SMBC Singapore Open Preview: What they said – Asian Tour

SMBC Singapore Open Preview: What they said


Jazz Janewattananond (Tha) – Defending champion

Winning the SMBC Singapore Open last year really opened a lot of doors for me last year. I managed to break into the world’s top-100, got into many tournaments and had many other new opportunities.

I have to thank this tournament and I am really happy to be back this year. I got the same locker as last year so hopefully this year the same magic happens. If you play well here, you can get started to get the ball rolling for the year.

It is a very big week and a good start for the year. I think it is important to be strong mentally, especially on the golf course when you have to hit the straight and long shots. I need to pick which tournament would be the best for me out of all the tournaments.

If I am playing America, I would just stick to that country for that period, and likewise for Europe or Asia. I would not want to be flying back and forth as it would cause jet lag and fatigue.

So I think that’s why I signed with Excel Sports Management to help me solve these sorts of problems. I think it is good to have more alternatives, and more tournaments to choose from.

I think with the Masters and the Olympics this year, these are two very important tournaments to me. Masters would be my first one and it was always my dream as a kid to be able to compete in the masters.

Golf is on the Olympics this year and I am really looking forward to playing in the Olympics which is the biggest sporting event in the world.

Doyeob Mun of Korea

Doyeob Mun (Kor)

I have very good memories of this place from last year. I made an albatross in the second round to make the halfway cut! I’m feeling the good vibes coming back here. I just want to enjoy this week. I will aim to focus on every shot and try my best to post another good result here.

The greens feel not as fast as last year so far, not yet! I’m sure it will get faster. The course is looking great as usual. The weather’s a little bit humid. The course seems to be playing longer. But overall, everything looks great this week.
I did enjoy a good season last year but last week in Hong Kong, I didn’t quite get my feel back.

My swing wasn’t that good so I have been practicing and focusing on the mechanics at the range quite a bit. I hope it will be better this week. I played well here last year to get a spot at The Open where I made my Major debut. I’m not going to think about it now because that will give me a lot of pressure. I will just focus on my game and I believe the results will show.

I think you need to hit good iron shots here and you need to putt well to score. This is not an easy course. You need to place the ball on the right positions on the greens to give yourself a chance for par or birdie. That’s the key I think.

James Leow (a) (SGP)

You don’t get a lot of chances to play in professional events as an amateur. I’m very happy that the Asian Tour gave me a sponsor’s invitation to play in the Hong Kong Open last week. I have been practicing a lot and working on my game. That golf medal in the Philippines has done wonders for my career and it’s definitely a confidence booster towards my dream.

My dream is to get onto the PGA TOUR and play alongside big names like Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas. Right now, I’m just trying to stay in the present and focus on getting there, hopefully one day.

Getting to play in front of the home crowd at the SMBC Singapore Open this week means a lot to me but I’m telling myself to focus on the process and focusing on what I need to do, instead of the outcome and expectations.

I’m looking forward to playing in the SMBC Singapore Open this week, especially after winning the gold medal. I think a lot of people are more aware of me, as well as the Singapore team. I’m sure there are a lot more people supporting the Singapore team now as well.

The Serapong course is really tough as you can see. Jazz (Janewattananond) played really well last year to win. The average scores there is usually slightly below even-par or slightly above. I’m looking forward to playing the course this week, fast and firm greens and long holes.

My family and friends will be out to support me this week so I’m really excited. I haven’t really set a target for myself but realistically, I hope to finish inside top-10 which has always been the goal since the start.

Quincy Quek (Sgp)

I haven’t played a tournament in a month and I’m starting out fresh this week. But having said that, I’m really looking forward to the week. I’m not going to put any targets but rather focus on my process instead. My goal for 2020 is to be more consistent. Even though I had two wins last year, I still feel I didn’t have that many good finishes although I had a couple of top-10s. The course still seems to be the same. It’s firm, fast and challenging.

Ryo Ishikawa (Jpn)

Jazz is one of the greatest players on the Asian Tour. We played together here last September in Japan and we were one of the final groups and were three to four shots away from winning. It is always a good experience to play with him, he has many things that I don’t have.

One thing is his mentality which is much stronger compared to three or four years when I saw him. His game is getting so strong, he used to hit 270 to 280 yards four years ago, but last year he hit more than 300 yards when I played with him. His build and height is less than mine but he is still hitting 300 yards which shows how good he is.

I respect him and he has a huge chance to be the best golfer representing Thailand and he has a bright future in golf. I think we are good friends. This year is my third time playing this tournament. I have always enjoyed playing here in Singapore and I am always very excited to play here against world top players like Justin Rose.

I am still trying to get better at hitting off the tee and I have to get better. The three victories last year is just a number, but I am constantly thinking about my golf game. I am concentrating more on my game than the number of wins. I hope I can get better for 2020 this year for the next six months and get into the Olympics. The Tokyo Olympics would be one of the biggest tournaments.

Left to right – Justin Rose of England, Henrik Stenson of Sweden and Matt Kuchar of the USA

Justin Rose (Eng)

Sentosa is a golf course widely regarded amongst all of us players. One of the best golf courses in Asia for sure. Conditioning out here is incredible. I haven’t been on the golf course itself yet but the condition of the practice areas as I walk down to see the 18th and 9th, and everything just looks perfect down there.

The staging of events is really nice coming back into the 9th hole and the 18th hole. It’s got a really nice atmosphere to feel and yeah excited about the week. This is the first time dusting off the clubs for 2020, felt like I really started to get some momentum in the very back end of the year during the Hero World tournament in the Bahamas.

I felt like that was the tournament I really began to feel like I was hitting much more as I remembered. So when I managed to get the momentum, I didn’t really want to put my clubs down too much during Christmas. I went out and played more than I normally would just to keep a little bit of momentum up so I feel very clear with my swing.

I haven’t got a plan in place for this year, how I’m going to approach it. I’m just quite excited. I’m just going to do my best to enjoy it and hopefully, it works out.

Henrik Stenson (Swe)

I’ve played two times before in Singapore so this is my third time here. It’s been a few years I think it was 2012 last time so it’s great to be back. Like Justin said, it’s a lot of different things here this week, golf course, food, people and there’s another course and everything else, so it’s a very friendly place and happy to be back and start off my season here.

I haven’t done a lot of practice over the holidays, as you all know it’s the season all the way around these days. From December to early January, I’m enjoying my break. Had a great finish to the year – the only really good chance I had to win and I managed to take it. I just had a really big smile on my face and definitely enjoyed my holidays.

In terms of form, of course, there’s always a little questioning where you’re standing when you take it out from first week of the year, but hopefully, too much of the momentum from the Bahamas hasn’t worn off and just trying to do all the right things to do and the overall chance to be good. I’m very excited to be here and challenge these guys.

Matt Kucher (Usa)

First time for me in Singapore. It’s one of those appealing cities that everybody wants to go and see and be a part of. It’s beautiful, even just out the media centre it’s quite spectacular. Amazing port, amazing city. There’s a whole lot of attraction, a whole lot of reason just to come visit and be able to play at a tough course like this that’s so highly regarded.

I’ve talked to so many people. Davis Love was here last year, he’s a friend back home that was telling us all the things to do and visit. I’m excited to be here. I am probably more prepared for winds of 20 – 40 miles per hour than almost anybody else. I suppose there’s still a lot to be seen. We played a lot last year, in different conditions and in a couple of different leagues but I’m excited.

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