Groom hoping for better luck

Adam Groom © Khalid Redza/Asian Tour

Shah Alam: Adam Groom of Australia hopes his parents’ presence and wielding a belly putter for the first time will lead him to a first Asian Tour victory at the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters which starts on Wednesday.

Groom endured a heart-breaking defeat in last year’s edition at Kota Permai Golf and Country Club where he was tied for the lead before slipping to joint third following a four-putt double bogey on the 72nd hole.

“I hit a couple of bad putts last year and hopefully if I’m in that similar position, I’ll be able to hole those putts,” said Groom, who has been playing on the Asian Tour since 2004.

“We’ve got a big stretch of tournaments coming our way so I’m preparing myself for that. I’m hoping to have a fast start here. My parents are coming on Tuesday to watch me play, so hopefully it will spur me on to play better,” he added.

Groom will be among a star-studded cast at the RM1.2 million (approximately US$395,000) Asian Tour event which will feature no fewer 30 champions on the region’s established Tour including defending champion Joonas Granberg of Finland.

To help improve his winning chances, the 33-year-old Australian will put a belly putter into his golf bag for the first time in his career. “I went to Melbourne recently and worked with my coach Adam Fraser. We worked a lot on my short game and I have changed to a belly putter which I’ve never tried before. I’ve been training with it for the last month and it feels nice.

“It will be nice to have a win and be in contention regularly. You can’t be in contention once a year. That’s not enough. You have to be contending three or four times a year so you will be more comfortable in that position,” said Groom.

Sri Lanka’s Mithun Perera, one of the most successful newcomers this season, hopes to launch a title assault at the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters. Currently in 23rd place on the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit, Mithun, whose father Nandasena had won numerous titles around Asia, has not missed a cut in five starts on the Asian Tour.

He failed to earn an Asian Tour card from Qualifying School in January but has made the most of his limited country exemptions to maximum effect with a tied second finish at the ISPS Handa Singapore Classic being his best outing to date.

“I’m in a good position to keep my Asian Tour card. That’s my main goal so I can feature more on the Asian Tour. I want to have a good finish because it really helps and it eases the pressure as the season goes on,” said Perera.

“This is a good golf course. The conditions are perfect. I hope it doesn’t rain though. Everybody hopes that they have a good week and win. I feel that I can do it because my short game and accuracy is good. If I make good putts, I have a good chance to win,” he added.