#UBSHKOpen Rd 4 What They Said

Sun 11 Dec 2016

#UBSHKOpen Rd 4 What They Said


Sam Brazel (Aus) - Final Round 68, Total 267 (-13)

CHUAH CHOO CHIANG: Sam, tell us what's going through your minds after that one and a half hours that you've had.

SAM BRAZEL: I'm still in a little bit of shock. Yeah, no words really. There's some seriously good names on that trophy, and it great to be part of it I guess. A lot of history at this event. A lot of great history at this golf club, and been great to play well this week and be part of that.

CHUAH CHOO CHIANG: You played some of your best golf on the back nine and you looked so calm all day. Tell us, how were you feel inside?

SAM BRAZEL: To be honest, I was a bit of a nervous wreck. But I've got some good procedures going at the moment, just smiling and trying to have fun. It seems to be working.

I think my golf game is in pretty good shape at the moment, and it's been fun to play this well.

Sam Brazel of Australia Sam Brazel of Australia

CHUAH CHOO CHIANG: Looking back now, the shot into 18, that must really rank really high up in your life right now.

SAM BRAZEL: It does. It was kind of unexpected. I was trying to take it over the middle of the bunker at the front of the green there and just play safe really. Hit it a little bit thin and a little bit right, but we'll take it.

The satisfying part was the putt. Been working pretty hard on my putting, and just nice to stand there and roll one in the middle when it really counts.

Q. What was the biggest win of your career before this and did you ever in your heart of hearts think one day you could still make it to this level and win at this level?

SAM BRAZEL: I've never won a four-round tournament and this is my first. Some would say that's a big start.

Yeah, look, I learned my trade playing Pro-Ams back in Australia, and I think that's been a great grounding. You pretty much learn to grind out every shot and every day and I think it's held me in good stead.

My game has been steadily progressing the last three or four years, especially since gaining my Tour card here in Asia. It's been a great proving ground, I guess.

I certainly didn't expect to be in here this afternoon, but thoroughly impressed that I am (laughing).

Q. You spoke yesterday about how you felt nervous to start with, and then after you got past the first hole, you relaxed into it. Today the first tee shot didn't start well but you were able to save par. How big of a turning point was that, even though it was early in the round?

SAM BRAZEL: It was huge. I was a little nervy on that first tee shot. Hence, the ball flight there. But no, I've been wedging it really nicely of late. So yeah, just sort of tried to get myself a number in there. Was lucky enough to hit a nice shot and make the putt.

Q. You said about trying to smile; what is it specifically you've been working on?

SAM BRAZEL: I'm just trying to enjoy every moment of it, and this week's been real easy to enjoy. The crowds, the amount of kids that are around watching golf this week has been great. I think the event organisers have done a great job in including the kids, and it's just fun to see that stuff. Makes it easy to enjoy as a player like myself. We all come up through those ranks and yeah, it's been fun to be part of the Hong Kong Open this week.

Q. Just like to ask, with all the years it's taken to get to this point and everything you've been through, how does it feel to win today? And secondly, where do you see your career going from now?

SAM BRAZEL: Feels damn amazing. I don't know what else to say. I'm speechless. What a win. I don't know how else to explain it. I feel very privileged to be playing here, first of all, and then ecstatic to win I guess.

As far as where this takes me, obviously I might be playing a few more events in Europe next year, and we'll see where that takes me. Yeah, what else do you say.

Q. You were so cool on the back nine, so how do you do that? And the second question is, are you shopping in Hong Kong and what is your Christmas gift?

SAM BRAZEL: The back nine, I might have looked calm on the outside but I'm not sure I was all that calm on the inside. But I just tried to keep smiling, keep making fun, making it fun out there. Speaking to my caddie a lot. It was fun. I just tried to keep having fun on the back nine, and was watching the crowds and what they were doing. It was nice to get a few cheers and a few claps. They were very supportive. It's great to see crowds like that at golf tournaments. It's been great fun.

I was supposed to be on a 9.30 flight back to Australia tonight but I don't think I'll be making that night, and probably for good reason. I could do some shopping, depending on when my flight is arranged to be I guess.

Q. You played the last two days with Rafa. Obviously he's been looking for a win for four years himself. What was it like playing with him, and did you speak with him on the way around?

SAM BRAZEL: Rafa is a great fella to play with. He plays very nicely. Got a great golf game. I think he got unlucky a couple of times. I didn't really feel like it was ever a battle between two of us. I was just trying to have fun. I was trying to enjoy the moment and enjoy the experience of it all. Rafa made that pretty easy for me. I hope I made it pretty easy for him, as well.

But no, great fun playing with Rafa. He'll win in the near future, I have no doubt.

Q. Could you elaborate on the story of your clubs? You said you just got new bats. Wonder the story behind it?

SAM BRAZEL: Yeah, look, companies change equipment from time to time. I really loved the golf ball that Callaway produced, the si3 ball. They discontinued that earlier this year, so we changed golf ball. Then in an attempt to try and control the ball flight and see what I wanted to see, we changed iron shafts midway through the year and I really struggled.

I could feel my golf game building, but I really couldn't control the golf ball the way I wanted to. My rep, Adam Bilbe, from Callaway said, "I've got that sorted." And here's the proof.

Q. When did you change?

SAM BRAZEL: This is the fourth tournament with the new irons. Yeah, it's just been slowly building. Amazing. He does a great job.

Q. Terrific scenes on the 18th when your fellow pros came on to celebrate and doused you with beer and they were saying how delighted they were for you and I think you maybe shed a little tear when you thought about family back home, as well and I know you've had some tough times in your personal life. Do you have a message for the friends and family who have stuck with you through thick and thin?

SAM BRAZEL: Just say thanks for all the support over many years (tearing up). Bit of a tough ride, but we're here.

CHUAH CHOO CHIANG: I think we will leave it at that. Sam, many congratulations once again, UBS Hong Kong Open Champion.

Rafa Cabrera-Bello (Es) – Final Round 69 (-1), Total 268 (-12)

Rafa Cabrera Bello of Spain Rafa Cabrera Bello of Spain

Q. What's the verdict on both the week and final day?

RAFA CABRERA-BELLO: Well, obviously the week if you look at it overall, it's a great week, finishing second. Just a little disappointed today. I managed to start good again but then struggled halfway through the front nine.

Battled back really hard again, same as yesterday. But then Sam just played a fantastic 18th hole.

Q. Proud of those birdies late on to give yourself a chance down the last?

RAFA CABRERA-BELLO: Yes, of course. Obviously still proud. I messed up a little obviously on 7 and 8, but stayed calm and waited for my chances. Gave myself lots of opportunities. Some didn't fall, but at the end, 16 and 17, they were two great putts that did go in. The one on 18th, almost, as well. In the end, it's a good week. It's just a bitter taste finishing runner-up.

Q. Are you able to give an appreciation of what Sam has done? Most of us wouldn't have known him before this tournament and you've been alongside him for two days.

RAFA CABRERA-BELLO: Yeah, I've played with him the last two days. He's played solid golf and been very patient and shown lots of maturity. He's a well-deserved winner.

David Lipsky (USA) – Final Round 68 (-2), Total 270 (-10)

Q. What are your thoughts on the week as a whole?

DAVID LIPSKY: Yeah, played well here. Finished top five. Love the course. Pretty good week. I'm really happy.

Q. A lot of pride the way you stayed and stayed in there right till the death?

DAVID LIPSKY: To be honest I didn't play great today. Hats off to Sam, who played well and won. I didn't take care of business today, and that's all right. I played hard, and what happened, happened.

Q. You say playing hard; the last hole, was that indicative of that?

DAVID LIPSKY: Yeah, I knew I had to try to make a birdie there to give myself a chance. I had to take it on. You don't get too many opportunities like that. Unfortunately this time, it didn't work out for me but hopefully they pan out in the future.

Q. Not a bad way to start the season for The European Tour; presumably a break and regenerate for next year?

DAVID LIPSKY: I'm in good position going into the Desert Swing, so I'm pretty happy with the way things went.

Danny Willett of England Danny Willett of England

Danny Willett (Usa) – Final Round 66 (-4), Total 271 (-9)

Q. Your verdict on what was a pretty exciting final round?

DANNY WILLETT: We played good. Played nice and steady. Gave ourselves a few chances all day. We were a bit shocked when we came upon to 16 and saw what the scores had done. We know it's playing tricky out there -- we've just been out there, but the amount of guys that are kind of 9, 10 and I think one just got to 11. But it was a good day. We did kind of what we had to do and shot 4- or 5-under par and see what happens.

Again, it's a tricky golf course and the wind is swirling a little bit. We had a few little switches in there that made it a little tricky which cost us a couple. But yeah, it was a good day's work and just have to wait and see. I think we'll be doing well to finish fourth or fifth or something. It be would nice if we could start the season off with a top five, would be really good. But I can't see it winning.

Q. Despite the shock, I take it there was a sense of development; the momentum was with you. You must have known you were close?

DANNY WILLETT: Yeah, when we 2-putted 13 for birdie and got to 10 and saw the scores, and like I said, by that time, the guys hadn't quite dropped a couple that we saw. Hit it all right down the last few. You know, just hit it off the fairway on 16 and 17, and obviously that was not a great tee shot on the last.

So yeah, it was just a shame how it finished. It was good fun to finish the season off hitting that shot on 18, that second shot there, and making par.

First one of the season for 2017, last one of the year, so it's ready for feet up, and like I said, I don't think it's going to be good enough. But it's a nice way to start the 2017 season.

We'll be back in Abu Dhabi. Four weeks off now, so yeah, get the feet up for a couple weeks, enjoy Christmas home with the family and maybe pick the clubs up sometime in January.

Thongchai Jaidee (Tha) – Final Round 71 (+1), Total 275 (-5)

Q. No. 18 seems to be a not-so-good hole for you?

THONGCHAI JAIDEE: Yeah, I feel that's why I'm not confident with putting. The whole week we've putting so bad. We had two 3-putts the last two rounds on 18. We're in bad position when putt out there. Left-hand side -- from the fairway, and then hit it strong. Under par is fine. It's okay. Enjoy the course but so difficult. The pins was very difficult today on the back nine.

Q. It seems like this bogey could cost you a chance to get into the Top-50 in the world, because I think they were talking about you finishing 12 or better this week to get in, yeah?

THONGCHAI JAIDEE: We have one more week, Boonchu tournament. (Boonchu Ruangkit Championship in Thailand on the Asian Development Tour, which will be played from December 22-25.)

Q. Are you guaranteed to play the Boonchu tournament to try to get your points for the Masters there?


Q. So you have a couple of weeks before the Boonchu tournament. So what are you going to do the next few weeks?

THONGCHAI JAIDEE: Going to go back home and stay with my family and maybe some holiday and do a lot of work, sometime start to do like gym, for start of next week. Do a lot for my body stronger.

I know my iron play very well this week. Unfortunately my putting not well. My putting, so many lost shots. It's going to be a Top-10 easy if we are putting well this week. That's why we don't miss any fairways much. We hit a lot of greens, a lot of fairways. That's the only thing, putting is not confident.

Q. You must be excited with the new irons.

THONGCHAI JAIDEE: I'm okay. You know with my game, I hit the ball very well this week. I'm not complain about it, new ball, new iron. Doesn't matter, only thing is you have to find the greens and you have to putt them well.