After touching down on Chinese soil for the first time, we caught up with David Boote before the Hainan Open gets under way at Sanya Luhuitou Golf Club.
David, it is your first time in China. What are you first impressions?
We arrived quite late on Monday so it wasn’t too busy, although the roads were really busy. This part of China is a little bit different to what I was expecting. It’s almost a bit like Hawaii or parts of Thailand, that’s sort of what it feels like. It’s not quite as busy here as what you’d think it would be. I think next week will be different. They have a completely different style of driving compared to what we’re used to at home. Everyone seems like they’re in a bit of a rush to get to where they need to be. You have to be careful. I think the bus driver must’ve beeped the horn about 100 times in the hour’s drive from the airport because he was letting the scooters know where he is. When you stop at a crossroads, there must be 50 scooters on each side so you just have to go for it and try not to crash into anybody.
You obviously play most of your golf in Europe, so how do you acclimatise to the different conditions and time zone?
I think you have to get here earlier than most events, just so you can get over the jet lag. There is quite a lot of wind this week and you have to get used to a different type of grass quite quickly. Last week in Ireland, you’ve grown up with that type of grass so you don’t have to spend much time getting used to it. Even putting on the greens here, because they’re very grainy, you’ve got to get used to different lies and work out how it’s going to release.
How do you feel you’re playing as you come into this week?
My game feels pretty good. It’s not 100 per cent but I’ve had a pretty solid year. I think any time that you can get into these events, it means you’ve played pretty consistently over the year and that’s how I feel. I’ve played pretty consistently, I’ve made a lot of cuts but I haven’t really had a top, top finish. My best finish has been tied tenth; I’ve had a few top twenties but I haven’t had anything that you really need to kick on towards the top 15 or top 45. You’ve got to get into these events to give yourself a chance so now that I’m here, you never know. It’s a final crack at it.
So is a top five finish the aim for these next two weeks? They’re big-money events…
Yeah, exactly. If I can push on into the top 45, that would be a really good result because then you can have a better category next year and all that sort of stuff. I’ve kept my card for next year and it’s just a free run at it really. I’m quite a way away from the top 15 so I’ve not really got any pressure on me for that, but if I do happen to play really well and manage to win one of the next two events then, because they money is so big, you jump right into contention for a top 15 spot. It’s all to play.
Away from the course, we were all on that 13-hour flight from London to Sanya on Sunday night. How did you kill the time?
I actually slept for a decent amount of it, which was good, but other than that I just watched Netflix. I’ve been re-watching Suits which is quite good, so I got through quite a bit of that. I just tried to relax and walked around a bit. There was about 20 other golfers on the flight so I just wandered around and had a look who was about and who was awake. That was quite nice.
What else is on your Netflix watchlist?
I just started watching that Bill Gates documentary – Inside Bill’s Brain – that was pretty good. But other than that, I don’t know, I tend to just re-watch old things. I’ll just watch Friends or re-watch Suits or something like that. I watched Peaky Binders not that long ago which was really good, but I don’t think the last season has come on Netflix yet. I think when you travel as a golfer, you become a bit of a pro at finding the next best thing on Netflix because everyone talks about it.