Poom plans to play smart at tough Serapong course
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.”
Poom Saksansin plays a shot at the Indonesian Masters last month.