Kemmer sets early pace at the Solaire Open


Published on April 11, 2013

Manila, April 11: Asian Tour Qualifying School graduate Dodge Kemmer of the United States kept his emotions in check when he grabbed the early first round lead with a six-under-par 66 at the Solaire Open on Thursday.
Kemmer returned with a clean scorecard highlighted by six birdies to hold a two-shot advantage over Thailand’s Pawin Ingkhapradit on a tough scoring day at the inaugural US$300,000 Asian Tour event where only seven players finished under-par in the morning session.
Lin Wen-tang of Chinese Taipei, a multiple Asian Tour winner and local hope Mars Pucay, who is searching for a first Asian Tour win, posted identical 69s at the challenging Wack Wack Golf and Country Club.
Baek Seuk-hyun of Korea, who is currently ranked fifth on the Order of Merit, returned with a 70 to share fifth place with Australia’s Matt Jager while Korean veteran Mo Joong-kyung was a further shot back.
Kemmer, who regained his Asian Tour card at Qualifying School earlier this year after losing his playing rights last season, bounced back into form by reading golf and psychology books.
“I get down on myself pretty easily. I’m trying to stay more level emotionally and that’s easy to do when you are playing well. It will be interesting to see if I can handle my emotions when I hit some adversity this week,” said the 25-year-old.
Pawin Ingkhapradit of Thailand Pawin Ingkhapradit of Thailand
“I really like this course and I played here last year. I really like the course so it is always easier to go out and play a good round when you are happy and excited to play the course. I knew I had it in me and luckily it worked out for me,” smiled Kemmer.
The young American is playing in his second year on the Asian Tour and he hopes the familiarity of the golf courses will lead him to a first professional victory on the region’s premier Tour which is celebrating its 10th milestone season.
“I’m loving the Asian Tour more than I did last year, which was already a lot! I’m happy to be playing here. In the first year, you get used to everything. It is totally different from anything in America which I’m used to but I feel a lot more comfortable out here now,” he added.
Pawin continued his solid form by taking advantage of his fondness for the greens which he likened to his home course at the Army Golf Club.
“I share the same home club as Thaworn (Wiratchant) and the greens are the same as Wack Wack,” he smiled. “All my birdie putts were from inside 10 feet. There was very little wind in the morning so that was good. I played here last year but I shot an 84 and 78 in the opening two rounds. Today I shot a 68 which shows how much I’ve improved as a golfer.”
Ends.
 


Published on

Dodge Kemmer (Usa) – First Round 66 (-6)
Obviously I played well. The shots I did miss, I was able to recover from, which was due to luck. I hit a couple of drivers which I missed left but I ended up making birdies on those holes. That was a gift.
There were a couple of putts on the back which could have made this a perfect round but I missed those. Overall, I’m very pleased how my round turned out today.
I really like this course and I played here last year. I wasn’t able to score but I had one good round going last year so I knew it was possible to shoot a low score. I really like the course so it is always easier to go out and play a good round when you are happy and excited to play the course. I knew I had it in me and luckily it worked out for me.
I’m loving the Asian Tour more than I did last year, which was already a lot! I’m happy to be playing here and hope I can to play in many events as possible.
In the first year, you get used to everything. It is totally different from anything in America which I’m used to but I feel a lot more comfortable out here now. It is a better experience than last year.
I haven’t been playing that well in tournaments. I feel like my scores don’t reflect how well I’m playing, which has gotten frustrating. Hopefully I can start to play more in events like how I play at the driving range or during practice rounds.
Usually things sneak into my swing which I don’t see coming. By the time I figure it out, I will be on the 17 or 18th holes or at the range. A lot of it is mental. I get down on myself pretty easily. I’m trying to stay more level emotionally and that’s easy to do when you are playing well. It will be interesting to see if I can handle my emotions when I hit some adversity this week.
I haven’t see anybody about my mental side of my game but I’ve done some reading and talking with friends and family. I’ve been trying to work it out myself. I’ve been reading a few golf books and general psychology books. Nothing in particular. I don’t know if it has helped yet but the books have given me a lot of ideas and shown me how everything works at a baseline level. Now I have to find out how to translate that into something that I can use.
Pawin Ingkhapradit (Tha) – First round 68 (-4)
Pawin Ingkhapradit of Thailand Pawin Ingkhapradit of Thailand
The greens here are the same like my home course in Thailand, the Army Golf Club, which is also the home course for Thaworn Wiratchant. I’m very lucky today. I hit many fairways and did not miss any greens.
I didn’t have any long putts but all my birdie putts were from inside 10 feet. There was very little wind in the morning so that was good. I played here last year but I shot an 84 and 78 in the opening two rounds. Today I shot a 68 which shows how much I’ve improved as a golfer.
Lin Wen-tang (Tpe) – First round 69 (-3)
This week I changed to a new putter. My brother (Lin Wen-hong) went to the United States and he tested some new putters and told me to change to this new PING putter. I’m using it this week and shot a three-under. It is feeling really good.
I putted very badly last year. I averaged about 30 putts a round and you can’t win tournaments if you putt like that. I hit about 75% of fairways and greens last season but only my putting let me down.
Wack Wack is not a long course but the fairways are very small. I missed a few fairways but I still managed to return with my score which I’m really happy about.
Baek Seuk-hyun of Korea Baek Seuk-hyun of Korea
Baek Seuk-hyun (Kor) – First round 70 (-2)
I’ve played some bad shots here today. It’s really hard to play on this course. Sometimes there’s wind and sometime there is no wind. I played about five to six bad shots but had some ups and downs to save the game and I also had some chances to make birdies.
To play well on this course, you really got to use your brain. It’s a really good course for you to score but you have to be calm and make your own game plans while you’re out there.
The particular hole that stood out today was the 8th hole. I actually hit a bad shot and it got a little tough there but luckily the ball kept to the right and got into the hole. I was lucky to have the chance to make a birdie there even though I hit a bad shot. Overall, I’m really happy with my score today. The 8th hole is going to be very important this week. You can easily get five there if you miss one shot.
I took a week off last week to practise for this week’s event. I lost my passport on Sunday but managed to get it back on Monday. I had accidently dropped my passport in my friend’s car when we were practising together. I didn’t know that until my friend called me on Monday to say that my passport’s with him. I was lucky to still get on a flight here. I guess these are just some of the situations you get.


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April 11: Thailand’s Chawalit Plaphol secured his fourth Asian Tour victory at the season-opening Zaykabar Myanmar Open in February with two closing birdies earning him a one-shot triumph. The sweet-swinging Thai savoured his victory as it ended a two-year winless run on the region’s premier Tour. In the first of our Winning Reflections series, Chawalit recalls the magical week.
By Chawalit Plaphol
It was a week which worked out really well for me. I was driving the ball beautifully all week and also putted nicely which is key to the Royal Mingalardon Golf and Country Club. My short game, especially my wedge play, was also very sharp during the tournament.
I led by two strokes going into the final round but I knew it was going to be very close as players are able to put together a low round at Royal Mingalardon. And true enough, Mithun Perera had a great round going on the last day.
I recalled making a bogey on the ninth hole to drop back to 16-under for the tournament and it was up and down for me as I made birdie on 14 and then dropped another bogey on 15 to stay on 16-under.
Playing the last two holes, I knew that Mithun had finished strongly with a 65 to set the clubhouse mark at 17-under-par as he was three holes ahead of my group.
On the 17th tee, I knew I needed to hit the fairway but unfortunately, didn’t hit my second shot close enough to the pin. I was left with about a 30-footer for birdie. It was an uphill putt and I just told myself that I needed to give the putt a go. I certainly didn’t want to leave it short of the hole.Zaykabar Myanmar Open - Round Three
Somehow, the ball found the bottom of the cup. I never thought it would go in as it was such a long putt. It was a big bonus that it went in.
Tied for the lead and playing the par five closing hole, I knew I had a good chance to shoot another birdie for the victory. I hit the fairway with a good drive and then layed up with a six iron to about 108 yards to the pin.
With a wedge, I hit it a pretty good shot to about four feet of the flag. Looking at the putt, I had a lot of confidence that I would hole it and I wasn’t at all nervous. Even if I missed that putt, I knew I would still have an advantage in the play-off as Mithun is not a long hitter and we were to go back to the par five 18th hole.
Thankfully, I holed the putt for my win. It is good to win again after two years and this will give me a lot of confidence moving forward for the rest of the 2013 season.
Ends


Published on

Manila, April 11: Asian Tour Qualifying School graduate Dodge Kemmer of the United States kept his emotions in check when he grabbed the first round lead with a six-under-par 66 at the Solaire Open on Thursday.
Kemmer returned with a clean scorecard highlighted by six birdies to hold a two-shot advantage over Thailand’s Pawin Ingkhapradit at the inaugural US$300,000 Asian Tour event, which is title sponsored by the Solaire Resort and Casino.
Lin Wen-tang of Chinese Taipei, a multiple Asian Tour winner and local hope Mars Pucay, who is searching for a first Asian Tour win, posted identical 69s to be among 12 players to shoot under-par at the challenging Wack Wack Golf and Country Club.
Baek Seuk-hyun of Korea, who is ranked fifth on the Order of Merit, registered a 70 to share fifth place with Australia’s Matt Jager, Daisuke Kataoka of Japan and Thai duo Rattanon Wannasrichan and Piya Swangarunporn.
Kemmer, who regained his Asian Tour card by finishing 21st at Qualifying School after losing his playing rights last season, returned to form after reading psychology books to improve his mental strength.
Pawin Ingkhapradit of Thailand Pawin Ingkhapradit of Thailand
“I get down on myself pretty easily. I’m trying to stay more level emotionally and that’s easy to do when you are playing well. It will be interesting to see if I can handle my emotions when I hit some adversity this week,” said the 25-year-old.
He struggled to ignite a title charge in his rookie season last year but hopes to turn the tide in his favour on the familiar Wack Wack East course.
“I really like this course when I played here last year. It is always easier to go out and play a good round when you are happy and excited to play the course. I knew I had it in me and luckily it worked out for me,” smiled Kemmer.
“I’m loving the Asian Tour more than I did last year, which was already a lot! I’m happy to be playing here. In the first year, you get used to everything. It is totally different from anything in America which I’m used to but I feel a lot more comfortable out here now,” he added.
Pawin, who secured a tied fifth result at the SAIL-SBI Open in India in March, felt comfortable on the Wack Wack greens, which were almost similar to the greens on his home course at the Army Golf Club in Thailand.
“I share the same home club as Thaworn (Wiratchant) and the greens are the same as Wack Wack,” he smiled. “All my birdie putts were from inside 10 feet. There was very little wind in the morning so that was good. I played here last year but I shot an 84 and 78 in the opening two rounds. Today I shot a 68 which shows how much I’ve improved as a golfer.”
Pucay, the best placed Filipino after day one, is determined to put a disappointing 2012 season behind him as he lost his Asian Tour card for the first time since 2008.
“It was very frustrating last year but I have a chance to make amends this week,” said the 43-year-old. “It is always a good score, anytime you shoot under-par at Wack Wack. I’ve played here since my amateur days so let’s hope that I can keep this momentum going.”
Chinese Taipei star Lin used a new putter to great effect as he sank five birdies against two bogeys to trail Kemm
Lin Wen-tang of Chinese Taipei Lin Wen-tang of Chinese Taipei
er by three shots.
“I putted very badly last year. I averaged about 30 putts a round and you can’t win tournaments if you putt like that. I hit about 75% of fairways and greens last season but only my putting let me down,” lamented Lin, a five-time Asian Tour champion.
Scores after round 1 of the Solaire Open 2013 being played at the par 72, 7222 Yards Wack Wack GcC course (a- denotes amateur):
66 – Dodge KEMMER (USA).
68 – Pawin INGKHAPRADIT (THA).
69 – LIN Wen-tang (TPE), Mars PUCAY (PHI).
70 – Matt JAGER (AUS), BAEK Seuk-hyun (KOR), Daisuke KATAOKA (JPN), Piya SWANGARUNPORN (THA), Rattanon WANNASRICHAN (THA).
71 – MO Joong-kyung (KOR), Tetsuji HIRATSUKA (JPN), Kwanchai TANNIN (THA).
72 – Thanyakon KHRONGPHA (THA), WANG Jeung-hun (KOR), LIN Wen-hong (TPE), Angelo QUE (PHI), Richard T. LEE (CAN), LIN Keng-chi (TPE), Rory HIE (INA), Donlaphatchai NIYOMCHON (THA), Yoshinobu TSUKADA (JPN), Juvic PAGUNSAN (PHI), Chawalit PLAPHOL (THA), Young NAM (KOR), KIM Gi-whan (KOR), Simon GRIFFITHS (ENG), Danny CHIA (MAS), Arnold VILLACENCIO (PHI), Carl SANTOS-OCAMPO (PHI).
Ends.
About Solaire Resort and Casino
Juvic Pagunsan of the Philippines Juvic Pagunsan of the Philippines
Solaire Resort and Casino is the first to open in the highly anticipated Entertainment City project along the Philippine’s famed Manila Bay.
The first phase includes approximately 500 luxuriously appointed rooms, suites and bayside villas as well as resort-style pool facilities, bars and entertainment lounges. In addition, there is a state-of-the-art ballroom and meeting space, and a fully equipped spa and fitness center.
The resort also features a world-class dining experience at our signature, casual and quick serve restaurants. The new dining avenues are headed by world-renowned chefs and showcase a comprehensive selection of authentic local and international flavors to cater to even the most discerning palate.
And to give you the ultimate Las Vegas gaming experience, Solaire’s expansive 18,500 square-meter casino area stretches two levels of gaming space, including premium VIP salons and an outdoor themed casino and entertainment bar – all loaded with the most popular slot machines and table games, such as Baccarat, Blackjack, Pontoon and many more!
About the Solaire Open
The Solaire Open is a new event on the 2013 Asian Tour Schedule. It is title sponsored by the Solaire Resort and Casino and supported by DOT (Department of Tourism), Hyundai, the Official Mobility, Pru Life UK, the Official Insurer, Nescafé Dolce Gusto, the Official Coffee and Omega, the Official Timekeeper. The suppliers for the event include Holiday Inn Manila Galleria, the Official Hotel, Johnnie Walker, the Official Whiskey, Asahi Super Dry, the Official Beer, Srixon, the Official Ball, Panasonic, the Official Television Provider, Canon, the Office Solutions Provider and PepsiCo, the Official Water and Sports Drinks.
About the Asian Tour
In 2013, the Asian Tour will celebrate a momentous milestone with its 10th season. As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Abacus (Official Apparel Partner), BlackBerry (Official Communications Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Srixon (Official Ball), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf, www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf, www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf


Published on April 10, 2013

April 10: Asian Tour number one Thaworn Wiratchant will tee off the opening two rounds of the Masters Tournament with Ryder Cup star Nicholas Colsaerts and former British Open champion Stewart Cink.
The 46-year-old Thai, who won the Order of Merit last season following three wins, is making his debut in the year’s opening Major at Augusta National. Asian Tour honorary members K.J. Choi and Y.E. Yang are also competing this week.
Choi will tee off with former Masters champion Zach Johnson and Graeme McDowell while Yang will play with another Asian Tour honorary member Vijay Singh and Bo Van Pelt.
All eyes will be on Thaworn as he seeks to become the first Thai to play in all four rounds of the fabled tournament.
He enjoyed his first taste of practising at Augusta National in front of thousands of patrons on Tuesday.
“I can see a lot of spectator today (Tuesday), different from yesterday which players are practicing. There are so many people at Augusta. I can see how big the Masters really is,” said Thaworn.
He has been practising his long iron shots as the weather forecast is predicting some rain during the first and second rounds.
“I have practiced most approach shots with longer irons. And I’ve been trying to get more feel on the greens. My caddie has also worked out the greens and my body is getting better from jetlag,” he said.


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April 10: Scott Barr of Australia is ready to take up the challenge with his refined game plan at the Wack Wack Golf & Country Club for the inaugural Solaire Open this week. In this latest blog, Barr talks about being motivated by countrymen Scott Hend and Wade Ormsby who won the last two Asian Tour events.
By Scott Barr
The Wack Wack golf course is a challenge, as always. The greens have undulations and the fairways are narrow. It’s a very strategic course. You’ve got to do your own planning to complete the course. It’s not a course that I’ve done great over the years but I’ve been refining my game plans a lot.
Hopefully I can do a lot better this year. I think there are two ways you can play on this course. You can either be aggressive or conservative. Over the years, I think I’m starting to take on the more conservative way now. Hopefully that will pay a little bit of dividends!
I’ve been playing consistent this year though I’m not breaking any records. I’m happy that I’m putting a lot better too. I’ll just need to pull through four days of really good golf together. I’m looking forward to see improvements in my game.
I took a week off last week to spend some time with my family. It’s really good to see my young son and my wife after being on the road for four consecutive weeks. I spent quality time at home last week, caught up with my friends and launched some business ideas with them which were pretty good.
You will probably be cooking a good steak with one of my products next time! (laughs)
My Facebook page and website have been running well. I’m trying to update everything I can and keep myself on top of things even though I’ve been busy. Although it’s a little time-consuming, I guess it’s good to keep my fans updated with how I’m doing. Some weeks I get good stories but some weeks I don’t. After all, it’s just a bit of fun.
Having seen Australians winning twice in a row is really a huge motivation for me. It’s good to see Australians playing well again on the tour. I’ll be pretty happy if I can hold the trophy this week!


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Manila, April 10: Juvic Pagunsan hopes to cradle the inaugural Solaire Open trophy and a new born baby boy when he bids for a long-awaited second Asian Tour title at the US$300,000 event which starts on Thursday.
The Filipino star is gearing up for a pressure-packed week as his wife (Len) is expected to give birth to their second child within a fortnight.
“It is a bit of a pressure for me because I’m worried about my wife. She doesn’t have a driver so I’ll have to fetch her to the doctor. My daughter knows how to contact me when the time comes. It isn’t easy. I had to come early for a practice round today (Wednesday), play nine holes and return home to take care of my wife,” said Pagunsan.
Pagunsan, the first Filipino to win the Asian Tour Order of Merit in 2011, remains steadfast that he can overcome the strong challenges from the elite field this week and end a six-year title drought on the region’s premier Tour, which is celebrating its milestone 10th season.
“I think we are all happy with this new event on the Asian Tour and in the Philippines. This new tournament is big for all of us. I’ll try my best to win. I’m hitting the ball good. I need luck to win. I’ve come close on so many occasions but I just need that stroke of luck to win again,” he said.
Mardan Mamat of Singapore Mardan Mamat of Singapore
He is wary of the challenging Wack Wack Golf and Country Club and rates the par three eighth hole, which has narrow fairways and an elevated green, as a ‘monster’.
“The par three eighth hole is very hard. It is a ‘monster’ hole for me. I think everybody will find it tough when they reach that hole. The greens are elevated and if you miss it, your ball might roll down the slope. Honestly, I don’t know this golf course as well as the other Filipino players. So I don’t think I have an advantage here,” added Pagunsan.
Mardan Mamat of Singapore, who is aiming to relive his winning memories at the 2012 Philippine Open, said Wack Wack is a planning course and does not always reward the long hitters.
“Most of my victories came on old courses and this is one of the courses which I like to play on. You need to have good course management. It is not all about power here. You need to know where you have to place the ball and not just hit it strong off the tees,” said the 45-year-old.
“It is more fun when you can shape the ball instead of just hitting it long. Hitting long balls is the key for most of the players but I like to make shots and think about what shots to hit. It is not always about hitting hard,” he added.
Korea’s Baek Seuk-hyun, currently fifth on the Asian Tour Order of Merit, China’s Hu Mu, who enjoyed a runner-up result in Chiangmai two weeks ago and Scott Barr of Australia are among the players from 22 countries vying for honours this week.
Hu, ranked 27th on the Order of Merit, makes a return to the Wack Wack East course, a familiar course where he finished tied 33rd at the Philippine Open last year.
Scott Barr of Australia Scott Barr of Australia
“I feel good coming back to this course. I’m familiar with the course since I played here last year. Staying in the same hotel, playing on the same golf course, it’s really nice coming back to play here,” said Hu.
“The course is really difficult. It seems to be catered for golfers who can drive the ball really well. Having played in a couple of Asian Tour events this year, I’ve learnt to take my time when I’m out on the course.”
Barr is inspired by the victories of countrymen Scott Hend and Wade Ormsby, who won the Chiangmai Golf Classic and Panasonic Open India respectively in the last two weeks.
“Having seen Australians winning twice in a row is really a huge motivation for me. It’s good to see Australians playing well again on the tour. I’ll be pretty happy if I can hold the trophy this week!” said Barr.
The rejuvenated Australian, who is coming into the Solaire Open after taking a week’s break, is planning a more conservative approach with hopes that it will lead him to a first Asian Tour win.
“I think there are two ways you can play on this course. You can either be aggressive or conservative. Over the years, I think I’m starting to take on the more conservative way. Hopefully that will pay a little bit of dividends!” he added.
Ends.
About Solaire Resort and Casino
Solaire Resort and Casino is the first to open in the highly anticipated Entertainment City project along the Philippine’s famed Manila Bay.
The first phase includes approximately 500 luxuriously appointed rooms, suites and bayside villas as well as resort-style pool facilities, bars and entertainment lounges. In addition, there is a state-of-the-art ballroom and meeting space, and a fully equipped spa and fitness center.
The resort also features a world-class dining experience at our signature, casual and quick serve restaurants. The new dining avenues are headed by world-renowned chefs and showcase a comprehensive selection of authentic local and international flavors to cater to even the most discerning palate.
And to give you the ultimate Las Vegas gaming experience, Solaire’s expansive 18,500 square-meter casino area stretches two levels of gaming space, including premium VIP salons and an outdoor themed casino and entertainment bar – all loaded with the most popular slot machines and table games, such as Baccarat, Blackjack, Pontoon and many more!
About the Solaire Open
The Solaire Open is a new event on the 2013 Asian Tour Schedule. It is title sponsored by the Solaire Resort and Casino and supported by DOT (Department of Tourism), Hyundai, the Official Mobility, Pru Life UK, the Official Insurer, Nescafé Dolce Gusto, the Official Coffee and Omega, the Official Timekeeper. The suppliers for the event include Holiday Inn Manila Galleria, the Official Hotel, Johnnie Walker, the Official Whiskey, Asahi Super Dry, the Official Beer, Srixon, the Official Ball, Panasonic, the Official Television Provider, Canon, the Office Solutions Provider and PepsiCo, the Official Water and Sports Drinks.
About the Asian Tour
In 2013, the Asian Tour will celebrate a momentous milestone with its 10th season. As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Abacus (Official Apparel Partner), BlackBerry (Official Communications Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Srixon (Official Ball), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf, www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf, www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf
 


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April 10: Asian Tour Honorary Member K.J. Choi will savour a special Masters Tournament even before the first tee shot in struck on Thursday.
The Korean star, who is an eight-time winner on the PGA Tour and also known for his charitable work, will receive the Charlie Bartlett Award presented by the Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA) on Wednesday night.
The award, named after the association’s first secretary, recognizes professional golfers for their charity work and contributions to the betterment of society. Choi will become the first Asian recipient of the award which was first presented in 1971.
“This award isn’t just for me as an individual,” Choi told Yonhap News Agency. “I think this sends a message to other Asian golfers that they will too have opportunities, and they should also try to make changes with their actions.”
Choi, the first Asian Tour graduate to make it big in America, revealed that he took two weeks to prepare his acceptance speech in English. He joked that he would present his speech to an American audience in “Konglish”.
He said he also plans to build a new training facility for golfers in Korea as part of giving back to the game.
“I’ve made it this far from Wando, which only had one driving range, with help from a lot of people,” Choi said. “And that is why I am trying to help others now, and I am going to keep helping them. That’s the gist of my speech.”
The first Asian to host his own tournament on the Asian Tour with the CJ Invitational hosted by KJ Choi which was launched in 2011, Choi will quickly turn his attention to the year’s first Major at Augusta National Golf Club.
His best finish was third in 2004 with several other top-10s in recent years as well. With a new caddie on the bag this year, Choi is hoping to challenge for the title which he covets the most.
“As I do every year, I am looking forward this year’s Masters very much. It is a special place and a special tournament. I had a pretty good week in San Antonio last week (top-10) and I am hoping to bring some of that good momentum into the Masters,” said Choi.
“I always treat every tournament week the same. I prepare mentally and physically for the best possible outcome. But something about this tournament seems to make you focus a bit more and concentrate a bit more. “
Choi will use a new bagman, Alistair Matheson at the Masters. Matheson has been the long-time caddie for Australian Geoff Ogilvy, the former US Open champion.
“This year, I have a new caddy who has quite a lot of experience so it is a bit different,” he said.
For the first two rounds of the Masters, Choi has been paired with two former major winners: Zach Johnson, the 2007 Masters champion, and Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland, the 2010 U.S. Open winner.
 


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Juvic Pagunsan (Phi)
I think we are all happy with this new event on the Asian Tour and in the Philippines. I have to thank Mr. Enrique Razon (Chairman/President of Bloomberry Resorts Corporation and Chairman and CEO of the International Container Terminal Services, Inc (ICTSI) for giving us this tournament. This new tournament is big not only for me but for all of us.
Yes, this is my first time to see my picture on the poster. I’m so happy. The par three eighth hole is very hard. It is a ‘monster’ hole for me. I think everybody will find it tough when they reach that hole. The greens are elevated and if you miss it, your ball might roll down the slope.
Honestly, I don’t know this golf course as well as the other Filipino players. So I don’t think I have an advantage here.
My wife (Lan) is fine but she is due to give birth to our second child sometime this week or next. It is a bit of a pressure for me because I’m worried for her. She doesn’t have a driver so I’ll have to fetch her to the doctor when the time comes.
My daughter knows how to contact me and she will do the necessary when the time comes. It isn’t easy. I had to come early for a practice round today (Wednesday), play nine holes and return home to take care of my wife.
We haven’t thought of a name yet. My wife and daughter will choose. Maybe it will be Juvic Junior (laughs). I’ll leave it to them to choose.
I’ll try my best to win. I’m hitting the ball good so I’ll try my best this week. I need ‘luck’ to win. I’ve come close on so many occasions but I just need that stroke of luck to win again.
Mardan Mamat (Sin)
Most of my victories came on old courses and this is one of the courses which I like to play on. You need to have good course management. It is not all about power here. You need to know where you have to place the ball and not just hit it strong off the tees. That’s why I like playing here.
It is more fun when you can shape the ball instead of just hitting it long. Hitting long balls is the key for most of the players but I like to make shots and think about what shots to hit. It is not always about hitting hard.
Mardan Mamat of Singapore Mardan Mamat of Singapore
If you finish four days with a par on the eighth hole, you probably have a good chance to win the tournament. That’s the key hole to move yourself in contention. It is a tough hole. If the tee box is placed behind then it will be even more difficult.
The eighth hole is one of the toughest par three on the Asian Tour. I think you need to respect some of the holes here. This is a planning course. You have to put your ball in the right position.
Scott Barr (Aus)
The Wack Wack golf course is a challenge, as always. The greens have undulations and the fairways are narrow. It’s a very strategic course. You’ve got to do your own planning to complete the course. It’s not a course that I’ve done great over the years but I’ve been refining my game plans a lot.
Hopefully I can do a lot better this year. I think there are two ways you can play on this course. You can either be aggressive or conservative. Over the years, I think I’m starting to take on the more conservative way now. Hopefully that will pay a little bit of dividends!
I’ve been playing consistent this year though I’m not breaking any records. I’m happy that I’m putting a lot better too. I’ll just need to pull through four days of really good golf together. I’m looking forward to see improvements in my game.
I took a week off last week to spend some time with my family. It’s really good to see my young son and my wife after being on the road for four consecutive weeks. I spent quality time at home last week, caught up with my friends and launched some business ideas with them which were pretty good.
You will probably be cooking a good steak with one of my products next time! (laughs)
My Facebook page and website have been running well. I’m trying to update everything I can and keep myself on top of things even though I’ve been busy. Although it’s a little time-consuming, I guess it’s good to keep my fans updated with how I’m doing. Some weeks I get good stories but some weeks I don’t. After all, it’s just a bit of fun.
Having seen Australians winning twice in a row is really a huge motivation for me. It’s good to see Australians playing well again on the tour. I’ll be pretty happy if I can hold the trophy this week!
Hu Mu (Chn)
I feel good coming back to this course. I’m familiar with the course since I played here last year. Staying in the same hotel, playing on the same golf course, it’s really nice coming back to play here. I like the food here too. The course is really difficult. It seems to be catered for golfers who can drive the ball really well. Having played in a couple of Asian Tour events this year, I’ve learnt to take my time when I’m out on the course. Every single day of the tournament is important. I’ve learnt to take one step at a time, play hole by hole and not be too impatient. I hope to finish in top 10 for this week. I’m been finishing in top ten for the last couple of weeks. My score was 1-over last year and my position was already tied 7th. This year, I hope I can get an even or under. I’ll try my best this week. You have to have a  good strategy in order to play well on this course. It’s a very tricky and challenging course. You have to start the ball well and try to his as many greens as possible. Hitting the greens on this course is not easy and probably the toughest I’ve seen so far. You just have to try and not make so many mistakes.
 


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April 10: Asian Tour Tournament Director Jittisak Tamprasert is making a third appearance as a rules official at the Masters Tournament which starts on Thursday.
Jittisak previously lend his expertise at the year’s first Major tournament in 2011 and 2012. He also served as a rules official in multiple British Opens as well as World Golf Championship events.
Jittisak, who has unwavering commitment to the rules of golf, will be the second Thai after Thaworn Wiratchant to roam the fairways at Augusta National Golf Club albeit without golf clubs!