Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Matteo tips for Gavin..

ITALIAN teenager Matteo Manassero, the 2011 Maybank Malaysian Open winner, is back much wiser at 19, for more fun-filled rounds at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club.
  Back then, the shot a 4-under 68 on Sunday to earn a one-stroke victory by upstaging Masters champion Charl Schwartzel and Rory McIlroy.
  Manassero had an eagle on the par-5 10th and added two birdies on the back nine to finish at 16-under 272 two days before his 18th birthday.
  Yesterday, he played in the Pro-Am with Malaysian amateur Gavin Kyle Green and 'co-incidently' they will be on the same flight in Round 1 together with Gaganjeet Bhullar of India.
  "Well, the amateur (Gavin) played really well and I am happy for him that he managed to play with me before the tournament so we could get used toeach other," said the Italian.
  And did he give any advise to the amateur?
  "Actually, he hit 40 yards further than me in the pro-am, and I don't think he need any advise on that matter.
  "But we did talk about tactics, and how to plan for a tournament, and I hope it would be helpful tomorrow (today). I also spoke to his father, who caddies for him, and we are looking forward to a good start," said Manassero.
  On his preparations for the Open, Manassero said he has shed six kilos in the last six weeks, and feels much 'faster' now.
  "The hip is moving just right, and I feel much more stronger and faster after six weeks of working out.
  "And with such a good course, and many places to be comfortable at the hotel, I am feeling at my best a day before," said Manassero.

Always attracts the best..

THE US$2.75 million Maybank Malaysian Open has never failed to attract the best in the world, and today will be no different as world number three Luke Donald will be among the title contenders at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club.
  The Englishman will be making a debut appearance at the Malaysian Open and is in fine form after finishing tied fourth in his title defense of the Tampa Bay Championship in the United States on Sunday.
  He is also the first man to win the money lists in Europe and US in 2011. Having arrived Malaysia on Tuesday, the Englishman is eager to overcome jet-lag to claim his first title of the year.
   Then there is Asia's best Gaganjeet Bhullar, who made a brave final round charge at the Avantha Masters in India on Sunday but finished second. However, his result propelled him to the top of the Order of Merit and the four-time Asian Tour winner is among an elite cast of Indian stars this week and is highly tipped to contend for the title.
  Malaysia's most successful golfer Danny Chia summed up the situation when he said: "The Malaysian Open has always attracted top-10 golfers over the years and even though we Malaysians have never won the title, it is our only chance of playing alongside the best and also for the local fans to watch their idols playing in front of them, instead on on television."
   So, as the Malaysian golfers, 16 professionals and six amateurs, take a back-seat, the focus will be on the likes of South African Charl Schwartzel, who will be making his third straight appearance at the Maybank Malaysian Open. His best result in the event was sixth in last year’s edition. He is riding a fine form with three top-10 results albeit without a victory so far this season. Something he is eager to change this week.
   And the Open is never a dull moment for the Thais' who have the likes of Thongchai Jaidee who won back-to-back titles in 2004 and 2005, but the veteran will find the going tough in his chase to win the title and move closer to the top-50 in the world from his present 59th, which he needs to enter by the first week of April to qualify for the Masters Tournament.
  Then there is Thaworn Wiratchant, ranked 81st in the world and has a wealth of experience playing in Malaysia. His best result in the Malaysian Open was tied eighth in the 2004 edition.
  Padraig Harrington of Ireland is a three-time Major champion but will play this week without his trusted driver. However he has a new pair of glasses which he hopes will give him a clear vision of the Seagram trophy which awarded to the champion.
   He has a good record in Malaysia where he won the 2010 Iskandar Johor Open on the Asian Tour and finished tied 13th at the 2006 Maybank Malaysian Open which was also staged at the Kuala Lumpur GCC.    He was also runner-up behind Vijay Singh of Fiji in 2001.
  Star Players Luke Donald, Padraig Harrington, Matteo Manassero and Charl Schwartzel are already worthy winners when they teed-off in a once-in-a-lifetime “Star Experience for Charity” golf game as part of a charity initiative for the Maybank Malaysian Open.
  They managed to collect a total of RM40,000 and the amount was matched with another RM40,000 by Maybank’s charitable arm, Maybank Foundation making the total RM80,000.
  The Open has produced many surprise winners over the years, and it would be a real surprise if any of the 22 Malaysians even come close to the top-10 on Sunday.

Gaganjeet oozing with confidence..

INDIA'S rising start and Asian Tour leader Gaganjeet Bhullar was oozing with confidence yesterday, and said only the weather can derail his plans of making an impact in the Malaysian Open.
  "My putting has been simply great and in the modern game, where the leaders normally hit 15 greens of more in a round, that is what separates the winners form the runners-up," said the Avantha Masters runner-up with rounds of 68-69-67-64 for a 268 total.
  And the fact that he likes the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club will make the tournament more exciting for him.
  "I love this course and it looks like the roughs are not really
rough this year and the greens are playing just right. It could mean a very low winning score, if the rain does not spoil our party.
  And just as he mentioned the rain, it started to drizzle at the
KLGCC as a showcase of what one might expect this weekend.
  Gaganjeet's second spot last weekend propelled him to the top of the Asian Tour Order of Merit, as he leads with earnings of US$262,648.
  When asked about the state of golf in India, Gaganjeet predicted that it will take at least another 10 to 15 years to produce a bigger pool of players back home.
  "When gold made it to the Olympics, our government started to take more notice of its development and last I heard that 35 new courses were under construction.
  "As a former Asian Games player myself, I would love to play in the Olympics as it is the pinnacle of the sporting world. As even though we only won silver (2006 Doha), I remember the many functions and accolades that we received a result.
  "So, if I get a chance to play in the Olympics, it would be the
biggest moment of my life," said the 24-year-old.

Danny Chia bracing himself..

DANNY Chia did not make the cut last year, and he believes he is in for more tough rounds at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club.
  "It is always tough for me to play in front of the home crowd, as the pressure is never easy to overcome.
  "Sure, it's easy for me to console myself by saying that I am playing against the course, and there should be no pressure of the big names around it.
  "But it is easier said that done. From past experience, when I'm on the first tee in the first round, the pressure is killing," said Danny who won the ADT Tour at the PGM Northport Glenmarie Masters, but then blew his game in India the very next weekend.
  "The ADT win gave my some confidence, but I have never liked to play in India and my record there for the past 10 years speaks for itself.
  "I never got used to the atmosphere and food there, and even though this is bad coming from a professional, but that's the fact.
  "And in the Malaysian open, I always have one bad round which spoils everything for me. Sure, every good player goes through the same experience but their bad day is two or one under, while mine is two to three over.
  "If I can just turn by bad round into an under, then this is going to be a wonderful tournament," said Danny.
  Last year, only Shaaban Hussin made the cut while all the other Malaysian's fell by the cut.
  "I believe we have two good challengers who will do well this year and they are fast improving Gavin (Green) and Nicholas (Fung).
  "Gavin has been playing very well and when I teed-off with him recently, he has shown maturity and should be the Malaysian to watch in this tournament.
  "As for Nicholas, he has been hitting very well and this could turn out to be the turning point for him as well," said Danny.

22 Malaysians to the fore..

SIX Malaysian amateurs will be among the 22 Malaysian golfers vying for honours at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club from today.
  The six were picked after the Maybank Malaysian Open National Qualifier and they are Gavin Kyle Green, Arie Ahmad Fauzi, Low Khai Jei, Abel Tham, Afif Mohd Radzi and Solomon Emilio Rosidin.
 Twenty year old Gavin has been making his mark in the golf scene ever since he chose golf as his sport of choice. He was the youngest participant in an Asian Tour event when he played in the Iskandar Johor Open at the age of 13.
  He is currently majoring in Business at the University of New Mexico.
  Arie Arawan currently plays for the University of Tulsa in his junior season. He is a promising golf talent who has won the Malaysian Amateur StrokePlay Championship in 2008.
  And sixteen-year-old Low Khai Jei is another amateur talent who was also chosen to be part of Maybank Malaysian Open last.
  The 16 Malaysian professionals in the hunt are Danny Chia, Shaaban Hussin, Akhmal Tarmizee, Rashid Ismail, S. Murthy, S. Sivachandhran, Azman Basharuddin, Kenneth De Silva, Nicholas Fung, Sukree Othman Rashid, R. Nanchimuthu, Airil Rizman Zahari and National Qualifier winners Kemarol Baharin, Sasidaran Muthiah, Hanafiah Jamil and P. Gunasegaran.