What they said

Mon 25 Mar 2013

What they said

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Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Tha) – Final Round 70 (-2), Total 203 (-13)
Maybank Malaysian Open champion. How are you feeling right now?
Excited. I’m so happy this week. I’m proud of myself and my family. I almost won here a few years ago and finally I made it. I’m so happy.
It was very close but tell us what happened in the last three holes when you came back out after the weather delay?
After I made birdie on 16, I knew I had a chance to win. But in golf, you can’t say you can win when you’re not finished. I missed the second shot on 17. I was lucky my ball was still safe. If it rolled into the hazard, it would be tough to win. But anyway, I concentrated hard. On 18, I aimed for six or better. But it’s so tough. I’ve played here 20 times, on 18, I think I’ve birdied more than 10 times. Bogey was so tough for me.
Second win on Asian Tour and first win on European Tour. What are you going to do with the exemptions now?
I’ll try to play as much as I can on the Asian Tour. For sure I’ll keep my Asian Tour card. It’s the tour where I’m born from. When I’m 24, I got another 20 years to play. I’ll try to win as much as I can. I’ll travel around the world to play.
What’s your thoughts on the last hole?
I tried to put the ball on the fairway but missed to the right. I didn’t want to think so much in my mind. I wanted to hit near the green and make six. That was my goal for the last hole. It was good enough to win with a bogey.
Second Thai to win the Maybank Malaysian Open after Thongchai Jaidee. What does it mean to have an icon like Thongchai in your career?
The Thai pro golfers, we stay like family. Boonchu Ruangkit, Thaworn Wiratchant, Prom Meesawat, and Thongchai, they all give to the new generation. Boonchu and Thongchai teach me a lot, not to force myself. I played World Cup with Thongchai and I feel bad when I miss a shot but he would say never give up. I want to thank them as they are always supporting the young generation.
How important was the crowd support?
I would like to thank the golf fans. I have many fans from here as I played a lot in Malaysia when I was in the national team. There were many who followed me today. I want to thank them.
Talk about the importance of your caddie?
He caddied for Somkiat Srisanga and in our first event together, we won the SAIL Open two years ago. He’s been with me for three years now and we’ve won again.
Have you been working on your game and who is your coach?
After I played well in Malaysia in the last three years, I had something wrong with my swing and approach shot. I worked with my old coach and my form is getting back. I played quite well and I’ll find some wins again on the Asian Tour.
How did you cope with the weather disruptions this week?
After the 15th hole, during the suspension, I couldn’t eat anything. I was so excited. When I walked out, everything was shaking, even my voice. My caddie just told me to concentrate, just two more holes. I’m lucky that I played only 54 holes. Otherwise, I am so tired due to the weather and the golf course.
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You’re known as Asia’s John Daly, what is your routine and diet?
I just play for fun. I don’t have any routine. I’m happy with the name, John Daly of Asia. He won a Major event and I’m proud someone has called me that.
What is your next ambition in your golf career?
I’ll try to win a Major event. I cannot say when it is but I’ll try my best.
You’re now No. 1 on the Asian Tour, will you try to finish the year as number one?
I’m having three tours to play now (Asian Tour, Japan Tour, European Tour) and my focus will be to win the Asian Tour Order of Merit. Tough work for my manager Pimporn to plan for me to play Asia, Japan and Europe. I’ll play in Asia as much as I can. I promise that I’ll come back to play.
What are you plans with your biggest pay cheque?
I will give to my mum and dad. It’ll be up to them to give me how much to use it!
How important was their role in your tough period with the thyroid problem?
I want to thank them for their support. When I felt bad and with the thyroid problem, my mum was really worried about it. The first two weeks, my dad didn’t allowed me to play. But it got better but I’ll see the doctor after this week. The trophy is quite heavy and I used a lot of energy to carry the trophy!
Charl Schwartzel – Third Round 71 (-1), Total 206 (-10)
It was disappointing today. It’s a hard week with being on and off the course the whole time. It’s difficult to find any rhythm. I feel like I swung the club pretty well, but I didn’t play that well today.
Still, it’s nice to come back to Malaysia and have a good week on The European Tour.
I was hitting terrible iron shots from the middle of the fairways. That’s my strength. For some reason I was hitting short irons all over the show. What can I do?
Sixteen, 17 and 18 are good birdie holes. But 16 shows how badly I’m hitting it – I had a sand wedge from a hundred yards and missed the green. That’s disappointing. You can’t play that sort of game.
Kiradech did well today. I would’ve like to have applied a bit more pressure on him.
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Wu Ashun (Chn) – Third Round 73 (+1), Total 208 (-8)
I’m not very happy with my finish. I think I learned a lot from this week. I learned how to play in hot, wet and rain suspensions. This week gave me the chance to learn how to relax despite playing in these conditions. You really need to maintain your concentration in every shot. This is very difficult to do with all the suspensions. This is a very good experience because every day it is like this. It is training to focus on every shot and putt. Of course this will make me a better player. I think I had a chance to win but I will try again. I’m still happy with my round because I played with the winner Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Masters Tournament winner Charl Schwartzel.
(On the double bogey on the 16th hole) I hit my tee shot and it landed in a bad lie. Then I needed two chips to get on the green and two putted.
S. Murthy (Mas) – Third Round 80 (+8), Total 217 (+1)
I tried to play my best golf today and unfortunately two holes (nine and 10) really let me down. The rest I think I played really solid.
On hole number 10: I hit my ball on the left side. There were about a thousand people there but they couldn’t find my ball. Someone said stuck on the tree so my caddy (Atan) climbed and didn’t find it. Our time to find the ball was up so it was considered lost ball. I returned to the tee and it went to the rough again. I hit a punch shot but my next shot really pulled me down because it was plugged on the lip of the bunker. I couldn’t get out and made nine. It was a solid nine.
On hole nine: I was on the right. There was a stone and mud on my ball but I couldn’t clean it because I was in the slight rough. I hit the ball but it couldn’t fly.
After those two holes, I told myself that it is already over. I tried to recover after that.
I’m happy I made the cut. I played with Padraig Harrington and he is a nice guy. I enjoyed my flight. He is very steady and relax. Even when I lost my ball, they said take it slow. At least they give me some time to think.
I learned a lot of things from Harrington. I loved the crowd because they cheered me on this week. It was nice to hear them say ‘I love you Murthy’ on the 18th hole! I’m sorry that I let them down.
Jeev Milkha Singh (Ind) – Third Round 68 (-4), Total 209 (-7)
I had a great start yesterday. I was five-under after 11 holes. I didn’t drive the ball that well in the morning. I bogeyed 12 and had birdie chances coming in but didn’t convert. I was one-over on the back nine and finished 68 which I think is a good round. I shot seven-under for three days. I could have done better but I’m happy. The good part is my round is getting neater day by day. I needed another round to make it better but I’m happy with a 68.
The rain suspension did stop a bit of momentum yesterday. Obviously you want to keep it going but that’s Malaysia. You have to get used to it and get into the momentum when you go out there. Sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn’t.
I’m playing well and I’m injury free. I’m getting better with my game. I’m improving each week so that’s a positive. If I keep improving every week then a win should be around the corner.
I’m injury free and practising more. I’m building more confidence that way and all I need is four good rounds together. But I don’t practise that much now compared to last time! I used to hit 300 balls last time but now I hit about 150 balls. You got to respect the age (smiles)!