Zach Murray (AUS)
I just landed in this morning and it’s been a pretty big day and a half for me but I’m feeling pretty good. I just had a nice pie from the bakery in Arrowtown so that’s fixed me up pretty good. It was an amazing week last week in Mexico and then the last 12 months has been a bit of a blur for me really. It’s been a lot of, obviously starting really here last year I sort of kick-started me for 2019 and I played quite well up in Asia and in the co-sanctioned stuff and then was able to finish the year decent at the PGA and get my European Tour card so that was a huge bonus for me. I’m feeling pretty good. I had a fair bit of sleep on the plane and the last few months my swing has been feeling pretty consistent. Obviously last week, I get a lot of confidence from that and then I think I’ve said it all along this is one of my favourite places in the world, Queenstown and coming here I was really excited. When I rocked up to the hotel this morning my photo was in the front of the hotel so that was quite strange. It’s just so cool. I’m super excited and I think just getting those feelings back of last year and I’m playing here tomorrow but playing at The Hills on Friday and sort of maybe going down the 18th it’s the next time I’ve been down there since last year that’ll be pretty cool. There were a lot of nerves flowing there last year so probably not as many on Friday but hopefully I can reignite that stuff and get the lead on Sunday.
Geoff Ogilvy (AUS)
It has been a change since I moved back to Australia after 20 years in America. Doing the school run a lot more, not getting on a plane every Sunday night has been nice. Getting used to that and settling the family down in Australia has been cool. I am going to play a bit more. I am certainly not done. I’d like to think I can have my cake and eat it – be a good dad at home and still play a few tournaments around the world. The US Open is back at Winged Foot this year and I try to play a little patch around that and see if I can get through and have to qualify for that. The game is changing and getting a bit younger and more powerful but while you lose a little in length, you gain it in experience, so golf looks after to you a bit. In other sports the manager says you are done, go do something else. But golf doesn’t do that. There’s plenty of time, I am not in a hurry to do anything.
Michael Campbell (NZL)
I’m back to my fighting weight you could say. I’m down to 90 kilos which is what I was when I was playing which is nice. The only thing that’s lacking really is a bit of match practice, competitive rounds. I haven’t played since November so once again coming into this tournament I’m not expecting too much. I just want to support the New Zealand Open obviously and support my sponsor Manuka Doctor, who brought me over here. He’s been instigating the whole thing about me returning to New Zealand which is fantastic. So without his help and stuff like that I wouldn’t be here. It’s nice to be here. Both courses are fantastic. In great condition, wow. The Hills and in here (Millbrook) it’s a bit more lush, a bit more green, the rough is definitely longer than it was last year. I’m playing with another Major Champion, Geoff (Ogilvy), a very good friend of mine so it’s going to be fun playing with him and my sponsor Matt.
Joohyun Kim (KOR)
I’ve never been to a golf tournament where I’m always taking out my phone to take pictures. But I’m doing it all the time here. The views here are simply amazing. It’s going to be an exciting week. I’m pretty sure of that. I’ve prepared well for this tournament and hopefully the results will show again. Obviously, qualifying for The Open in Singapore last month was a very big achievement for me. And also, winning my first Asian Tour title in India last year. I want to break into the top-100 in the world ranking now. I know I’m in a good position and I’ve a lot of tournaments lining up. So, hopefully I can do that because the Asian Tour will present me with those opportunities for me to do well.
Pavit Tangkamolprasert (THA)
This is my third time here and it’s always a joy to be here. It’s so beautiful and I just love everything here. I love the course here and it’s also good fun playing with the amateurs with this kind of format. It was nice to win again on the Asian Tour after three years with that victory in Sabah last year. I didn’t play too well in his first two events in Hong Kong and Singapore this year. Then I got another win on the ADT at the Boonchu Ruangkit Championship last month which is another huge confidence booster. That win was timely because I felt I was really swinging very badly in those two events. I managed to address them and went on to win again. So all these are good signs that my good form is returning.
Kosuke Hamamoto (THA)
I’ve heard a lot of good things about this place and I’m finally here. I’m so happy of what I’ve managed to achieve as a rookie last year and with my second year on Tour now, I’m going to set some new goals and keep progressing. To be honest, the first goal is to get that first win on the Asian Tour and as a professional. But I know I have to keep staying patient and keep myself chances. You cannot hurry things but the goal is for that breakthrough.