Tuesday, 25 June, 2019

Kiradech aims for fast PGA Tour start

Indian golf Shubhankar Sharma hits five birdies to finish tied-14th in CIMB Classic Shubhankar Sharma | Reuters
Cary Erickson | 11 October, 2018, 19:42

"This is always going to be the place I got my first PGA Tour victory and that's very, very special".

Perez won here a year ago after a birdie blitz saw him finish on 24-under par, while Moore, himself a double champion in KL (2013, 2014), is coming off a T2 finish at last week's Safeway Open, where he lost out in a three-way play-off to Kevin Tway.

As you know, I had my shoulder surgery in 2016 and then I received a sponsor's exemption to play in the tournament later that year and while I didn't win then, it gave me the confidence that I needed in my comeback and I subsequently won in Mayakoba (the only PGA TOUR tournament held in Mexico).

Obviously all three events are big PGA Tour events.

At a TPC Kuala Lumpur layout that is easy enough to handle at the best of times, with the last three winning scores being -24, -23 and -26 here, the likelihood is that the CIMB Classic will descend into a pin-seeking shootout on such soft greens.

So who wins the 2018 CIMB Classic? Seventeen of the world's top 50 players are teeing it up, including Thomas, Xander Schauffele, Paul Casey, Marc Leishman, Keegan Bradley, Louis Oosthuizen and Kiradech Aphibarnrat. I've played the Malaysia Open many times.

Q: The 2018 CIMB Classic (Oct 11-14) will be your first tournament as a father. "It's the biggest tour in the world", the 29-year-old Thai said.

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"I had a goal at the start of the year where I wanted to be in the top 500 in the world golf rankings".

I'm looking forward to defending my title and seeing my fans there again.

"I thought that was quite lofty". That will be the number one goal for now.

"I feel like in my short career, this is my sixth year as a pro, but what I learned is that it's only when you are not playing well that you learn more about yourself".

On Sunday, we saw not one but two supremely gifted golfers throw away titles in a gale that could knock the eyebrows off you if you turned your head too quickly. "I think it's just about getting in one good round and when that happens I think I'll get confidence back and I'll be back at it again". He will look to improve on his tied third place finish in the showpiece in 2013. I have my coach here this week and even he's really happy with the way I'm hitting it, and I hit it pretty good today as well.

Kiwi golfing star Danny Lee has claimed the first hole-in-one of the PGA Tour season in his first round of the CIMB Classic in Kuala Lumpur.