Winning here last year was really good. It’s going to be a big challenge as the top Malaysians are all here. Although I can potentially qualify for the CIMB Classic through the Asian Tour Order of Merit, I still intend to go low and use this also as preparation for next week’s TAKE Solutions Masters (in India).
I’m still going to try to win this week and the good thing is I’m very comfortable on this course as it’s my home course. I feel like I’m a different player now from last year. From a swing perspective and from the way I manage things on the golf course, it’s much better. The experience of being in or around the lead on the Asian Tour this year has also helped a lot.
It was fun playing in the CIMB Classic last year but there was also a lot of pressure. When I get into the event again, the expectations won’t be too overwhelming and I’ll be able to control that better. I was trying to push it last year but we just learn from it. Playing on the PGA TOUR, it’s certainly different.
After competing on the Asian Tour this year, you notice the courses are set up differently from the Asian Development Tour events and I’ve found a comfort level being around the guys and competing against them. Making the cuts consistently have also added a lot to my game.
Here at TPC KL, the main thing is to not short-side yourself. You need to find fairways as coming out from the rough, it’s a lot harder to control your ball on the greens which are firming up. If you want to stop the ball quicker here, you’ve just got to hit the fairway.
Everyone here is fighting for that one spot into the CIMB Classic, so it won’t be easy. However, I’m coming into the week with a positive mindset after winning the Queen’s Cup last month. I will try to go out there and enjoy my golf this week.
My confidence is at a different level now. Winning my first Asian Tour tournament is so important as I’m only the fourth Malaysian golfer to manage a win. Although my record at TPC KL is not very good, I think I’m a better golfer to handle the golf course. I’ve got a lot of confidence and I’m getting more distances with my clubs which have been a problem for me here in the past due to its length.
Every player dreams of playing in a PGA TOUR event and it’s not easy for Malaysians to get into them. That’s why it’s so important for us to try to take this opportunity this week to get ourselves onto that stage.
This event is probably my only way of trying to qualify for the CIMB Classic. TPC KL is one of my favourite golf courses and I fancy my chances here this week. The key is hitting good irons and managing yourself on the greens which can be tricky. I’m just going to try to give myself opportunities for birdies.
My ball striking is pretty good right now. I figured out my driving problems recently and played well in Samui (Queen’s Cup). I also drove the ball well in my last local event which adds to my confidence. My problem started when I got too technical with my golf swing but in Samui I went back to my reliance on feel and didn’t get too concern about the mechanics. I’m trying to keep things simple and it’s turning out to be pretty good.
Playing in the CIMB Classic has been one of my career highlights. The experience of competing against the world’s best golfers has been a confidence booster and I hope to qualify for the tournament again.