Venetian Macau Open Rd 1 - What they said

Thu 23 Oct 2014

Venetian Macau Open Rd 1 - What they said

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Anirban Lahiri (Ind) - First round 61 (-10)
It’s fantastic. I really played solid all day and it was nice to get such fantastic weather and putt well. I think I did really well inside of 15 feet, I think this is the best that I’ve putted for a while. I did some work in the pre-shot routine and my good friend S. Chikka who is here this week pointed something out and it’s been working.
From no where, Scott (Hend) got to seven under when I got to the 15th green as that’s the first leaderboard on the back nine. I knew he birdied 17 and 18 and when I got to 18, I saw him on nine. I told my caddie that last year we got it to nine and Hendy has got it to nine and let’s see if I can hold this 15-footer. It would be really nice to have the course record to myself (note: Unofficial record as preferred lie in use).
I can’t jump to conclusion that it’s done. This is a big improvement from last week and I’m happy about that. My attitude going into today was a lot better and my head was a lot clearer.  I’m working hard on the areas that I struggled on last week. I’m glad I putted good and keep doing what I’ve been doing the last few days.
S. Chikka has seen me play for almost a decade, for as long as he’s been playing golf and he knows my game really well. Sometimes my putting stroke doesn’t flow as well as it needs to and he spotted a little thing that really helped me obviously. I putted really well and I felt really comfortable on the greens. I’m really happy.
It is Diwali today, a great Diwali and happy Diwali to everyone back home. It’s nice to have some fireworks on the course. It’s a really nice feeling when you can come here and you feel good. I felt comfortable on the course. It’s not that easy. The scoring is good as we’ve got the nicest condition and by Macau standards, there was no wind. With the rain, it really softened up and you can be aggressive with your approach shots. I think it was there and I’m happy and took advantage of the conditions.
Sam Brazel of Australia Sam Brazel of Australia
Scott Hend (Aus) – First round 62 (-9)
I just played good, missed a few putts which could have been lower. But you know what, I holed a few good ones. Just the first round, three more days to go. Different tournament, different course. I’m playing the course as it is right now. The softness from the rain made it easier than normal and we were lucky the conditions were benign. It was suitable to shoot a low score. This course can still jump up and bite you. I’m hitting the ball good, putting good and thinking good. It usually adds up with a bit of luck for a good score. So far it’s good. It’s going really well. I played the par fives in four under which helps.
I hit a good shot into 11 and let a one roll in. The three putts on 11, 12, 13, I just started them on the right line. I didn’t have to do much but just hit on the right line and let it roll in. It’s a long way to go, 54 holes to go. It’s pretty hard to keep the galloping pace up and sometimes, you have to bring the pace back to a little trot.
Ernie Els (Rsa) – First round 70 (-1)
I’ve got a lot of work to do. Scott is on wonderful golden form and he showed us the way. There are a lot of birdies to be made especially with conditions today where it’s soft and you can be aggressive. But I wasn’t quite on my game.
We played together three times last year and Scott obviously loves playing with me. He won last year and he played wonderful today. He’s got a lot of game and a lot of confidence. He’s going to be one of the guys to beat.
Jazz Janewattananond of Thailand Jazz Janewattananond of Thailand
Sam Brazel (Aus) – First round 64 (-7)
It was nice. Got off to a slow start, bogeying the 10th but after that, it all gelled together. I just stayed patient I think. There are some daunting tee shots out there and you need to be pretty smart. And I got some good calls from my caddie which helps.
I’ve been hitting the ball nicely but last week in Hong Kong, I didn’t putt so great. The last few days, I’ve put in some work on the putting and it kind of held up today. I’ve not done anything major, just the set-up stuff and getting it to start on line. It always helps when you can start it on the right line. It’s great but there’s still a lot of golf to be played.
It’s getting to the crunch time of the year and it’ll be nice to start playing a little better.
Adam Groom (Aus) – First round 65 (-6)
I just played really steady, kept it in play and hit a lot of greens. On the front nine, I was four under which was good and I holed a lot of bombs from 30 and 25 feet. (5th and 7th holes). And then just pretty steady on the back nine with three birdies and one bogey. I’m really happy with this.
Course was playing a bit longer this morning. I was second group out. I warmed up in the range which was pretty dark then and the first few holes were into the breeze. The ball is not going as far as it can in these conditions.  Holed a nice 15 footer on 17 and a bit of a pity to not birdie the last hole which is a par five.
I’ve played in this tournament for the past six or seven years and it’s the longest I’ve seen it play. It’s playing pretty tricky. Hopefully the breeze picks up this afternoon !
I finished seventh last year. I just like it. You have to keep the ball in play. Greens get a bit speedy in the weekend. I’ve got my coach Adam Fraser up here again which is nice He was with me last year and caddied for me when I finished seventh. He’s not caddying this week but it’s good to have him here. It feels good.
My back is all tapped up. Barbara (tour physio) is working on it ... magic hands. I’m going to have an MRI done next week when I get home, it’s been coming and going the past year and a half. It’s exactly the same problem, lower back left side.
The physio says maybe there’s a cyst in there pinching on the nerve. If I have one or two treatments, it usually gets back to neutral again. She’s tapped it up and I slept with it last night.  I didn’t it a ball yesterday, just some chipping and putting. I’m really happy with my start.
Last week, I finished 15th in Hong Kong. Felt like I played pretty nicely. It’s good. Keen to do well this week. It’s not been amazing this season, I’ve made every cut but just around the 40th and 50th mark until last week.
Jazz Janewattananond (Tha) – First round 66 (-5)
It was pretty good. I holed a lot of putts and I’ve got my fitness coach (Jin Ko) caddying for me and it helps a lot. Makes me feel happy throughout the round, our second week together and we’re having fun on the course. I holed some long putts and hit some good shots. I did miss some approach shots. I’m happy with the round as I’m only five back of the leaders.
Angelo Que (Phi) – First round 70 (-1)
It was tough. The wind was up this morning and died down when we were finishing. That wasn’t the excuse. I didn’t hole many putts on my front which was the back nine but I figured out something and made a few birdies. I think I woke up on the wrong side of the bed. On the follow through, there’s a sharp pain and you’re kind of scared to hit but I still hit it pretty good. Happy to get to a one under start.
Prom Meesawat (Tha) – First round 68 (-3)
Good to be under par, three under. But it was quite disappointing to bogey the last on the ninth. I hit a bad tee shot and this course, it’s not easy if you miss your tee shots. You must get your ball in play.
I didn’t think we had too much wind, probably a bit on my front nine. I’ve been playing good since the start of the year and we’ll try to continue this form. I’ll try to stay patient to search for another win after winning in Taipei.
I think I’ve had one top-10 here previously. And this course, it suits my game as you’ve got to hit it straight and you need to manage your game plan. The course is in good condition, the best that I’ve seen in recent years, and the greens are rolling nice for us to put in a low score. It’s going to be that kind of week.
Nicholas Fung (Mas) – First round 69 (-2)
I played bogey free and on this course, it’s very good. Shot two birdies and it’s a good round. I just did everything right, put the ball on the fairways and greens in regulation. When I missed some greens, I managed to get up and down.
The conditions were a bit difficult early on but when the rain came, the wind died down. If the winds pick up like it did yesterday, I don’t think I would have shot this score. You can’t be overly aggressive on this course. You must stick to your plan and take it one shot at a time. You can’t think too far ahead. I’ve been hitting it good and happy with where the game is right now.
Miguel Angel Jimenez (Esp) – First round 72 (+1)
I hit it very well from tee to green but I had too many putts. I took 36 putts and you can’t score like that and I made one over par. I missed a birdie on 10 and then had a three putt bogey on 11. Made only birdie all day long which isn’t good.
I’ve been a little bit disappointed with my game on the greens in the last two months. I’m not reading it well and I’m not having any feel with the putter. I think I’ve overthinking when I’m on the greens. I’ll be heading back to the practice green to work on it for a while and try to figure it out.