Kuala Lumpur - Defending champion Joonas Granberg said he is looking to reproduce last year's magic but is having trouble staying calm ahead of the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters starting in Malaysia on Wednesday.
Granberg, 25, of Finland, knows he must steady his nerves to defend the title he won last year, but he will face strong challenges from the likes of rising star Panuphol Pittayarat of Thailand, who finished second last year.
“I have to keep things simple and not try anything special. Somehow I don't feel very relaxed and that's my problem. I need to calm myself down,” said Granberg, whose victory last year was helped by a course record 10-under-par 62 in the first round.
“My opening round last year was amazing. I remembered I only had two hours of sleep due to jetlag but after an eagle on my first hole and a birdie on the second, I was wide awake. Of course I'll try for the same magic again,” he said, according to a press release from the Asian Tour.
Panuphol, 19, went through a 3D biomechanical motion analysis in Switzerland last week and is hoping a few tweaks of his golf swing will boost his chances of a first Asian Tour title.
“I feel much better after doing the biomechanical analysis because I know what I'm doing now and what I did wrong before,” he said.
The Thai player said it was a big challenge competing against battle-hardened veterans such as Singapore's Mardan Mamat, who is celebrating his 300th Asian Tour appearance. Mardan said he was happy that at the age of 45 he can still compete.
“I'm very fortunate. But I still want to get better every day. That's the key to my success of playing,” said the three-time Asian Tour winner.