What They Said

Thu 21 Feb 2013

What They Said

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February 21: Read what players have to say after the first round of the Zaykabar Myanmar Open presented by Alpine.
KIRADECH APHIBARNRAT (THA) – FIRST ROUND 64 (-8)
It was a good start. This is the first event of the year and I was five under after five holes. I’m really happy with the day.
I missed a big putt on the 10th hole. I had a 10 feet uphill straight putt but I pulled it. After that I lost some confidence with the putter. I was lucky get to get two birdies in the next par fives.
I think the course is the same as last year but my game is better than last year. This year I’m hitting it better. The greens are faster and smoother though. I think this weather is the same as Thailand and I’m okay with it.
I always try to get better and better. I lost in a play-off last year and I even lost in the pro-am on countback this week! It is funny but I will try my best and finish at the top of the leaderboard this week.
Eagle on par five fifth hole: Good drive, down the fairway. Four iron to the green (222 yards) which landed about 14 feet from the hole.
CHAPCHAI NIRAT (THA) – FIRST ROUND 64 (-8)
My putting was very good. Last year I struggled with my putter. Usually when you start the first tournament, you feel a bit uneasy but it was different today.
The fairways and greens are quite big but the greens are undulating so your iron shots need to be accurate. Yeah, I played well during the end of last season and I’m glad to carry on from where I left off.
I spent a lot of time with my family during the off season with new born son Jedi. It was good. I felt relaxed but I did practice occasionally as well. Putting is very important for me. If I can putt well, I will feel confident.
PROM MEESAWAT (THA) – FIRST ROUND 65 (-7)
It is a very good start for the tournament and my first Asian Tour event for 2013. My iron shots were good but you have to hit good tee shots. You have to put your tee shots in play and hit good irons. The greens here are tricky so if you hit it close, you will get a better line and score.
Yes, I did go to Maldives but stayed longer than expected. I was supposed to go there for three days but it rained for two days! I have to thank Chinnarat’s dad for helping us extend for another three days. It was a very good holiday. After that I went straight to the golf course! After one week I was missing my golf clubs.
I played in the Middle East earlier in the year and I went there to learn from some of the best players from the European Tour. I played quite well and I feel that I’m carrying that confidence into this year as well.
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JOONAS GRANBERG (FIN) – FIRST ROUND 65 (-7)
There was nothing special in my round. I hit it very good off the tees and found about 13 fairways. My putting was a little bit bad because I could read the lines. Then I hit a few shots close to the holes and scored. It was solid golf.
This is a very low score already and I just wanted to play and relax. This is a good golf course and it is quite open.
I was at home for six weeks and practised occasionally. I didn’t do much during the off season. It is a little bit easier to travel for me because there are two other Finnish golfers in the field. I think this is good for golf in Finland.
I struggled last year. I had some personal problems and was dealing with that. I’m feeling better this year.
THANYAKON KHRONGPHA (THA) – FIRST ROUND 65 (-7)
My game was good. My driver and irons worked well. I found 17 greens today and missed just one green. My ball was on the edge. This is a nice golf course. The fairways are wide so it is slightly easier to find the fairways. Last year I was hitting fade shots but I’ve changed it to draw shots because I couldn’t score last season.
YOUNG NAM (KOR) – FIRST ROUND 66 (-6)
I hit the ball really good. I played solid and I shouldn’t have played any worse than eight-under. On the eighth hole, which is my 17 hole (started from 10th tee), I had a five footer and I was desperate to get to nine under and I saw the line but hit it too hard and missed it. I sort of lost my head on the last hole. I was pumped up and I hit it too good and my second shot went too long again and made bogey. What can you do? At least I ran out of holes and stopped the blood. Overall I played a good round.
If my driver is working than it is okay. My irons have always been pretty decent. This golf course is easy but not that easy because you have to place the ball and putt well.
Golf wasn’t really on my mind in the last three years or so. I’m here to enjoy the game now. I’m not getting any younger. There’s pressure out there but less pressure. I’m not out there trying to win it but if I have a chance then I’m going to try. Playing with a free mind has made golf a little bit easier for me.
Golf is still the number one priority for me but I’m also finding for other things to do.
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HU MU (CHN) – FIRST ROUND 67 (-5)
I like this golf course. I finished around 30th I think last year. The fairways and greens suit my eye a lot. I like the layout. I’m very pleased with the way I strike the ball. I made a very clear plan for each hole and each shot. I was able to stick with all the shots.
It is easier to come back and play on the golf course for the second time. I came prepared. On the way over, you know what you are going to get. I made three birdies on the par fives. The longest putt I made was 10 feet. That shows how good I was striking the ball.
MARDAN MAMAT (SIN) - FIRST ROUND 67 (-5)
I’m very happy with the way I played. It was quite a steady round. I just made a stupid mistake on the eighth hole when I misread the yardage. Overall I think everything is okay. I was very pleased with my game and putter.
To play with the two legends (was in the first group with Thaworn Wiratchant and Boonchu Ruangkit to commemorate the 10th Asian Tour season) was a great honour. They inspire me a lot because they can still play very competitive golf at their age. Thaworn even won the Order of Merit and that gives me a lot of encouragement.
CHOO TZE HUANG (SIN) – FIRST ROUND 67 (-5)
I’m very pleased. I hit the ball really good and made bogey on the only hole which I missed the green. I was hitting my irons and wedges well and made a couple of putts here and there. Hopefully this will carry on throughout the year.
This is a good golf course and the greens are tricky. That’s what would catch a lot of us. To make a lot birdies, you have to make a couple of longs putts and I missed some out there. It is tough to read the lines and get it right. It is a course where guys will make a lot of birdies.
In a way the golf course is quite forgiving but you need to make a lot of birdies to keep yourself in there.
I was happy and a little bit of celebration (after earning his Asian Tour card) but after that I went to Thailand to play in a local event. I was trying to grind it out and work on my game because the Asian Tour is tough and players are so good here. I need to keep up with the big boys.
I want to keep my card and have playing rights here. I have no actual goals but want to be consistent and have a chance to keep my card.