Venetian Macau Open Rd 2 - What they said

Fri 24 Oct 2014

Venetian Macau Open Rd 2 - What they said

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Scott Hend (Aus) – Second round 70 (-1), Total 132 (-10)
Tough conditions, but you’ve held up nicely?
Like I said, yesterday it was quite benign and today, we’ve seen what can happen out here. If the wind blows like this, you just try to hold on to your score and that’s pretty much what the whole group was doing the whole day. We were struggling and trying to hold on.
Does it change anything in your game if the weather changes?
It’s always the same here, you have to play conservatively and hopefully roll in some putts. Everyone will make a bogey. If you can play 72 holes without a bogey you should win the tournament quite easily.  So you’ve got to get water off a duck’s back and keep moving.
After adding an European Tour win, is there anything to prove in your career?
In the end when I’m finished with golf and look back at my career and you count how many trophies you’ve won, maybe it’s not important to anyone else, but to yourself, eventually you achieve the goals that you’ve worked for all your life since starting out as a youngster.
Trophies that you have in your cabinet are always a good thing for the kids to have a look at and for them to try to beat. I’ve always tried to beat my father for whatever he’s won in whatever sport and it’s a good thing to aspire to and it has been a driving force behind me.
Any messages from the kids this week?
When you’re coming home dad? We miss you. Is it Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday?Venetian Macau Open - Round Two
How much difference was the course playing?
Sometimes it’s two and a half club difference. Even on the par fives on the back nine, with the exception on 18, it’s ridiculously difficult. You’ve just got to sit back and adjust your game plan. If I had made 18 pars, I would have been ecstatic. To come in with one under I’m quite happy. It’s quite difficult, it was very tricky.
Must be happy seeing your name at the top there again?
It’s Friday. As I say to you, it’s 36 holes to go. I’m just plodding along. Today was just the trotting day. No galloping, just trotting.
Did yesterday’s good start put in you pole position?
It’s put me in a strong position. It’s nice to play solid in the first two rounds and be there abouts and not having to shoot ridiculous scores in the weekend like last year to try to win the tournament. Like today, I could afford to not shoot five or six under. Now, everyone else will have to catch up.
Do you prefer calm or wind here?
I just prefer a slight breeze which is the way to play the course. If there is no wind, you can go very low and someone could come up from six shots back and catch up. The pins were a bit more difficult today, so it was hard to get it into the hole.
Nice to finish strongly today?
Birdie on nine was great as we were held up a bit on the eighth as there were some people up there who shouldn’t be doing things. Eight has got me there for two days, so it owes me a couple of birdies over the weekend.
Venetian Macau Open - Round TwoAdam Groom (Aus) – Second rund 67 (-4), Total 132 (-10)
Did your game plan change?
It didn’t change at all. It was pretty much as windy as yesterday morning when I started the round and made a few pars to start with and then made a few birdies towards my front nine which was the back nine. And then the front nine is a lot easier and I managed to take advantage of it.
How’s the back?
It was fine today, no pain which is good. Barb has been working wonders and the physios are great out here. They really save us on some days.
Looking forward to tomorrow?
I’ve not been in the final group for a while and I’m going to be with Scott and he seems to be in form. I’m looking forward to the challenge. He’s in a lot of form, he’s obviously a great player and it’ll be good to play with him tomorrow.
I’ve had the harder side of the draw and it shows. But I played pretty steady today but had a couple of good  bounces which could have gone the other way and I managed to save par from a few loose shots.
I ripped that one down the bottom there and only had only 45 meters to the pin and pitched it to about four feet for the birdie. It’s good.
Chasing a first win?
Obviously a goal this year. I’ve finished second a couple of times I think and it’ll be nice to hold a trophy. I don’t know, I think consistency with me. I think I’ve had the game, it’s just putting it together and managing your emotions and getting it done. I’ll just try to relax tomorrow and get stuck to the process and hopefully it’s a good outcome.
Good to have coach Adam Fraser here?
Yes, he’s spotted a few things which we’ve worked on and he goes through the strategy with me on what clubs to hit as he knows the course here pretty well too.
Chan Shih-chang (Tpe) – Second round 64 (-7), Total 134 (-8)
A good score in the wind?
Today, the irons and driver were pretty good. I also putted well. Yesterday, I missed putts, missed birdies but today, I holed a lot and had a good feel. I worked on my putting yesterday and tried something. In Taiwan, the greens are slow and here it’s quick. The line is a bit different. In Taiwan, you need to give it more break, but here I changed it a bit, and gave it less breaks, and it worked.  My home course is also very windy, so this is no problem for me. I’m happy with the score.
Has your wins on the ADT help you?
I’m relaxed and just want to enjoy the course and the tournament. My putting has helped me a lot too. Previously I used to miss a lot of short putts. But my friend gave me a tip. Previously I used to putt with my left hand being dominant but he changed it and asked me to use the right hand to guide the putter and it has worked.
I will keep the same feel as in the ADT. I just want to go out there and hit my ball and play my best. I’ll be happy if the wind blows. I like it. I hit it low and I’m not a long hitter. This course is short and you just want to hit it straight, straight, straight.  Strong wind, I’m not scared.  Just keep to the same plan. Don’t worry about anything, just hit the next shot.
Venetian Macau Open - Round TwoMartin Rominger (Sui) – Second round 68 (-3), Total 133 (-9)
You must be pleased?
It was a bit gusty and windy and I played nicely, I’m happy. I did everything well, only one poor shot on the second shot into six where I plugged into the bunker left and made double. The rest I played solid. Putted very good and made a lot of putts. It’s a good two days now.
Did you expect the winds to be up?
Today is what I expected. Yesterday was something you don’t expect. When I played the practice round, I didn’t play it so calm and yesterday was similar and no wind makes it three or four shots easier. Today is the old Macau that we know.
In contention now, you must be looking forward to the weekend?
Very much. I’ve not been in that place for a while. I’m looking forward to it. He’s (Hend) a nice guy to play with. Hope to have a good weekend.
What would be important to do tomorrow?
I’m going to do the same. If I can play the same way, it should be good. There are some holes where you can be aggressive and some you have to play an iron off the tee. I’m going to stick to that game plan.
When was the last time you were in contention?
I finished fourth at the SAIL-SBI Open. There, I was playing well and shot 63 in the second round so I was up there right away but Rashid Khan played very well in the third round and I wasn’t really in contention.
Tell us a bit about your sister who is also a professional golfer?
We both started late at golf and we both liked it. We’re not from a golfing family, just picked it up on vacation. Just fortunate that it went our way. She just lost her card but she’s playing well and I’m happy for her.
Nice to have your wife Simona on the bag?
When we started in 2006, my wife caddied full time and she’s now with the kids and she doesn’t come out. It’s the first time in a while. She’s doing a good job. She doesn’t come from golf and I’ve taught her everything. She’s the best caddie for me. She knows exactly what I like and I taught her what I like in a caddie. In the big events, I have a regular caddie who is Australian.
Where are the kids this week?
Kids are at home, they are at school so that can’t take off. They used to come here and it’s the week where they like to come as there’s so much to do in the hotel. Her parents are looking after them.
Venetian Macau Open - Round TwoAnirban Lahiri (Ind) – Second round 73 (+2), Total 134 (-8)
Conditions were not like yesterday, and it was windy but still it was not that hard. The greens were quicker this morning and I couldn’t get my speed right with the putts. I couldn’t adjust to them. I’m playing well but I need to tighten up some loose ends. I’m still in with a great chance in the tournament.
Ernie Els (Rsa) – Second round 72 (+1), Total 142 (E)
Could be a big putt there on the last?
I knew it. I was battling on the whole back nine. I started on the first and made bogey and bogeyed the second which is a birdieable hole. I knew I couldn’t be more than even, birdied five and on nine, I never saw the branch which I hit. I knew I had to make the putt to make the cut or hopefully make the cut.
Tough out there wasn’t it?
The conditions were different, the wind was really up this morning and it played a lot differently. I hope it stays up, otherwise I’ll miss the cut. Yesterday the scores were great as there was no wind and the course is in great shape. If you get into position, you can play. Today was more difficult with the wind.
Disappointed so far this week?
Hopefully I can play some better golf. I’m not pleased. I love the course . It’s in great shape and I like something in the red if I play this weekend.
Any changes in the next two rounds?
I think I can make improvements everywhere. I’m putting well. Last week, I struggled with some putts and hit the ball well but this week, the swing is not quite there. If I can get it on the greens in regulation, I can make some birdies.
How’s the back?
The back is still a bit weird but much better than Sunday when I couldn’t play. Maybe I got into some bad habits coming out from a shot. It just feels uncomfortable.
I might change a driver, I’m not getting the shape I’m seeing left to right and it’s coming out to the left. I brought three drivers, I used them all last week. Keep going, the scores are there, the course is there, I just played bad the last two days.
Missed a chance yesterday when it was calm?
We had an opportunity in the afternoon, had a great chance and the guys showed that. This morning, the leaders didn’t play as good but not that bad either. If conditions stay like this, it’s going to be a challenge. Some of the holes into the wind is really tough. Down wind, you’ve got to make your scores. Some of the guys like Miguel (Jimenez) who shot one over yesterday is going to have a tough time. It’s tough conditions.
Pariya Junhasavasdikul (Tha) – Second round 67 (-4), Total 136 (-6)
Delighted?
Everything went my way. Some of the bad drivers, they bounced back onto the fairways. Some of the long putts disappeared in the holes. One of those days everything just went my way. I was pretty fortunate. I stayed patient as conditions were tough. I just aimed for the middle of the greens and just trying to make pars. It turned out unexpectedly.
Only four back, that’s not a bad spot?
It’s a nice position. I was hoping to not be in the leaders’ groups as I’m not used to that feeling. A few groups back, I’m more comfortable. On this course, if the course is up, you never know. You have to play good golf and deal with the tough conditions.
What’s the goal in the next two days?
I guess if you keep shooting under par, I shot all sub par rounds in Hong Kong, and here as well. I think it’s all between my ears and I’ve just got to stay patient out there. What I’ve learned in the last few weeks is that you have to be patient. You can’t go for some pins. Just take two putts especially in tough conditions like this. It’s paid off.
Would you go for the pins?
It depends on what happens on the leaderboard. But when you’re in contention, you must look at it as you would have to go at some pins. Or sometimes, you need to protect your position. I’ve got to see how things look like.
Miguel Angel Jimenez (Esp) – Second round 72 (+1), Total 144 (+2)
It was tough with this condition. It was a windy day. My game was not up to the level especially on the greens. I’m playing very well from tee to greens but like yesterday, I made some 30-something putts and couldn’t hole anything and misreading the greens. I couldn’t do anything. It’s sad.