Golf | Macao Open players compete for USD500,000

Pavit Tangkamolprasert (left) and Zhang Lian Wei (right) pose with the Macao Open trophy

The 2016 Macao Golf Open champion Pavit Tangkamolprasert remains confident that he will defend his title in this year’s tournament, which kicks off tomorrow.

The Open will take place at the Macau Golf & Country Club from tomorrow until Sunday and the tournament will once again include 144 of the world’s most seasoned professionals and the region’s upcoming amateur talents.

In a press conference held yesterday, Thailand’s Pavit said that the course is tougher than last year, mentioning the instability of wind gust.

Pavit, also a proud graduate of the Asian Development Tour (ADT), is hoping to repeat that win at the USD500,000 full-field Asian Tour event. He added that he would dedicate the win to the late King of Thailand as his country prepares for the royal funeral which will take place next week.

“It’s going to be tougher because the course is so perfect, […] the greens are faster,” Pavit told the press. “Maybe the speed is different. The greens are dangerous this year.”

Sixteen players from nine regions have won the Macao Open, and Pavit will look to join China’s golf pioneer Zhang Lian-wei and 14-time tour winner Scott Hend of Australia as the only two-time winners of the Macao Open.

According to Zhang, the golf course in the city is “tough to handle,” also noting that wind gusts can get unpredictably strong. The golf pioneer jested that every year after playing in Macao Open, players know which techniques they need to work on as the course is famously challenging.

Pavit noted that winning the Macao Open last year has boosted his career, allowing him compete in bigger events.

The defending champion also competed in the European Tour, remarking, “Things are really different over there. You need to adapt to the weather. Distance control is really key and playing conditions are tough with the strong winds.”

Rising stars Shubhankar Sharma and Chikkarangappa S. of India, American Johannes Veerman, Thailand’s Panuphol Pittayarat, are  all expected to perform well in the event and they are all vying for their first Asian Tour victory.

The four-day tournament is jointly organized by the Sports Bureau and the Golf Association of Macau. The tournament is santioned by the Asian Tour, and promoted by IMG.  LV

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