, a good field here and lots of points. It's always nice to come back to a tournament you've won, especially as the defending champion. But you try and treat it as just another week. But obviously I've won here a couple of times so my confidence is pretty high. The golf course fits my eye.
Darren Clarke (Irl)
The golf course has got a few changes this year. We have a new tee on the second and they have taken out a bunker on 15 and added bunkers on 16. Some subtle changes but the course is still looking very good. I know Jeev is very excited because he will confirm his Team Asia for EurAsia Cup after this week. I have got a strong young team with the addition of Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter as the two wildcard picks. It brings a great balance to the team.
I think it's wonderful to have the tournament part of The Open Qualifying Series. It's called The Open Championship for a reason. It gives people all around the world an opportunity to qualify and come and play. The Series that the R&A have now introduced around the world gives those opportunities. The more people that have the opportunity to come and play in The Open Championship, the better. That's how it should be.
Bubba Watson (Usa)
Last week was a good week, travelling here is a different week. I've never really played well here, I love it here, I love the golf course, I love the new tee on 2 and we enjoy taking the boat and feeding the fish to the number 17 green. It's always fun.
I did say earlier that I would quit playing the PGA Tour and I would just play some events here and there if I become number one in the world. But let's be honest, am I really going to become number one in the world? There's three good players in front of me that are way ahead of me. Even if I win this week I wouldn't catch any of them.
But at the same time, we've seen great athletes come back from retirement so I could always be persuaded. Michael Jordan did pretty well when he retired and came back so there's always that chance I could do that too. But again, am I going to be number one in the world? Probably not.
I got a new putter last Monday. I left Tuesday to go to the Bahamas. We changed the line. I've been putting with a PING putter for 30 years and had a line, so we took the line away and put a dot on top. Tried to change my eye sight, have more of an athletic putting stroke and not worry about a mechanical putting stroke.
That's how I play golf. I never had a lesson, so it's not mechanical. When I play golf, it's more athletic. So that's what I'm trying to do with my putting as well. Obviously it's only one week, we can make putts for one week, but can we make them for a whole career? That's the key. But it worked for the first week.
The dot is just there to line up and put the ball in the middle of the clubface. So I'm just trying to be more athletic so not too mechanical and putt down the line.
The golf course is beautiful and the fans treat us really nice. The tournament is always getting better each year. When you are able to bring in the qualifying for The Open Championship, it means the tournament is going in the right direction. They are trying to grow the tournament and grow the game of golf. It’s good to see.
Thongchai Jaidee (Tha)
I will try my best and win this week. No Thais has done it before. I want to try and keep the trophy at home. This is a great event. It’s always nice to have home support. We have a very strong field this year. The golf course is in a great condition and I enjoy playing with the star players here.
The season has been great so far. I have got some decent results in China last month. I hope I can play well this week. That will be the key for me. Everyone is playing under the same course conditions so we will see what happens.
We have a lot of good young players coming into the scene in Thailand. It’s great to see players like Danthai Boonma and Natipong Srithong winning on the Asian Tour in their rookie years. I hope to see more players like them emerging in future.
I believe this week will be a good experience for them, especially getting the opportunities to play against some of the world’s best players. I hope it will give them more confidence to do better in future.
With the strong field lined up this week, it will be a good challenge for the young players to try and contend and see where they stand. I hope they enjoy the tournament this week.
Danthai Boonma (Tha)
I am really excited! I am glad I have the opportunity to play against some global stars this week. The course is in a good condition. This is a great event and I am looking forward to playing this week.
I hope I can play well this week. Given the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points on offer, it will be a great boost to my ranking if I finish well. Winning in Singapore last month has opened up a lot of opportunities for me. It has given me a lot of confidence in my game as well.
It would mean a great deal if I can secure one of the four spots to The Open next year. I don’t want to think too much about it. It’s not going to be easy, given the course conditions and the strong field this week but I will definitely try my best. I just want to enjoy this week.
Danny Chia (Mas)
The game’s good. My coach, Steven Giuliano, is on my bag for the first time this week. I actually wanted him to get into the ropes with me to see what else I need to do to improve my game. It’s going to be an interesting week.
The golf course is playing long but I will try my best to cap a good week as I need a good result to secure my place at the EurAsia Cup. It’s a tournament which I have never play before and I really want to try and get in as it’s a big event at home. I want to experience it.
But having said that, even without the EurAsia Cup, I will still try to do well this week as the Thailand Golf Championship is one of the major events on the Asian Tour and we’ve got some of the world’s top golfers in the field too.