Caution is key to managing the World Classic course, say golfers
Course management key on challenging World Classic layout at Laguna, say golfers He cannot agree to Laguna's conditions for slot at World Classic C'ship
At the end of yesterday's media session at the Laguna National Golf and Country Club, golfers Mardan Mamat and SSP Chawrasia jokingly touched the 20kg World Classic Championship trophy for luck.
The duo and the rest of the 144- strong field may just need a rub of the green to do well at the inaugural World Classic Championship, from tomorrow to Sunday on the club's challenging World Classic course, dubbed one of the most challenging in Asia.
While Singapore's top golfer Mardan returns to the club where he won the Singapore Masters on the Masters course in 2006, the 48-year-old rebuffed suggestions that he is among the favourites to win the US$750,000 ($1.07m) Asian Tour-sanctioned tournament.
He said: "In 2006, we played on the Masters course, which was much more forgiving.
"(On the World Classic course) you have to know where you can afford to miss, and when not to miss."
"You'd never know what is going to happen on this golf course, sometimes you can hit good shots and not get the reward, so you've got to get lucky," added the Singaporean, who won his fifth Asian Tour title in Bangladesh earlier this year.
Mardan will be up against the likes of Chawrasia, who is fourth in the Asian Tour's Order of Merit, as well as the latter's countryman Chiragh Kumar, who won the Panasonic Open India last week.
The Indian duo are among 35 Asian Tour winners playing in the inaugural tournament.
Chiragh, 31, said: "It was pretty heartbreaking to lose my card last year, so that victory (in the Panasonic Open) was a big confidence booster as I know that I can go out there, compete with the best and win.
"It (the World Classic course) is a very tough and demanding golf course, we could be playing well and hitting some good shots and not end up in the right place.
"You really need to know where to hit your shots, so it's going to require more planning, and not just going out there and swinging the club really well."
Chawrasia, 37, will be looking to continue his good form this year, which may see him climb to third in the Order of Merit by next month to equal his best placing on the list.
He said: "I've been working on my short game, my chipping and putting, this year, and I am still working on it. That has been the key to me playing well this year.
"Hopefully, I can play well in this tournament and others after this week.
"If I do, I may be able to catch up with Andrew (Dodt, who is third in the Order of Merit)."
Mardan, who has been nursing a right shoulder injury for about six weeks, will be hoping that his knowledge of Laguna National will put him in good stead.
Referring to his injury, he said: "I'll try to get some physiotherapy done and not think too much about it.
"Hopefully, things go my way and it will be a good week for me."