#VenetianMacaoOpen: What they said

Thu 15 Oct 2015

#VenetianMacaoOpen: What they said

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Thitiphun Chuayprakong (Tha) – First round 64 (-7)
Today is a lucky day for me. I didn’t hit it good with my tee shots on many holes but I had a good short game. I could make a lot of birdies. This is a great round for me. I’m happy and feel fantastic with a 29 coming in.
Last hole, second shot went into the hole and came back out but I still can make birdie. Had 91 yards to the pin and hit a 60 degree wedge into the green. I have worked a lot with my putting, so it’s working now. The greens are very fast. But I can have a good feel here. I finished third here a few years ago.
I like this course. For me, the key is driving which is my strength but today my driving wasn’t good! Hopefully next round, I can hit good tee shots. I think I made some mistakes with my set up. Will fix it tomorrow.
Anirban Lahiri of India Anirban Lahiri of India
Anirban Lahiri (Ind) – First round 66 (-5)
I think it was a solid round of golf. I hit it well tee to green and missed about three or four fairways. It was hard. I got away with a couple of pars on those holes, otherwise I stayed pretty solid. I played pretty good today.
Having played here a few years, I kind of got my strategies down. I’ve taken out as much stress out of my shots as possible. It’s a bit like Delhi Golf Club. This course gets a bit tight when it gets windy. You have to really know where to hit it. Having played here a few times, you get more comfortable. And obviously when you win you come back to the course and you feel great.
I was expecting the greens to be a lot firmer. Some of the chips landed a bit soft and the greens were playing a bit differently. I misread a few putts but the course played pretty even in the afternoon.
Last week was a lot of fun. We don’t do enough of that stuff but it’s good to be back here and good to be enjoying my golf. It’s a different mindset. Your strategies are different. When you have a partner, sometimes you’re forced to play aggressively when you might not be comfortable playing that way. That’s one of the major changes for me. I made my decisions without thinking I have to do something or not. In that sense, it’s back to the usual I guess.
Honestly, I can’t complain. Hit a good putt on six, seven, nine, 11 and 12. Very good putt on 15 but they didn’t drop. If I had dropped two or three of those, I won’t have felt too terrible. I’m not feeling bad. I’m happy with how I hit it. Hopefully I can make those six or eight footers through the rest of the week.
Siddikur Rahman (Ban) – First round 65 (-6)
I’m happy. After a long time, had a bogey free round. Enjoyed the day. My putting was so good. I played without expectation due to my back injury. The doctor said it’s not a problem and that I can go ahead to do my activities but it’s still pinching and I feel the pain on and off.
Since this morning, I can feel the pinch in the lower back. I just take care of myself. I stretch before and after but I can’t do too much. If I do more, it will hurt more. It’s sensitive. It’ll take time to heal but I have to do all the workouts which I’ve been given by the doctor.
Siddikur Rahman of Bangladesh Siddikur Rahman of Bangladesh
I’ve had this problem since last June, nearly one and half years now. It’s an awesome round. I’ve had three top-10s with my injury this year. Unfortunately I missed some cuts in the joint sanctioned events but I’m happy and today I’ve got a six under. This is good.
I don’t have high expectations at all. I set my mind to take it easy and to protect my back. I’m not on any medication, just exercising. When I have some different type of movement like taking out the ball from the hole and teeing it up, I have to take care of myself.
The key today was my putting. I started with a long putt on the first and third hole and another long putt on nine. Another long one on 17. It was because of my putting. I finished third here with Ernie Els two years ago. Have good memories here and that has given me energy.
I have lost about 10 yards in my driving. I’m already a short hitter, so 10 yards is huge for me. But if I can putt like this, it’s okay
Jenghung Wang (Kor) – First round 65 (-6)
I had a lot of lucky putts today. On seven, it was a turning point and then made a long birdie on eight and 10. Found some trouble on 11 and saved bogey. On seven, hit it right with the tee shot and second shot was right again in to the bunker and I was over the green and then made a 25-foot putt for par.
I like this golf course. Hard fairways give you more distance and the greens are perfect and I made some putts.
I don’t know how I made the cut in every event last year. I was so nervous last year but this year, I’ve already missed three cuts! Last week, I had a top-10 but two weeks ago I missed the cut. Feel better now.
The first year, I didn’t know the courses but this year, I think I know the course better, know the greens which helps. I just want to win this year, try every time. Just want to win one time on the Asian Tour. Feel I am getting closer.
After finishing second a few times, I learned a lot from there. I’m going a bit closer now to win. Still have to get more experience.
My putter was so bad last year and this year. I changed my putter to the one like Matt Kuchar, which is a bit longer. Since last week I have been using that. It feels so much better with the new putter.
Scott Hend (Aus) – First Round 66 (-5)
What was the key to those three straight birdies from six?
Hit some good chips and good shots into there. Had some wedges and read some putts correctly which was nice. I was patient in the first few holes of the front nine there. Felt that I should have made some birdies but I didn’t. It’s a matter of being patient.
You didn’t drop a bogey all day. What was the secret?
I don’t know. I’m normally the sort of guy who will shoot seven birdies and throws in a double and a couple of bogeys. It means I’ve played some solid golf which is positive. I was trying to be steady, trying to be there on Sunday to have a chance against these guys who are going out now.
Jeunghun Wang of Korea Jeunghun Wang of Korea
Assess your day?
It’s nice to play solid. Didn’t drop a shot, five birdies, two on the back and three at the front. It’s a good position to be especially with the guys going out now. The greens are drying out and we’ll be having that tomorrow. It’s nice to be on the board.
What’s about the course that seems to suit you?
The first few times I came here, I just didn’t want to come back as it killed me. But we’ve seem to found a way to play the course, where to hit it, what to do, when to be aggressive and I seem to find something to go around here.
No birdies on the par fives?
I got a bit unlucky on the second hole and I scrambled a five. The other two par fives, I had horse-shoes. The 13, the rough is so long and if you miss the fairway, you’ll be lucky to find it. It’s not a gimmie birdie. Last year, if you hit the fairway, you’ll be looking at three or four but this year, you have to hit the fairway just to have a chance to get a par. It’s that tough.
Javi Colomo (Esp) – First round 66 (-5)
Very happy. When you do five under, you can’t be sad. After waiting 30 minutes on the 18th tee, big traffic jam there, I was just trying to keep warm. Hit a very good driver and then a good three iron to maybe 12 feet over the hole and I made a very very good putt.
Javi Colomo of Spain Javi Colomo of Spain
Last year, I didn’t enjoy playing here. I don’t know why. It’s a tricky course and I didn’t know how to play it. This year, I try to be very patient. It’s a very good course but it’s also very challenging for all the players. If you are patient, you don’t play risky, you can have good birdie chances as it’s not very long. There are a lot of problems on the golf course. You need to keep the ball in play.
The family looks like it’s going to grow. Kristina is already 15 weeks pregnant, so there’s more motivation. We’re really, really happy as last year we had a miscarriage. And now, she’s doing well, the baby looks unbelievable. More motivation. But that means that she can’t caddie for me. She loves to caddie for me, but maybe in the future. She’ll come back at some stage. My goal is also to get a professional caddie in the future as I think that can be an advantage but I also like to have Kristina with me a few times a year as it’s good to have her by my side.