James Byrne: ' I’m excited to be back. It’s a venue that obviously holds good memories for me ... hopefully, I can feed off those good vibes this week.'
PETALING JAYA: Defending champion James Byrne of Scotland feels that a positive mental approach will be the key to doing well at the PGM CCM Rahman Putra Championship, which begins on Wednesday.
The 25-year-old enjoyed a career high when he claimed his first win on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) last year. He intends to reach the same heights again at the season’s second event, which offers a prize money of RM200,000 at the Rahman Putra Golf Club.
“I’m excited to be back. It’s a venue that obviously holds good memories for me ... hopefully, I can feed off those good vibes this week,” said the 2011 Walker Cup star.
After missing the grade at the Qualifying School last month, Byrne will have much to play for on the ADT as the top five players at the end of the season will earn Asian Tour cards for 2015. The ADT continues to offer world ranking points this season.
“It was a big disappointment to lose my Asian Tour card but I’ll be my best to get straight back up via the ADT. I’m sure the race for the top five spots will be competitive this year as there are many good players out there. I’m not putting pressure on myself to win this week as it isn’t easy. The main goal is to give myself a chance on Saturday,” said Byrne.
Despite the challenges faced in his ascent through the professional game, Byrne remains optimistic of the season ahead.
In a recent blog entry, Byrne wrote: “My number one priority is always to play better golf. I’ve always been a believer that, in sport, progress must be measured by performance rather than results.
“This year, I’m taking a slightly different approach to my practice, focusing far more on the mental side and a bit less on the physical side. The goal remains the same and that’s to keep a positive outlook and learn and improve.”
Current ADT Order of Merit leader Wisut Artjanawat of Thailand will headline the event, alongside talented compatriot Pavit Tangkamolprasert as well as local hopes Danny Chia, R. Nachimuthu and Shaaban Hussin.
China’s Ye Jian-feng, Japanese duo Masaru Takahashi and Mitsuhiko Hashizume, Singapore’s Quincy Quek, England’s Grant Jackson and Sweden’s Malcolm Kokocinski will also feature in the event.
A total of 123 players will compete this week, with the field being split between the Asian Development Tour (ADT) and Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Tour.