What They Said

Thu 28 Mar 2013

What They Said

Prayad Marksaeng (Tha) – First round 65 (-7)

Today was okay. I’m happy. For the first holes, I couldn’t putt. I didn’t have a good feel. After I finished the fifth hole, I changed my grip to cross-handed grip and then kept making birdies. On five, it was from one pin, made a putt from two pins on the sixth hole, about 4 feet on seventh, eight was close and nine was from about 15 feet.

When I won the Thailand Open, I was using the normal putting grip. But the feel wasn’t good this afternoon. The greens here are very quick. I talked to my caddie and we checked the lines together on every hole. Normally, I read my own lines.

I think on 12, I left my first putt short. It was a slow putt up the hill but I got back the birdie on 14 which was an easy two-on. This course is good. I feel comfortable here as it’s very tree lined, very similar to Japan and the greens are very quick.

I changed my Callaway irons early this year and I also switched to the Srixon golf ball which is giving more distance.

I’m 47 this year. I’ve kept fit, I don’t drink and I don’t smoke. I sleep early every night, go to bed at 9pm and then wake up at 5.30am. When I’m home, I just play golf and practice a bit. At the start of the year, I practiced really hard, hit a lot of golf balls but when we’re into the season, I don’t hit so many balls. My golf swing is always the same, so I don’t really need to practice too much.

Jonathan Moore (Usa) – First round 66 (-6)

It was a really fun round. I didn’t know where my game was going this week. I haven’t played my best over the last two or three weeks. I felt like what I did today sort of worked. I was trying to get into the rhythm. I think the mistakes I made in the last couple of weeks was trying to avoid trouble instead of committing and hitting my shots. I wasn’t hitting things into trouble but I wasn’t hitting any good shots previously. Today I just kind of sent my ball on its way and see what happens.

At times I tend to hold on a little bit too tight. It has been a tendency of mine over the years. Some days or some weeks I have some better stretches. It is more of the things in between my ears than the course or certain things. Today went better so I’m thankful for that.

Hu Mu (Chn) – First round 66 (-6)

It felt great. I know the course is playing tough but I saw a six-under in the early round so that was what I was aiming for. The front nine plays a little bit tougher because it is playing longer. I had a few birdie looks but it all lipped out. On the back nine I started holing some putts.

Every time I’m in Thailand I play well. The course suits my game and my eye. I was happy with my driving. I drove my ball well and found seven fairways. It doesn’t seem much but I kept the ball in play and kept myself out of trouble. My short game was good. I hit only 11 greens but made 24 putts.

I’ve been in contention in the last couple of events. I just want to keep building on that, keep my confidence up and get ready for the weekend.

Prom Meesawat (Tha), First Round 66 (-6)

Q. Must be happy with how you played?
It is a great start for a first round. I still left a bunch of birdies on my back nine (started 10th tee). But it was still a good round.

Q. You had eight straight pars returning home. Were you trying too hard?
My irons were pretty good. My driver has been good in the last few events but it wasn’t up to my standard today.

Q. You could have gone lower?
I missed a short putt on the fourth hole. That was an easy putt. The first nine holes is very tricky. Kiradech and I were working with our caddies during the practice round and we realised the front nine greens are very tricky. It is easier on the back nine. It is still a good start.

Q. How do you find your season so far?
I have two top-30s in the last two events. I always get off to a fast start in the first round but can’t maintain the momentum. I have another good start now so I want to try and keep it up and have another good three days.

Q. Nice to see Kiradech winning last week as well?
He is a good player and partner. He is a good young boy and I love seeing him winning a tournament especially last week when it was co-sanction with the European Tour. I can say that he will be the best Thai player in the future. He has good distance and short game. It is still a long way to go but he will make it.

Q. Both of you share the same coach ('Pro Jiew' Boonyarit Euasilapasart)?
He worked with Kiradech when he started playing golf. I didn’t work with him but he just helped me during junior golf tournaments. I started working with him since last year. I also work with my dad so it is good. It is good to share the same coach as Kiradech. When we are travelling and I have a problem with my game then we can help each other solve it.

Pawin Ingkhapradit (Tha) – First round 67 (-5)

Q. Good round.
I’m very happy. I hit many fairways and greens. I putted very well. I only had one three putt (12th hole) so that was good. It is okay for today. Six birdies on this golf course is very good.

Q. You like this golf course?
When I first practised here I thought it was very difficult but today there was no wind.

Q. You must be happy to play better than Ernie Els?
(Laughs) I’m very lucky today. I saved par on many holes and minimized my errors so I feel that I’m very lucky.

Q. When did you turn professional?
Three years ago when I was 18 years old. I trained in Boonchu’s academy and he said that I was ready to turn professional so I did.

Q. How did you start playing golf?
I started playing golf 10 years ago. My father played golf for 30 years so I followed him. He is not a professional but he loves golf. Now I love golf.

Q. How’s your game so far?
My game is okay. I finished tied fifth at the SAIL-SBI Open in India. My confidence is very high at the moment so I hope to play better.

Carlos Pigem (Esp) – First round 68 (-4)

Q. Good effort?
I’m really happy with how I played. I played good from tee-to-green. It was very good that I finished with birdie on the last.

Q. You are enjoying some good form?
Yes, I played well in Myanmar and India. I made the cut there and I’m happy. I’ll try to do something better in this tournament.

Q. Are you comfortable in Asia?
I like the courses, the weather and the golf organisation by the Asian Tour. I saw that Javi Colomo did well in Asia last year so I decided to try it out. I’m happy I followed him. He did really good things last year and it was a good opportunity for me.

Q. When did you turn professional?
I turned professional this year. I earned my Asian Tour card as an amateur then I turned professional. This is my third professional as a professional.

Q. What is it about Asia that you like?
I like everything! I like the people. They are very kind. I’m very happy here.

Q. How did you start playing golf?
I started when I was six years old near a sea. There was a nine-hole course and I played there. It was fun so I didn’t stop.

Q. Didn’t play football?
I started playing football when I was six years old! I was a goalkeeper and I broke some bones in my finger a couple of times so my father said stop and start playing golf.

Q. Which is your favourite football club?
Barcelona of course.

Ernie Els (Rsa) – First Round 69 (-3)

How did the short putter feel today?
I thought it was good. I missed quite a few but I felt comfortable with it. I made some good ones on my front nine. I missed some greens so I had to up and down and there were some good putts which I had to make. I’m working hard at it when I’m away for tournaments. It felt good today.

Could have been lower, but are you pleased with 69?
The course is wonderful. It’s in unbelievable great shape. Trying to really squeeze a lot out there today but didn’t quite happen. Made three birdies and no bogeys. It was quite a comfortable round. I feel there’s a good round out there and I’ll keep searching.

What will you do now?
I’ll do my normal, hit some balls and do some putting practice. I’m doing a clinic now, so I’ve got a busy afternoon but we’ll get ready for tomorrow afternoon.

Thongchai Jaidee (Tha) – First round 69 (-3)

Q. Thoughts on your round?
I played solid but my putter was stuck. I think I could easily be six or seven under but I couldn’t putt. The greens are very tricky. Sometimes I don’t have confidence with my putting stroke. Apart from that I have no complains with my game.

Q. You are using a short putter now?
I’m trying it. It feels a bit different and I don’t feel confident. I might change to the old one (long putter) tomorrow. The course is tricky. It is very sloppy. I’m playing very good and gave myself a lot of chances.

Q. Nice to see a lot of Thais up there?
Prom putt very well and I think he likes the course. Kiradech will do well as well. I enjoyed my round and I’m looking forward to the next three days.

Q. Key is to putt well here?
Absolutely. The course is fine. If you hit a good shot, you have a good chance to attack and have a chance to score.

Shiv Kapur (Ind) – First Round 69 (-3)

Happy with that?
I played quite solid, didn’t make many mistakes. Just started off badly with a bogey on 11 but after that I played solid golf. Think the greens are quite tricky. They are grainy and quite sloppey and the pins were tucked in some spots. Overall I gave myself some chances and would have liked to shoot a couple better but it was nice to shoot the birdie on the last.

Is this the kind of course where you need to play more on it to know it better?
I think it’s the kind of course where you need to be patient. It’s generous off the tee but the greens are small targets and you’ve got to hit a lot of good iron shots. And sometimes, you have a wedge or nine iron coming in and you can get frustrated if you don’t get a birdie. But the challenge will be the pins as it’ll get harder and harder as the week goes on. If you get to know the mountain effect and how the greens are, that is something that needs some adjusting to. The highest hill that you have, the slope of the greens will go away from the mountain. Sometimes if you see a putt which is left to right break, but because of the hill on the other side, it won’t break as much or breaks more. That’s some local knowledge which you need to get used to. I think as the tournament goes on, players will know the course better and there’s a low score to be had.

Is this a reflection of the way you’ve played the last few weeks?
I’ve been playing quite solid the past few months. Been in good form. Been close and had a couple of wins. If I can keep at it, now I know what it takes to get over the line, so if I can get into contention, I will be in a better position than say six months ago.

You must be happy to come back to Thailand?
Obviously with the Volvo Masters win, I’ve had some success here in the past. Nice climate, nice food and nice country. If they have more tournament’s in Thailand, I’ll be very happy.

Siddikur (Ban) – First round 69 (-3)

Q. A good round?
I’m very happy because this is a long course for me. I didn’t start very well but made up with a couple of nice birdies. Overall, it was very good and I’m happy with my shots. My driver wasn’t good last week but today I found almost all the fairways.

Q. What did you tell yourself after the first hole bogey?
It was a misunderstanding with my caddy. It was easy to make up and down but because of my temper I missed my par putt (four feet). It was a silly mistake from me. Overall it was okay.

Q. How did you calm yourself down?
I told myself that things like this happen. That’s when I calmed down.

Q. This is a long golf course so what do you need to overcome that?
These greens are grainy and tricky. I need to hit more long clubs in my second shots. I really focussed on my approach shots and it has been working nicely for me.

Y.E. Yang (Kor) – First Round 69 (-3)

I dropped a few shots and in that aspect it is a bit disappointing. But I’m still within striking distance of the leader and it is only the first round so that’s satisfactory. It is really hard to get a sense of what the speed of the greens is. Sometimes I hit it hard and sometimes I hit it slow so the results vary. The greens are taking me off guard. If I can get used to that then I can play better.

Mardan Mamat (Sin) – First round 70 (-2)

Q. Tough day in office?
I started from the back nine and played pretty good there (-2). Then I struggled on my second nine. I three putted on the first hole but managed to get some birdies on the way home.

Q. What happened on the back nine?
I just made some mental errors. I didn’t make good decisions on my clubs. That was my error but I’m sure my round will get better.

Q. What do you need to do to get a good score here?
Keep the ball in play and get on the green. The course condition is good. You just need to make good decisions out here and hole many putts.

Q. What about putting?
When you are playing on a good golf course like this it will come down to putting. The green are rolling good so it will be nice if you can hole some putts.