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Anton Haig aiming to enjoy title defence

South Africa’s Anton Haig will focus on his swing rather than worry about his title defence at this week’s Johnnie Walker Classic.

The 21-year-old produced an upset play-off win at the European Tour event in Phuket, Thailand last year to replace Tiger Woods as the youngest winner of the tournament.

“I’m not going to put too much pressure on myself this week and want to enjoy it,” Haig said. “It is always tough to come back and defend with the pressure.

Haig will be happy to ease into the background in the presence of big names such as Australian world number five Adam Scott, Fijian Vijay Singh, Scotland’s eight-time European number one Colin Montgomerie and Spain’s Miguel Angel Jimenez.

“I’ve a bit of work to do here on my game this year,” he said. “I’ve my coach Jaime Gough here with me and I’m trying to get more width in the golf swing. I’ve got to keep it in play as it is a tight golf course.

“The greens are running fast so you need to look for uphill putts,” said Haig at the Arnold Palmer-designed DLF Golf and Country Club just outside New Delhi.

The event, co-sanctioned by the European, Asian and Australasia Tours, comes barely three weeks after the European Tour launched the Indian Masters in New Delhi.

Scott, 27, six-time winner on the PGA Tour, won his sixth European Tour title when he blazed a course record final round 61 for a three-shot win at the Qatar Masters in January.

Singh reached the quarter-final of last week’s WGC Accenture Match Play Championship where Montgomerie ran into eventual runner-up Stewart Cink in the third round.

China’s 2007 Asian Tour money list winner Liang Wen-chong and India’s Jeev Milkha Singh, Arjun Atwal and Jyoti Randhawa lead the Asian challenge.


February 27, 2008

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