Friday, July 15, 2011

Déjà Vu For Defending Champion Hendry In Indonesia Open

Jakarta, July 14: New Zealand’s Michael Hendry showed that he fully intends to hold onto the Indonesia Open presented by Enjoy Jakarta trophy by taking the first round lead at Damai Indah Golf - Pantai Indah Kapuk Course.

He won the title by seven shots last year at the same venue with a final round seven-under-par 65 and began his defense today with the same score.

He recorded a brilliant bogey free round in the seventh event of the season on OneAsia.

Japanese star Hideto Tanihara and Australians David Bransdon, Steve Collins and Leigh McKechnie, who made a hole in one on 15, all shot 67 in the US$1 million tournament.

Hendry said: “I don’t think the course has changed that much since last year so I have a bit of an advantage over the rest of the field having won here last time. I set a goal for myself this week to make sure I am in contention come Sunday and I have made a great start. I am just playing it as another tournament and not putting any pressure on myself.”

The 31-year-old started his round on the back nine and made birdies on 11, 14 and 18. On his homeward stretch he birdied three, four, six and seven.

“Perhaps I could have driven the ball a little better today but I played really well and missed a bunch of short putts that could have seen me shoot much lower,” he added.

He has not tasted victory since winning in Indonesia last year but he has had a couple of opportunities to win and looks like being the man to beat this week.

Hendry won with a four round score of 19-under-par 269 last July.

Tanihara is a nine-time winner on the Japan Golf Tour Organization with his most recent victory coming in the 2010 Vana H Cup KBC Augusta.

The 32-year-old was in trouble off the tee on the final hole and made a bogey five to fall back into a tie for second.

“It was disappointing to finish like that as it was my only bogey but I played very well and feel I have a good chance this week. Tomorrow I will get to play in the morning when there should be less wind so I hope to make a move then,” said Tanihara.

There was plenty to cheer about for the local fans as the country’s top player Rory Hie carded a 68 to tie for sixth with Thailand’s Thaworn Wiratchant, winner of this event in 2005, Koreans Han Chang-won and Han Min-kyu, Japan’s Takuya Taniguchi, and Australians Kim Felton and Rohan Blizard.

“It was not too bad. I am a little upset with my last hole, the ninth. It should have been a birdie. It was only a two metre putt, but I missed it. Obviously, I don’t want to disappoint the Indonesian fans so I am really focused this week,” said Hie.

The ultra-talented 22-year-old finished second in OneAsia’s season-opening Indonesia PGA Championship and has been enjoying a fine season.

His father normally caddies for him but this week he has a Malaysian caddie.

He said: “There is no technical or special reason for this. I’m responsible for all the decisions on the course. My caddie is only helping me with occasional advice. My dad is getting a bit old and I don’t want him to get too tired caddying for me.”

Malaysia’s Danny Chia came in with a 71 along with Thai star Kiradech Aphibarnrat.

China’s Liang Wenchong, the reigning OneAsia Order of Merit champion and runner up here last year, carded a 72.

Ireland’s Ryder Cup star Paul McGinley returned a 74.

Leading first rounds scores:

(par 72)

65 – Michael Hendry (NZL)

67 – Hideto Tanihara (JPN), David Bransdon (AUS), Leigh McKechnie (AUS), Steve Collins (AUS)

68 – Rory Hie (INA), Thaworn Wiratchant (THA), Han Chang-won (KOR), Han Min-kyu (KOR),Takuya Taniguchi (JPN), Kim Felton (AUS), Rohan Blizard (AUS)

69 – Johannes Dermawan (INA), Jordan Irawan (INA) (a), Kim Meen-whee (KOR), Li Chao (CHN), Paul Sheehan (AUS), Ashley Hall (AUS), Michael Wright (AUS), David Oh (USA)

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