WGC-HSBC Champions: Thursday: What they said

Thu 31 Oct 2013

WGC-HSBC Champions: Thursday: What they said

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October 31: Read what leading contenders have to say following their opening round at the WGC-HSBC Champions on Thursday.
Rory McIlroy (Nir), Seven-under-par 65
It felt good to be out there and be in control of my golf ball. I gave myself a lot of looks for birdies. It's a great start, but it's only 18
holes.  It's only one round of golf, but it's definitely the way I wanted, and needed, to start this week, keeping in mind that I obviously want to play myself into Dubai and try to pick up my first win of the season, as well. It's one of the best rounds I've played this season. I shot 64 at Boston, so that was a good round of golf.  But this is probably better just because it was a little trickier conditions.  There was a bit of breeze and you've got to play good golf to shoot seven under around this place. It's obviously frustrating when you've had a couple of seasons previously where you have had success, and not being able to emulate that. There're times where you definitely get frustrated. I wouldn't say that I was restless in terms of trying to get a win this season, because I think that the best way to approach it is to stay patient and not to force the issue too much
Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Tha), Three-under-par 69
I had a good start again today.  I was making like seven birdies and I made a lot of putts.  The big mistake on the fourth hole was because I hit a poor drive and made a double there and on the 15th , I had a bad lie.  But I'm still happy with the way I started. I think I have a good chance to finish high this week, because I've a lot of confidence from last week and the way I'm striking the ball well right now. This golf course will suit the long hitters.  I hit driver quite well right now, so that gives me a lot of chances to hit my second shot.
Scott Hend (Aus), Three-under-par 69
It's only the first round here and there's still a long way to go obviously.  I played really nice golf today and yeah, I just had a bad swing on
17, got it riding in the breeze and made a bogey. It's going to be a sad day for me when he (Tony) goes back to playing himself. This year's obviously going to be a little different because they renovated the course and the fairways are quite soft at the moment and so the ball not going very far at all.  If you can hit your driver pretty far and get the ball onto the fairway, that will make it a lot easier to try and make birdies.
Gaganjeet Bhullar (Ind), Three-under-par 69
I was two-over after eight holes and I guess I was trying to figure out the green speed then.But after that, I got really comfortable on the back-nine. I gave myself lots of birdie opportunities and I was glad I took advantage of all of them. There’s still a lot of golf left and my hopes are really high. I’m playing well and striking the ball really well and I guess anything and everything is possible over the next three days. I guess the only difference between us, Asian Tour players and these other world-class players lies in our mental strength. With more and more opportunities to play in the big tournaments in this part of the world, we’ll definitely be on par with them very soon.