The Championship Preview:What They Said

Wed 30 Apr 2014

The Championship Preview:What They Said

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Singapore, April 30: Read what players have to say ahead of The Championship at Laguna National which starts on Thursday.
MARDAN MAMAT (SIN)
It’s nice to be back here obviously since I have won the Singapore Masters on this course back in 2006. That was one of my biggest victories so far. Coming back to play here again has definitely brought back a lot of memories. It was a great win in 2006 because it happened on home soil.
I will try my best and hopefully I can repeat the win this week!
I have initially made my travel arrangements to Korea but it was changed to Singapore three weeks ago. It’s good and bad for me. The bad thing is i lost some money from the air tickets to Korea which I have bought earlier. The good thing is I get to play on home soil and on a course which I’ve won before.
I think the Laguna National Golf and Country Club has done a great job in putting everything together within such a short period of time.
I was struggling with my swing at the beginning of the year but I am slowly getting better. I am very comfortable playing on this golf course.
ANIRBAN LAHIRI (IND)
Last week in Indonesia was a great result for me. I have to focus on what needs to be done next. This event is a great opportunity for me to step up another level in my game. One of my goals was to play in Europe and move up on my world rankings. There is still a lot to play for this week.
I left India for the Malaysian Open two weeks ago thinking that the tournament this week will be held in Korea. I ended up bringing all my sweaters and jackets to Singapore this week. I guess this is part and parcel of our lives on Tour. I am just happy that we still get to play this tournament. We have got a lot to thank for to still have the opportunity to play this week.  I will try my best to win this week.
This is my first time playing on this course. It’s a really good track. If I have to compare this course to the Black Stone in Korea, I think both courses are really different. The grass is different and the weather is different. This course at Laguna National is a little bit shorter. I’ve played nine holes yesterday and 18 holes in the Pro-Am today, the greens are really rolling good. There are a lot of scoring opportunities out there. Anybody who is putting well and playing their iron good can score.
I’ve set out goals at the beginning of the year hoping to get into top 50 in the world. I think last week’s win has put me closer to the goal but there is still a long way to go. Hopefully I can win again this week to get into top 60 to qualify for the US Open. I need to refocus this week and try to perform again. There is a lot to play for and I’ve got a lot to look forward to. I’ve got a lot of confidence in my game coming to this week.
My other goal is to contend for the Asian Tour Order of Merit this year. Last week’s win put me in a great position to contend for it. This week will be a good opportunity for me to do well as well.
KANG SUNG-HOON (KOR)
It’s good to see Noh Seung-yul winning on the PGA Tour last week. The Koreans are definitely making an impression in the world golf scene. I would love to do well this week but all the people in Korea right now is depressed with the ferry disaster a couple of weeks ago. I will just do my best this week and get my best result. Hopefully it can serve as a consolation for them back home. I will continue to pray for the souls of the departed.
BRETT RUMFORD (AUS)
Well, I think it was 2007 that we last played here so it has been a while, but with the technology changes it is playing a lot shorter and the rough is not as long. I always remember this being a tough test of your driving ability. It was a driver’s golf course. The greens being so grainy and firm and fast, there was a premium on hitting fairway. From what I’ve seen the rough is cut down and it is a bit more playable so the emphasis of getting the ball in play is not as great, but there is a lot of sand and a lot of water out there, so you have to drive fairly well. But it is playing considerably shorter. As far as the feelings coming into the week, it is nice to defend. Obviously it is a shame that it’s not back at a course where I won, but I’ve played well around here before and I’m looking forward to it.
The course in Korea really suited my game and I really enjoyed it. There were plenty of birdies to be made and it was a wedges golf course. The emphasis wasn’t on driving in Korea. This is a different course, but it is my second week back before the run heading into Europe. I’ve not played that much this year. This is a stepping stone. It’s great to defend, but this is probably more a case of warming up and getting match practice in.
Winning is really, really tough. I think it is so hit and miss. For most of us there are a good four to seven times you have a chance of winning in a season. Sometimes you finish 25th but it is much closer than that. The margins are so fine. You can be playing great all week but be nowhere near the lead. You just need that run to get you in the tournament. The mind-set is a feeling. Players experience the hunger to play well at different times.
BERND WIESBERGER (AUT)
It’s nice to be back in Singapore. I really enjoyed the city. We are fortunate to have the tournament from what I’ve heard. We lost the tournament at Blackstone, which was a shame for me as I’d played well there for two years. But it is great to be here in Singapore and we have to pay a great deal of credit to everyone for setting up a tournament like this in such a short period of time.
I’ve not played too much golf this year and when I have, I’ve not played too well except for my top ten in Dubai. So I’ve been looking forward to the Asian swing. I’ve always played well over here and that is what I’ve done that last two weeks, finishing second in KL and tenth last week in Indonesia. So the form is alright, I’ve been making some birdies, and let’s hope I can continue doing that this week.
With the bigger purses the last two weeks, they attract the bigger celebrities on Tour. But this is a great event, with a lot of good players who can chase for the title. The general depth of talent, not only on the European Tour but also on the Asian Tour, is great. With the conditions this week being different – it is quite difficult grass to play on – it definitely suits the Asian guys who are used to playing on it. Still, it is a great chance for a number of us, even none winners, to compete for a great title. I’ve been a first time winner in this event in Korea, so I don’t see why someone can’t be in Singapore this week.