Australian PGA Championship – Fantasy Golfanac

Course Details

RACV Royal Pines Resort in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
7,364 yards yards – Par 72 – Bermuda Greens
Fairways: Bermuda
Green Speeds: Slow, about 10.5 feet on the stimp

Important Interview Quotes

Q. Is the long putter making a return?
Yeah, I think I might give it a run this week. I haven’t done that much work with it but it feels pretty good out there. Yeah, I think it might make the grade this week, definitely feel very comfortable with it.

I’ve just noticed like everybody else that Bernhard Langer and Scott McCarron make everything they look at and have done since the anchoring ban and moving it away from the body. So it was actually pointed out to me that this year they both recorded the best ever putting stats since stats have been kept. Both of them beat the old best. You know, I don’t know if it’s just a coincidence or if they had just a really good year, but maybe they’ve found the best way to putt. -2017

Sergio Garcia: I haven’t seen Scotty (Adam Scott) yet, but I’ve heard the greens are tricky. I’ve heard the greens are where the course really defends itself. So obviously it’s going to be a week where iron play is going to be key to be accurate and try to leave yourself in the best spots on the greens, and when you miss a green here, chipping and putting is going to be important. -2017

MODERATOR: Are you feeling some positive vibes? You’ve just played some holes out there. Were all those memories coming back to you?
Yeah, for sure. It’s just crazy, I was thinking about the first time I came here and how I didn’t know anyone, didn’t know where to hit it, and now I feel like I have an idea what to do. And how different the course has matured the last three years because the first time I played it, I think that was the first time they opened the course since the redesign. Just seeing how it’s easier, but I think I just played really well, so just excited for the challenge and just ready to compete. -2017

Q. Leish, good to see you back home. Mate, how was the day out there? What do you think’s going to be the big holes for you this week that you think you can really capitalize on?
Well, I mean, they’re all very important. I think driving the ball’s extremely important around here because the greens are pretty penalizing and I think it’s important to be hitting to the greens off the fairways. If you’re getting yourself onto the right level of the green, they’re pretty flat and you can make birdies. But if you’re not hitting your irons great or coming in from the rough, it’s going to be really tough to get it on the right level and then you’re struggling to two-putt for pars. So I think driving the ball, and then you’ve got to make the putts if you give yourself those opportunities, so they’re the big ones.

Par 5s are important definitely. They’re all reachable given the right wind conditions, so you’ve got to make a score there so you don’t have to be too aggressive on the rest of the holes. If you’re missing greens in bad spots, things can start going south pretty quickly -2017

Q. Adam, you’ve seen this golf course progress over the last few years since the changes, you’ve had a chance to play today. What are your thoughts as to how it’s
maturing and settling in?
Yeah, I think that’s exactly what I would talk about this golf course. I mean, it was probably for a local and someone who has known this place for a long time, the changes were quite drastic and a bit shocking almost, but now three, four years after it’s all been changed, it’s maturing a little bit. You can see the greens are starting to receive some shots and it’s probably playing more and more like the designer would have hoped. But it’s obviously taken some time so it’s settling in.

There’s a lot of grass out there this week, which is very nice, we get really good lies, but it’s playing long. It’s not firm and fiery at all, so it’s going to play very long this week. That’s certainly going to suit some of the guys in the field and not others but it’s settling in. So I think it’s hard for us to all be patient. We’re all very spoilt and we all expect perfection straightaway. But it’s really settling in nicely and I think it’s going to play a little better each year as we keep going. So I’m very happy with the shape of the course this year. -2017

Q. Adam, you’ve been out on the course. What are some holes that you really like at the moment that are setting up really well for you that may not have set up well in
other years?
Well, they haven’t changed the course that much for me. It has matured but it’s not necessarily playing any easier when I say it’s matured at all. I think because it is playing a little longer and it’s looking like maybe a damp week, we could be in for a real long test. So if the wind does blow like it did out of the east, the 18th plays into the wind a bit and that’s extremely difficult.

But those kind of holes, if I’m striking it well, play to my advantage. If you can get it on the green in regulation a lot around here you’re going to be okay. Some of the greens are tricky, but it’s tricky chipping from around these greens when the grass is a little grainy and a little long. You don’t have that option of bumping it up the green, so that’s going to challenge everyone this week. For me when I’m playing my best golf, I take advantage of the par 5s and I’m solid everywhere else and I would like to do that this week. -2017

Q. How hard was it with the greens? I guess the rains probably made it a little bit easier, but they were very grainy early in the week. Is that how you found them out
Yeah, they are a little bit grainy, but they’re so smooth. Yeah, the rain did slow them down, but they’re perfect. I mean if you hit a good putt, it goes in. Your speed needs to be fairly firm because if you’re a little bit soft, it does turn off really quickly. It’s important to have speed, but yet the whole course is perfect really. -2017

Q. Any of those par 5s, can you reach any of them in two with heavy —
I reached two of them in two. No. 9 and 15. -2017

Q. The conditions this afternoon were pretty perfect, weren’t they? Very little wind. When you look at the scoring this afternoon, it was very good. How would you
describe the conditions?
Yeah, I think we definitely had the better side of the draw today. I think it rained — did it rain a lot this morning on and off all the time? So it just makes it hard with those holes that are playing into the wind and raining a little bit longer. But the conditions are perfect. The greens were soft so we could attack, and I just had some good numbers with my irons so I just kept attacking as much as I could. -2017

Q. How gettable are the par 5s around this course? It does set up a good round. Your mentality on the par 5s here?
It does. If you’re hitting good shots they’re very gettable, but at the same time I think they’re great par 5s because yes, you can birdie or eagle probably all of them. I mean, the second’s — the third’s a pretty hard hole. It’s long, probably the only one that’s not reachable, but there’s trouble on all of them. Like 15, that’s a hard tee shot. I’ve hit four balls in the water there this week already, two in each practice round. So to hit two good drivers there I was happy with, so there’s trouble on that hole. Obviously 12, the water right of the green. No. 9 as well. There’s trouble on all of them, but if you’re hitting good shots they’re gettable, so I think that’s the sign of a really good par 5. -2017

Q. Chipping and putting is quite important on the Royal Pines layout, isn’t it?
Very much so, yeah. Every green’s elevated, you’ve got a lot of runoffs around the edges, so you’ve got to have a lot of confidence and be able to read the green and what sort of shot to hit based on that because it can make you look pretty silly sometimes. -2017