Adri Arnaus is taking inspiration from countryman and successful football manager Pep Guardiola as he looks to cement his spot in the top 15 on the Road to Ras Al Khaimah at this week’s Hainan Open.
The 23 year old is currently eighth in the Rankings with three events remaining on the European Challenge Tour’s International Schedule, as this week’s tournament at Sanya Luhuitou Golf Club marks the start of the two-week Chinese Swing.
With six top ten finishes this season, Arnaus has established himself as one of the most consistent players on Europe’s top developmental tour and with a 2019 European Tour card well within his grasp, he is adopting a philosophy from a serial winner.
“To use something that Pep Guardiola used to say: ‘the best form of defence is to attack’, so let’s do that,” the boyhood Barcelona supporter said.
“I’m just trying to be Number One. I’ve got to win one or two, that’s what I want to do to give myself a chance to do that.
“I’m getting better every time. I had two weeks off before this and I practiced a lot and managed to get in shape to perform well in these two weeks.”
Arnaus is visiting China for the first time this week and in preparation for an important few days, the Spaniard arrived early on the island of Hainan to settle in.
“It’s my first time in China and it’s been really interesting to get to know a new country and new culture,” he said. “It’s interesting to see how I can cope with and manage all the differences.
“I got here on Saturday night to adjust to the time difference and it seems like I’ve done that. Now I can just go out and play.
“It can be stressful sometimes because you feel like people can’t understand you but I’m coping with it well.”
Arnaus believes the Sanya Luhuitou course favours big hitters but warns trouble could arise on the back nine.
“I think it’s a really good golf course,” he said. “It’s in really good shape and it’s a good test. I played six holes on Sunday and I thought ‘okay, not too bad’ but then the back nine gets trickier and makes for a really good golf course.
“There are two par fours which are reachable, for sure. You can gain an advantage there and another key factor is that the ball doesn’t roll.
“Everything you can carry is a plus. Hitting it far is definitely an advantage.”
A strong field joins Arnaus in China, with the 14 of the Road to Ras Al Khaimah top 15 set to tee it up on Thursday, with the only absentee being Kim Koivu who has already secured his European Tour card for next year with his trio of wins.
The action will begin at 7.10am local time (GMT +8) with Ben Evans, Francesco Laporta and Yuezu Tao the first group out on the course.