Friday, March 22, 2013


     ALASTAIR FORSYTH ... "best I've played for some time"
               Picture by courtesy of Getty Images(c) 

 Scot Alastair Forsyth is making the most of a rare start on The European Tour at the Maybank Malaysian Open, a tournament he won 11 years ago, after reaching five under par in the second round.
The 37 year old triumphed at Royal Selangor Golf Club in 2002, edging out Australian Stephen Leaney in a play-off having opened with rounds of 63 and 65. That was his maiden European Tour victory and he added another in the 2008 Madeira Islands Open.

The last few years have been more of a struggle – he lost his full playing card in 2010 – but he believes his swing is now better than ever and is confident he can regain the form of his halcyon days.

A second round 70 at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club leaves him five under overall, five shots off the lead Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat.

“I remember the win as if it was yesterday,” said Forsyth. “It’s a beautiful place and I’ve always enjoyed coming here. I’m just happy to be playing to be honest.
“I have limited starts just now, so it’s great to be able to come here as a former champion and get another tournament under my belt.

“I had a good few years after the win, which came on the back of a tough year. The six or seven years after that were good. It’s the past three years or so that have been pretty poor and I’ve totally lacked consistency. I don’t know what’s coming from one minute to the next.

“But it’s never far away and today was probably the best I’ve played for quite a while. I hit a lot of fairways and it makes the game a bit easier when you do that.”

Forsyth revealed his frustration at not being able to eradicate serious errors from his game, adding: “It’s not been poor shots that have been the problem; it’s been absolutely ridiculous shots.

“There have been many tournaments where I’ve had as many birdies as the leader but finished about 50th. But now I feel like I’m swinging the club better than I ever have and I’m starting to find a few feelings to hit shots rather than getting too technical and always trying to hit the perfect shot.

“I’ve still got the drive and ambition. It’s a game that hooks you and keeps you coming back for more.

“I’m happy with my position and my wedge game and the putter have been working nicely.”

Kuala Lumpur: Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat birdied the ninth hole to hold a one-shot edge over second round clubhouse leaders Wu Ashun of China and former Masters winner Charl Schwartzel of South Africa at the energy-sapping Maybank Malaysian Open today.
First-round leader Kiradech completed only nine holes of his second round when play was suspended at 7.25pm due to fading light at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club following another day of weather disruptions.
The burly Thai, fourth at the Avantha Masters in India last week, stood at 10-under for the US$2.75 million tournament sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour after making birdies on the third, fourth and ninth holes.
Before the afternoon storm rolled in, self-taught Wu produced a solid four-under-par 68 to tie Schwartzel, who also carded a 68, on nine-under-par 135 after both players laboured to 26 and 27 holes respectively.
Italy’s Edoardo Molinary was a further shot back on eight-under after playing five holes of his second round in two under. A total of 76 players will return on Saturday morning to complete the round. The penultimate round will not commence before 1.15pm.
Liang Wen-chong, China’s first Asian Tour number one when he won the Order of Merit in 2007, fired a 68 to move up into contention as the might of Chinese golf came to the fore at the Maybank Malaysian Open.
Wu, who is playing on a sponsor’s invitation, is enjoying a purple patch. He qualified for his maiden appearance at The Open Championship through the International Final Qualifying – Asia in Thailand earlier this month and put himself in contention to win his first Asian Tour title.
“I like this course and I’m very happy to visit my old Asian Tour friends,” said Wu, who finished tied 19th during his last visit to Malaysia in 2010.
“I think it’s important to play with a strategy in mind and choosing the right clubs will matter as well. I’ve been in a good form lately and I hope to maintain that.
“It is great that I have the opportunity to play in this co-sanctioned event. It’s going to be very competitive because we’ve got all the top players from the Asian Tour and European
Tour in the field,” added the 27-year-old, who won on the Japan Tour last season.
Schwartzel completed his first round in the morning with a 67 and then got off to hot start for his second round when he birdied the opening two holes. However, with the high humidity and heat putting a toll on the players, the slender South African dropped shots on six and seven after making mental errors.
“I can’t be too hard on myself because it’s extraordinarily hot out there. I lost a bit of concentration towards the end and made bad decisions on the sixth and seventh – poor club selections. I was in the middle of the fairway both times and made bogey,” said Schwartzel, winner of the Thailand Golf Championship on the Asian Tour last December.
“There are no excuses and you just have to get on with it. I’m glad to have given myself a chance. It’s been a very long day but through it all, I thought I played pretty well. If I had been a bit sharper, I could have separated myself from the field.”
Liang, who finished third at the Avantha Masters, continued his impressive form and believes he needs to stay patient to contend for the Seagram Trophy, which is handed to the winner of the Maybank Malaysian Open.
“I have a big chance again but I need to have more patience. I feel that my form is good. Just need to get in more short putts. I missed some two to three footers yesterday and today. My putting stroke hasn’t been too steady,” said Liang.
“Wu is a very good player. I think he’s got a chance as well. Wu always try very hard. Last year, he has got more confidence as he won in Japan which was good for him.”

Par 144 (2x72) Yardage 6,967 
135 - WU Ashun (CHN) 67-68, Charl SCHWARTZEL (RSA) 67-68.
138 - LIANG Wen-chong (CHN) 70-68, Scott JAMIESON (SCO) 66-72, Lee SLATTERY (ENG) 68-70.
139 - Rafa CABRERA-BELLO (ESP) 72-67, Pablo LARRAZABAL (ESP) 69-70, Prom MEESAWAT (THA) 68-71, Alastair FORSYTH (SCO) 69-70, Joonas GRANBERG (FIN) 71-68.
140 - Matteo MANASSERO (ITA) 69-71, Bernd WIESBERGER (AUT) 71-69, Raphael JACQUELIN (FRA) 70-70, Jean GONNET (FRA) 70-70.
141 - Prayad MARKSAENG (THA) 69-72, Gavin GREEN (am, MAS) 73-68, Jeev Milkha SINGH (IND) 71-70, Ignacio GARRIDO (ESP) 70-71.
142 - Alvaro QUIROS (ESP) 75-67, Robert DERKSEN (NED) 72-70.
143 - KIM Gi-whan (KOR) 70-73, SIDDIKUR  (BAN) 71-72, Alejandro CANIZARES (ESP) 72-71, Thitiphun CHUAYPRAKONG (THA) 72-71, Jorge CAMPILLO (ESP) 73-70.



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