Poom plans to play smart at tough Ser­apong course

Bangkok Post - - SPORTS -

SIN­GA­PORE: Thai­land’s Poom Sak­sansin won the Asian Tour’s 2018 sea­son fi­nale last month and hopes to be­come the cir­cuit’s first cham­pion of 2019 this week. The Sin­ga­pore Open, which tees off on Thurs­day, will raise the cur­tains for the 2019 Asian Tour sea­son at the Sen­tosa Golf Club. A stel­lar 156-man field from the Asian Tour and Ja­pan Golf Tour Or­gan­i­sa­tion (JGTO) is ex­pected to lock horns with a host of other star play­ers that in­clude de­fend­ing cham­pion Ser­gio Gar­cia from Spain, Amer­i­can great Davis Love III, and English­men Paul Casey and Matthew Fitz­patrick. The US$1 mil­lion event con­tin­ues to be part of the British Open qual­i­fy­ing se­ries for the third con­sec­u­tive year with the lead­ing four play­ers (not oth­er­wise ex­empt) who fin­ish in the top 12 and ties earn­ing their places at the 148th Open in July. Poom is look­ing for­ward to pick­ing up where he left off after clos­ing his 2018 Asian Tour sea­son in style by win­ning the In­done­sia Masters in Jakarta last month. “I feel very happy that I was able to win again. I didn’t ex­pect it and I just played my game. Hope­fully, I can carry on this mo­men­tum,” said Poom. The 25-year-old Thai, dubbed ‘The As­sas­sin’ for his high-pro­file de­feats of Justin Rose, Hen­rik Sten­son and Paul Casey on the Asian Tour last year, will be hop­ing to play to his strengths when he tack­les the de­mand­ing Ser­apong course. “Sen­tosa is very tough. It’s long for me be­cause I don’t hit it very far so I have to rely on my short game and smart play. The greens are fast and very firm. I will need to work on hit­ting my iron shots high onto those greens,” he said. “Last year I felt like I played really well. There were no huge mis­takes and I fin­ished tied for 12th.” With Casey con­firm­ing his place at the Sin­ga­pore show­piece again for the first time since 2012, Poom is rel­ish­ing the op­por­tu­nity to claim an­other scalp over the English­man. “I beat Paul at the EurAsia Cup in Malaysia last year but I think I was lucky,” laughed Poom. “I’ve to ad­mit I do get a lit­tle star struck or ner­vous when I play against them. But after hit­ting my first shot, I’m okay. I ob­serve them and try to see how I can model cer­tain as­pects of my game like them.”

AFP

Poom Sak­sansin plays a shot at the In­done­sian Masters last month.

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