Australia's Sam Brazel is determined to put up a stout defence of his UBS Hong Kong Open title despite the threat of Major winners, Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia who will headline the US$2 million event which starts on Thursday.
The Asian Tour winner’s confidence has been buoyed by his breakthrough at the Hong Kong Golf Club last year and wants to replay those winning memories again after seeing how that victory has transformed his career.
"It’s great to be back and the course is in fantastic condition. It was a massive career change for me as that win allowed me to play in Europe and so many stunning golf courses around the world," Brazel said.
"It gave me the opportunity to reach some of my goals which include playing full-time on some of the major tours. I’ll go out there and give it my best this week. It’s great to see guys like Justin and Sergio coming out to support an event like this.
"Players of their calibre will always draw the crowd and that’s what we like to see. I cannot control what they are going to do and they cannot control what I can do. So I’ll just try to enjoy my golf this week and soak in the memories from last year."
Rose, who won the prized Hong Kong showpiece in 2015, is also looking forward to another grandstand finish having enjoyed a sensational season which saw him claim back-to-back wins in Shanghai and Turkey last month.
Garcia meanwhile wants to put up a performance befitting of his status as a Major champion.
"I’ve been to Hong Kong before to do some corporate events for my sponsors but this will be my first time playing here. I’m very excited," Garcia said.
The Spaniard finally won a Major at the Masters Tournament in April and expectations of him have been high each time he steps up to the tee.
"You want to keep improving and you don’t want to get too comfortable with what you’ve done. I want to keep putting myself into positions to win more golf tournaments and more Majors."
Matthew Cheung will be among Hong Kong’s hopefuls after he earned his place among the stellar field at the National Qualifiers.
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