Venetian Macau Open Rd 3 - What they said

Sat 25 Oct 2014

Venetian Macau Open Rd 3 - What they said

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Scott Hend (Aus) – Third round 67 (-4), Total 199 (-14)
Strong finish, you must be pleased?
It was good, I feel about 65 % and I felt average today. It was good to get it out of the way and hopefully come back tomorrow and feel a little more energy and concentrate better.
I’m just feeling flat, extremely flat. I was waiting for it to come after last week (where he won the Hong Kong Open) and it’s arrived. Hopefully the storm has past.
Looking forward to a good final pairing?
It’s going to be great tomorrow. Anirban can go low and I can play some golf as well. It’s going to be good.
Tell us about those four birds in a row?
The fourth one, I just had a lie where I had to play a certain shot and played it perfectly and trickled down into the hole. Just wanted to get it up and down and then I made a shocking bogey on seven which I lost my concentration.
How were conditions?
It was a bit tricky but I handled it okay. I got off to a great start but I felt average coming to the course. It’s just last week catching up with me. Hopefully it’s passed and I get reenergized.
A bit of dip in the middle?
I just lost my concentration as I really hit the wall and got really tired. It’s not from doing things which I shouldn’t be doing. I’ve been eating properly and I’ve not had late nights or anything. I guess it’s the emotional rollercoaster you get from professional sport. We’ll have a duke out tomorrow.
What were you telling yourself after the third bogey?
I said I was still in a good position and it didn’t matter. If I had finished one shot behind the leader, I would be happy. I think I could still come from anywhere to lift the trophy again. Tomorrow, we’re in the position. Now, the race begins.
Flat and four under, it says a lot?
It’s just one of those things. It’s difficult to get any adrenaline going and keep the focus. Sometimes you drift off occasionally and something you just have to give yourself a wake-up and off you go.
Did Tony (Carolan, caddie) help?
Yes, sure. Ultimately it’s up to me to get myself back in order. We discussed a lot of things  to make sure I’ve got the right things in my head. Through 12, I was up against it.
Venetian Macau Open - Round ThreeAny pressure of winning back to back?
There’s no pressure. The pressure will be on the guys chasing. I’m the guy who won last week, I’m the one who’s got the title. The pressure will be on the guys trying to take it from me. I’ve been there and done that. It’ll be nice to lift another one but guess what, my name is on that trophy.
Nice to defend a title for the first time?
It’ll be fantastic, I’ve got three opportunities and another next year. Who knows? The stars might align and I might get it and I’m going to try my hardest. I’m not going to give up. Whoever wins, we would have had a good battle.
Nice to birdie the last to leave here with a positive?
I was very tired, hit an average tee shot and pulled my second shot a bit left and had a great up and down from a shocking lie. There’s a positive to take into tomorrow.
Anirban Lahiri (Ind) – Third round 67 (-4), Total 201 (-12)
Was it down to the putting today?
I think it was a tough day yesterday and I spent some extra time on the putting green and definitely I putted with more confidence. Not saying that I holed a lot of putts but I felt much more comfortable. I’m going to hit a few more putts now to get ready for tomorrow.
A lot of leaderboard watching was it?
Not really, it’s just the third day. There’ll be more leaderboard watching down 15 and 16. Today was just trying to compile a good and solid round and I played good. Disappointed I didn’t play the par fives better but I’m still happy with my round.
Looking forward to the final pairing tomorrow with Scott?
When I left the range this morning, he said he wanted to play with me and I’m looking forward to it tomorrow.
Playing with the man in form?
Yeah, you could say that to him too.
Will his length be an advantage?
It’s a huge advantage if you hit it straight. Length is fantastic as it can take a lot of trouble out of the way but you still have to be accurate and not waver. I have experienced both sides of it and at the end of the day, it’s important to keep it on the fairways as if you don’t it’ll be difficult to score.
Important to keep the bogeys off as well like what you did today?
I know, I’m happy. I focused a lot better. I made a lot of mistakes yesterday which I said was loose golf. I didn’t make the best decisions on the course but I grounded out and missed a few opportunities. Happy with my score today.
The dogs distracted you?
No, I just told myself to come out more positive. Yesterday, I didn’t play my best golf. I wasn’t in a good frame of mind and I have to keep it calm and light. I just enjoyed my round, something Thaworn said “I’m an old man and I enjoy my golf”. That’s why he plays so good. I’m trying to enjoy my golf and play better.
Venetian Macau Open - Round TwoIs it a case of just reminding yourself?
It’s important. There’s a lot to play for, a lot at stake, a lot of goals and targets. Sometimes, you just have to remember to enjoy yourself. Fantastic course, good weather, I’m playing well and might as well have fun which is what I did today.
What did you do at the putting green?
Just a lot of repetition, it’s a confidence thing. Sometimes a couple of bad putts can dent your confidence. Personally, I recover from that by making a lot of putts on the practice green and feel secure about it tomorrow.
Prom Meesawat (Tha) – Third round 64 (-7), Total -11 (202)
This course, when it’s windy, it’s not easy. But today, I hit it very good and put myself in with a good chance. I tried to avoid mistakes, especially on the tough driving holes on five and 16. I handled myself well on those. It’s a good score with a 64, with this wind it’s not easy.
No bogeys?
Two rounds with no bogey must be very happy. Yesterday I played good but didn’t score. Just waited for it to come today. Will try again tomorrow.
Good position?
Not too far back. Like everytime I tell you, I’ll just go out to enjoy and continue to do what I’ve been doing the first three days, just play the golf course.
Hend was saying if you don’t bogey, you have a chance to win?
Everyone has a good chance to win the tournament. With this course, if you make trouble, you can drop two or three shots on one hole. I’m just going to stay with my plan and stick with my game plan. Stay focused.
I won in Taiwan last month which was my first win in eight years. I finished top 10 here before. Every time I play this course, it’s always tough. You have to be patient and set your mind very strong to play this course.
When you’re thinking is good, your mind is good, you can swing what you want. You’re not thinking about the result and you just stay focused on the target. When it’s windy, I’ll try to not think about other things. Just stay focused.
What do you do to stay focused?
Just stay in my routine and see my target, set and clear my mind and just go to the target. That’s all I’m trying to think.
Did the monestary help?
It’s helped and I’ve also worked with the sports psychologist the past three years and it’s help.
Can you beat Hend?
I will try. Just play my game. He has an advantage with his length as he bombs it past the bunkers.
Ernie Els (RSA) – Third round 69 (-2) (211)
Give us your assessment?
I’m starting to hit it better but I’m still making bad swings here and there. It was better. I found something in my swing and I’m excited about tomorrow and next week now. Something was missing. Subconsciously I think I was thinking of the injury which is gone now. I really felt good today. But the course is not treating me well.
You can’t seem to find any momentum?
Exactly. I should have got it going on the first day and every day has been like that. We’ve got tomorrow and try to shoot a good one and come back with good memories.
Was it a new driver in the bag today?
No, I stuck to the old one. I drove it better, everything is getting better. But my chipping has been awful, maybe because of grass. I didn’t up and down the ball very well. It is what it is.
What will be you aiming to do tomorrow now that you’re in the middle of the field?
I’m starting to get good feelings in my swing and I’ll try to build on it. I’ll try to get a low score to build my confidence going into the next two weeks. Touch wood, the injury is much better. I don’t feel anything now in the swing. I want to keep something positive from tomorrow. I’ve got BMW Masters and HSBC Champions coming up and hopefully I can shine there. I want to keep trying to play well, I’m not here to just walk around.
You wore blue the last two days?
What did I wear yesterday? Oh yes, blue with the white stripe. This is the new Ernie Els collection. You must buy it. Blue is my favourite colour. Maybe pink tomorrow.