Date: March 09, 2007
Author:

Fraser finds form

Australia&aposs Marcus Fraser hopes he has put his recent poor form behind him after carding a blistering eight-under-par 64 to share the lead with China&aposs Liang Wen-Chong of China after the opening round of the Clariden Leu Singapore Masters. Fraser finished in a tie for second at the New Zealand Open late last year but has endured a dreadful start to 2007, missing the cut at six of seven events, including four of five on the European Tour. “I just haven&apost got off to good starts in tournaments and have given myself such a hard time on the golf course that it comes around and bites you,” said the 28-year-old said, who shot eight birdies in his bogey-free round “It feels like I have definitely turned the corner. But I have to keep trying to do the right things, it is not just as easy as doing it, you have to keep working hard to keep improving. “The last few weeks I have just given myself such a hard time, but I have to try to stop doing that and that was what I did today. I was quite positive and gave myself a chance to shoot a good score.” Fraser was grateful for some advice given to him by a good friend, Australian Rules football player Jeff White, on his mental approach to the game. “Obviously they are two completely different sports but he told me a couple of things he thinks about and uses when he is playing and it is surprising how similar they are mentally even though the sports are totally different,” he added. Liang, a good friend of 2003 Singapore Masters winner Zhang Lian-Wei, was delighted to find himself tied for first place after a solid opening round. “I played well on the first nine and after firing three birdies, I was a bit more relaxed heading to the last nine holes,” said the Chinese player. “I carried my momentum into the back nine and I&aposm pleased with my overall first round performance.” Despite his positive start, Liang expects things to get tougher on Friday when he switches to the more difficult Masters course. “I find the course the Classic course a lot easier and that is why I was a bit more aggressive today. I know that the Masters course is going to be tough,” he said. The leading pair are one shot ahead of a group of three that included Scotland&aposs Barry Hume, Shingo Katayama of Japan and Jyoti Randhawa of India. Hartlepool&aposs Graeme Storm and Ireland&aposs Peter Lawrie are in a group a further stroke back on six under after 66s as the top 14 scores of the day came on the 7,099-yard Classic course. Defending champion Mardan Mamat of Singapore was one of five players to record the best score of four-under 68 on the more difficult Masters course, which will be utilised for weekend play after the cut is made on Friday. Mamat&aposs score on the 7,112-yard Masters layout was matched by Simon Yates of Scotland, Gaurav Ghei of India, New Zealand&aposs Richard Lee and France&aposs Jean Van De Velde. Liverpudlian Nick Dougherty, the champion in 2005 and runner-up last year, began with a two-under 70 on the Masters. The tournament, which is co-sanctioned by the European and Asian Tours, has a field of 204 players and offers a total prize fund of 570,000. Results for round one of the Singapore Masters -8 Marcus Fraser 64, Wen-Chong Liang (CHN) 64 -7 Jyoti Randhawa (IND) 65, Shingo Katayama (JPN) 65, Barry Hume (SCO) 65 -6 Angelo Que (PHI) 66, Peter Lawrie (IRL) 66, Mark Brown (NZL) 66, Martin Kaymer (GER) 66, Graeme Storm (ENG) 66 -5 Adam Blyth (AUS) 67, Rafael Cabrera Bello (ESP) 67, Peter Hanson (SWE) 67, Unho Park (AUS) 67 -4 Simon Wakefield (ENG) 68 Also: -4 Brett Rumford (AUS) 68, Brad Kennedy (AUS) 68, Won Joon Lee (AUS) 68, Matthew Zions (AUS) 68, -3 Gary Simpson (AUS) 69, Terry Pilkadaris (AUS) 69, Rowan Beste (AUS) 69, Scott Strange (AUS) 69, -2 Adam Groom (AUS) 70, Adam Groom (AUS) 70, Scott Barr (AUS) 70, Terry Price (AUS) 70, Peter Senior (AUS) 70 -1 Wade Ormsby (AUS) 71, Scott Hend (AUS) 71, Peter O&aposMalley (AUS) 71, Wade Ormsby (AUS) 71, Kane Webber (AUS) 71