#UBSHKOpen Rd 1 What They Said

Thu 08 Dec 2016

#UBSHKOpen Rd 1 What They Said

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Rafa Cabrera-Bello (Esp) – First Round 64 (-6)
Q. At the end, spectacular way to finish a round, isn't it?
RAFA CABRERA-BELLO: Yeah, that was nice. I had perfect distance, hit really good shot and was surprised to see it go in. But I had never really finished a round like that, and felt nice.
Q. And it was going to be a good day, anyway, can't it, flawless and picking up the birdies when you could?
RAFA CABRERA-BELLO: I played really smart today, made very little mistakes, even though I hit every green, pretty much all of them, didn't give myself in trouble off the tee. I was in control of the round all day and putted nicely, too, so it was nice work out there.
Q. In the build up to the tournament, you said about how nice it would be to follow the fellow Spaniards into the victory circle; how much of a pleasure was it to play alongside Miguel today?
RAFA CABRERA-BELLO: Yeah, it's always a pleasure to play besides him and obviously here where he has had so much success and you see why. He played good himself, too. He had a couple dropped shots that kind of broke the momentum for him, but he's playing good and he'll be back in the leaderboard soon.
Q. I take it when you see the two of you together, and not that you necessarily have this appreciation when you're out there, but different styles, but still can work on the same golf course?
Rafa Cabrera Bello of Spain Rafa Cabrera Bello of Spain
RAFA CABRERA-BELLO: Yes, I mean, it's nice to play with him. He's been extremely successful in his career. He has a very charismatic way of playing golf, very precise, very accurate, and this is a course that demands that.
I am a slightly different player and I consider myself very complete through the entire bag, and always find something that can help me play good and play consistent and I managed to do that today.
Q. And getting strategy right around here?
RAFA CABRERA-BELLO: Yes, it's all about position, position, position, and rolling one or two putts and I did that very good today.
David Lipsky (Usa) - First Round 66 (-4)
Q. Is that a good start to the Fanling event?
DAVID LIPSKY: Yeah, it's a great start. I'm second place right now and it felt like I didn't play too well today. I just made some putts and got up-and-down, so I just kept the moment actual going and kept myself in it.
Q. There was a lovely purple patch, birdie after birdie after birdie, and you were really picking up the scores.
DAVID LIPSKY: My putter got hot. I holed some really nice putts in that stretch and I hit one close. It was overdue I felt like. I haven't had a stretch like that in a while.
Q. Had it begun playing on your mind?
DAVID LIPSKY: The last few events it was very flat, so it's nice to get something going.
Q. What makes you spark?
DAVID LIPSKY: Holing putts. Just seeing the ball go in the hole. That solves all the problems.
Q. Does it help where you're back at a place where you've visited on numerous occasions?
DAVID LIPSKY: I love it here. This is one of my favourite courses we play all year. To come out here and play well, I'm pretty pleased with how everything went.
Q. Probably speaks for itself but what makes it one of the favourites?
DAVID LIPSKY: Just the conditions of the course, firm and fast. You have to really control your ball around here. It's not a bomber's course by any means, so that sort of suits me. But I love it.
Q. And as well as holing those putts, was that a case of what worked today, you put it in the right positions to give the chances?
DAVID LIPSKY: Exactly. I missed it on the right side of the pins which really helps, helps you get up-and-down and hole putts. Hopefully I keep doing that the rest of the week.
Q. It is the start of 2017 for The European Tour; how do you reflect on your year?
DAVID LIPSKY: It's been a pretty good year. I finished in the Top 15 in Race to Dubai and had a really good stretch to the end of the season and that's all I could hope for. I feel like my game is rounding into form, so hopefully we can take that into next year. I'm looking forward to it.
Paul Peterson (Usa) – First Round 66 (-4)
Q. Paul, your thoughts on your start here at Fanling?
PAUL PETERSON: It was a nice start today. Rolled the ball really, really well. Put a new putter in play the last couple weeks ago and just been working really hard on my putting back home in the States and paid off today.
Q. Is it a putter that just felt right?
PAUL PETERSON: It's been something that I've been kind of working on for the right time, getting the right look. Actually travelled to San Diego to see Scottie Cameron Ron -- well, his partner down there in Carlsbad. We got some new sight line options for me and it seems to be working, so hats off to those guys.
I wasn't really a fan of the line, so we switched to a dot on top, and it's just letting me use my math make a little bit more. The linear just wasn't working for me. So yeah, it's working.
Q. And it's working here to the effect that I think that's your best score, isn't it, at Fanling?
PAUL PETERSON: It is, yeah. My goal was to kind of get it to between three and 5-under for the first two rounds, and to kind of meet that first day was great.
So I came off sinus surgery a few weeks back and haven't really done much, and so expectations are low and just trying to have fun with Luke and kind of get in our own little world. It was cool to see some putts drop.
Q. That surgery, successful?
PAUL PETERSON: Yes, very. Energy is so much better. Can breathe, I don't remember the last time I breathed this well. So it was nice to feel good and be energized and definitely felt a lot better coming overseas. Just felt like I recovered faster, so it's been good.
Q. Does that mean it was inhibiting out on the course, depending what the weather conditions were like?
PAUL PETERSON: I think so. Mainly I couldn't get rid of pressure on airplanes, which was really painful at times. It was just something I've had to push back because I've wanted to get my status in Asia and it was get status in Europe and just not having the time to do it.
So took advantage of the break and no, I feel great.
Q. Given that we're in the back end of 2016 and a 2017 season for Europe, but do you reflect with great fondness, having got that first victory in the Czech Masters, as well?
PAUL PETERSON: Yeah, there's not really too many days that go by where I don't think about it. It meant a lot to me and it seemed like it was good timing with the Rolex Series now coming out and those things.
So good timing and great memories. Hope to get in contention a little bit more this year.
Q. What is the logo?
PAUL PETERSON: A caddie passed away on the ladies tour in Dubai, so we're paying respects to him.
Q. Did you know him?
PAUL PETERSON: No. Didn't know him. It's just I think it's kind of a traveling family out here. We're all trying to do our best out here and it's sad to see someone who has worked hard for players out here pass away, and the fact that we've had two in two weeks isn't great with Pedro down in Africa. It's sad for the caddies and the friendships that they have created; to have two guys go in two weeks is really sad.
Q. How many times have you played here?
PAUL PETERSON: This is my third time here. So yeah, I had a good round going on Friday of last year. Unfortunately missed the cut but knew that I can get it going out here. I've always liked the golf course. I just haven't played it as well as I felt like I should and just, yeah, had a good day today.
Q. Do you feel it's a course that should suit you or maybe it hasn't in the past?
PAUL PETERSON: Yeah, that's kind of how I feel. It sets up good for me. You know, it's relatively tight which suits me, because I'm not the longest guy in the world. It benefits good putters, so I've just always felt like I underachieved a little bit out here a little bit.
Sam Brazel of Australia Sam Brazel of Australia
Sam Brazel (Aus) – First Round 66 (-4)
Q. Sam, how is that to start with the six birdies and a nice decent score?
SAM BRAZEL: It was a great, sort of a flow on from last week. Sort of found a bit of confidence and it's nice to play well.
Q. And a good kind of score around Fanling?
SAM BRAZEL: Yeah, look, I think I like the layout. It's a bit old school sort of layout, so I really like that.
Q. And you really do feel the confidence from last week, you say?
SAM BRAZEL: Yeah, it's been good. It's been sort of building, so it's nice.
Q. How has it built? How have you felt the game is coming together?
SAM BRAZEL: I've got some new equipment a month ago, some new irons, and really starting to find my groove with them I guess. It's nice.
Q. I'm sure you're positive any week, but is it all the more positive coming into here with a course that you must know particularly well?
SAM BRAZEL: Yeah, last week was really good, and obviously the new irons are building a little bit of confidence, as well. I played well here last year, as well, so it was nice.
Q. What is it that you have to do well around Fanling?
SAM BRAZEL: I think you've got to hit a lot of greens. I think if you start missing greens, you're in big trouble around here.
Thongchai Jaidee (Tha) - First Round 67 (-3)
Q. How did that 3-under feel?
THONGCHAI JAIDEE: I played a solid day today. I hit a lot of greens. Don't miss much on the fairways. Only two fairways missing, just fringe. We had a solid, solid round today. I never hit like this since my two months ago. I had a solid round today. Never miss a green. I hit a lot of greens, 16 greens today. Certainly two holes, missed just front edge and I think I never see in my golf swing like this, in two or three, four months. That's why we catch up a little bit. We had a new iron, anyway, this week.
Q. Did you do anything to change?
THONGCHAI JAIDEE: I have a new ball this week, first week. That's why I'm confident with this ball, give me a little more trajectory and hit the ball higher and land softer. I think the good thing about the ball is it gives me five yards longer than normal and I think more carry and soft feel, very confident. We had a new iron together, makes me like more confident. That's why makes me -- something happens with putting.
Putting is very difficult to read. I hit a lot of good shots, should be 3- or 4-under, like five-hole start, but unfortunately don't putt well.
Q. You've been here many, many years in Hong Kong and you've had many good results. Do you feel like every time you come here, you always play well and have confidence to putt in some good numbers?
THONGCHAI JAIDEE: Yes, sir, because we know the course very well, the first thing. Other thing, we confident we shape the shots on this golf course. You don't need to hit a lot of driver. That's why you have to shape because the fairway is very tight and gives me very confident to play the golf course.
On the green is very important, because the pins very tight today. The pins are so tough on the back nine. That's why you can see the score, not make very many low score the first round. Normally you can see 7 and 8, but the golf course condition is fantastic. No complaints at all.
Q. The last few months, have you really been disappointed with your results and your game?
THONGCHAI JAIDEE: That's why, you know, we struggle in putting, and the long game a little bit. We couldn't make any consistent back but today, completely this today is a lot different. You can feel, you know, we hit a lot of greens. You don't make any 3-putts -- even my par 5, I have two on, anyway. I'm confident catch up a little bit the next three days.
Q. This wouldn't be a bad event for you to finish the year strongly.
THONGCHAI JAIDEE: I try to. I know I have to play well this week to finish in the Top-50 in the World Ranking to get in the Masters. I don't put pressure on. I do my game and I try to get my confidence, like hit the ball to the fairway and then hit on the green, make the putt. The putting, putting well can be low score. If not well, then we try again my best.
Q. How pleased are you to see the UBS Hong Kong Open grow into this big tournament that we have here today? I'm sure you've seen the improvements every year, right?
THONGCHAI JAIDEE: I've been here many years. Started to play here since I think 1999. Start every year, definitely. We've been here more than ten years. I think I know UBS is very important, a lot of events for golf. They know how to see all the players, and you can see all the crowd, the support for the tournament. You can see how they improved. That's why a lot of the players come to support this tournament.
Q. And how about the golf course? Some players are saying that this is the best condition they have seen Fanling.
THONGCHAI JAIDEE: Yes, I agree, because this time it's more cool and the golf course had good maintenance. I think before the golf course had bad weather, but this week is a good time for this tournament. The weather is nice, cool and I think everyone is so happy to be here.
Juvic Pagunsan (Phi) – First Round 67 (-3)
Q. What's with you and the UBS Hong Kong Open that you always come here and play well?
JUVIC PAGUNSAN: Maybe I just got lucky today. I make birdie at the last three holes, 7, 8,9.
Q. How were conditions out there? Was it good for scoring?
JUVIC PAGUNSAN: I think so, yeah. Today it's a perfect weather for golf, yeah.
Q. And tell me a little bit about those three straight birdies.
JUVIC PAGUNSAN: I had a good drive on hole No. 7. Usually most players laid up there. I hit a good drive, second shot, like one feet, and then make a birdie.
Then hole No. 8, I missed a little bit left. It's on the green-side but I managed to make a good putt there.
I made a birdie again on hole No. 9. I had a long birdie putt again coming up from the back, going back to the flag, and then got lucky on the last three holes, yeah.
Q. When you come back to Hong Kong, do you always feel happy after finishing second, that few years ago?
JUVIC PAGUNSAN: Yeah, of course. You know, Hong Kong, it's a memorable tournament for me.
Q. What is it about the golf course that fits you?
JUVIC PAGUNSAN: I think this course, you know, if you hit like people hit straight, good putting, maybe can score very good on this course.
Q. You've got a perfect start now, not too far off the leaders. Does this sort of like set you the right mood for the next few days?
JUVIC PAGUNSAN: We'll see. You know, every day it's a different day. So I just concentrate, just keep the ball in the fairway, make putts, if I have an opportunity.
Ian Poulter (Eng) – First Round 68 (-2)
Ian Poulter of England Ian Poulter of England
Q. What are your thoughts on a start like this?
IAN POULTER: A little bit annoyed to be honest with you, because the start was actually quite nice, 3-under through four. And then missed three or four chances after that to really extend a nice birdie run. Didn't happen. Mental error on 18 with a 9-iron in hand. Should be really aggressive; I wasn't. Poor focus led to a bogey, a bogey there.
And a 9-iron on the second led to another mistake; mental error. And another mental error on the next par 3.
So three mental error mistakes there were very costly, three bogeys. A simple up-and-down for me at 9, just short of the green after a poor tee shots are just pitching up the green, didn't hit a good tee shot, didn't hit a good pitch shot and subsequently made another bogey.
So I'm really annoyed. I'm probably going to need to go to a padded room for about half an hour, and then I'll be all right.
Q. It sounds most unlike you to make mental errors.
IAN POULTER: No, not in the last couple of years. I've made way too many. It's really getting on my nerves at the moment. I'm getting frustrated on the course which doesn't help and I've got every right to be annoyed. Especially after getting off to a decent start like that. It's unlike me; I shouldn't be making those mistakes and I need to rectify it.
Q. After an hour in a padded cell will you appreciate the foundation isn't bad for the week?
IAN POULTER: No, I'm going to be an angry man until I feel I get myself back in position. It's disappointing because I'm putting some work in and I'm doing some great stuff, and I'm not getting the rewards because my brain is getting in the way. So I just need to move that middle Inc. Square cube over a little bit in between my ears and we might be all right.
Steve Lewton (Eng) – First Round 68 (-2)
Q. Steve, how good a start is this at Fanling?
STEVE LEWTON: Oh, brilliant. I played really solid tee-to-green. I just played, well, I missed a few putts, but I gave myself a lot of looks today which was nice.
Q. And an eagle 2 in the process.
STEVE LEWTON: Yeah, that was even better. I just bogeyed the previous hole and then hit 6-iron from 202 I think, and it was on-line, but I thought it might be really short but it just reached, so very fortunate.
Q. Did you see it drop?
STEVE LEWTON: Yes, I did. I was a bit excited when it went in.
Q. I imagine there was excitement which when you see your name moving up that leaderboard on day one, as well.
STEVE LEWTON: Yeah, it's exciting. Great place, Hong Kong, love being here, and long may it continue.
Q. It's a tricky week. Do you put all thoughts of that aside and just get on with the game?
STEVE LEWTON: Yeah, trying to save my Asian Tour card for the year. Definitely a good start and see how we go from here.
Q. How are you coping in this part of the world as a nice Englishman?
STEVE LEWTON: Yeah, it's different. Took me awhile to get used to the weather. First couple years was difficult, playing in 90-degree heat most of the time but the humidity was the difficult thing and the grass was difficult, different types of grass, takes a while to get used to chipping and putting. Once you get your head around that, you have a chance.
Q. And once you get away from the golf, it's quite a life, isn't it?
STEVE LEWTON: It's very different. It's great food, great people and fantastic places to visit.
Q. Which means saving and securing this card means even more?
STEVE LEWTON: Yeah, exactly. Need to be pushing the next three days, so see how we get on:
Jazz Janewattananond (Tha) – First Round 69 (-1)
Q. Jazz, thoughts on your score today?
JAZZ JANEWATTANANOND: Started off the round pretty well, but didn't quite finish it. But 1-under for the first round is not bad. It's a fair start.
Q. Are you finding that you're getting more experienced at playing around here and knowing what you have to do at Hong Kong Golf Club?
JAZZ JANEWATTANANOND: Yes, but this golf course is still really tricky. You need to hole putts, and the challenge of this course is the greens. It's very hard to hole putts, too. Experience doesn't help much.
Q. Do you find that you have to reign it in a bit rather than be too aggressive, you have to play strategically?
JAZZ JANEWATTANANOND: Yes, you can't be too aggressive. You have to just let it drop in the hole here because the greens are getting faster every day, too.
Q. Lovely conditions to play, isn't it, for the first morning?
JAZZ JANEWATTANANOND: Well, I didn't expect it to be this cold this morning. I came off the bus and I was like, wow, this is cold for Asia.
Q. Elaborate a little on your position in the tournament, because for a first day, that is good. It's a good foundation for the week.
JAZZ JANEWATTANANOND: It's a decent start, I would say. It's a good position to move forward for my next two rounds.