Tuesday, December 24, 2013

New Development Planned For Anai Golf & Mountain Resort

The Riyadh Group is planning to further develop the Anai Golf & Mountain Resort located in Anai Valley, Padang Pariaman, West Sumatra.

In the first phase the development of the project will require an investment of about Rp 1.5 trillion over a period of 5 years.

"The tourism industry in West Sumatra is growing in line with the growth of the national economy. The Anai Valley tourism area is also becoming a major tourist destination in West Sumatra." said Bally Saputra, President-Director of the Riyadh Group on Monday (22/12).

In a written statement, Bally says that Riyadh together with PT Andalas Anaipermai International have signed a memorandum of understanding for development of the Anai Golf & Mountain Resort.

The plan is to build a 1000-room hotel and a convention hall that accommodates 5000 people on the site. "This will help hotels in the neighborhood also to accommodate the additional flow of guests."

This integrated tourism resort covers 400 hectares at the base of Mt. Tandikat at a height of 600-700 meters above sea level, providing for a cool mountain climate.

The founder of Andalas Anaipermai, Siswono Yudo Husodo, states that West Sumatra is worthy to become Indonesia's second national holiday destination, after the island of Bali.

"These days the amount of people traveling for holidays is tremendous. West Sumatra has adequate resources to be a tourist destination besides Bali. Characteristic architecture, art, as well as cuisine found in West Sumatra have an excellence that will attract foreign tourists."

According to Siswono the West Sumatra government supports Anai Valley to become a tourist destination.

Monday, December 23, 2013

New Home For Indonesia PGA Championship In 2014

JAKARTA, Dec 18 - The Indonesia PGA Championship will be played at the Damai Indah Golf – Bumi Serpong Damai (BSD) course for the first time next year as part of an exciting early-season swing on OneAsia.

The picturesque venue, the first Jack Nicklaus-designed course in Indonesia, will host the U.S. $1 million tournament from March 27 - 30, and for the second successive year will be joint sanctioned by the Japan Golf Tour Organisation (JGTO).

The tournament tees off a week after the Thailand Open, also a OneAsia and JGTO event, which will be played from March 13 to 16.

“Damai Indah Golf – Bumi Serpong Damai course is thrilled to welcome the 2014 Indonesia PGA Championship,” said Christine Wiradinata, Director, Damai Indah Golf.

“We are firmly established as one of Indonesia’s premier golf courses, well known for staging world class tournaments. Our Jack Nicklaus championship course will provide an outstanding layout for some of the world’s finest players.”

The brainchild of well-known Indonesian real estate developer and business baron Ir. Ciputra, Damai Indah Golf consists of two international championship courses in completely different and challenging surroundings. Bumi Serpong Damai — known to local golfers as "BSD" — is located in the West Java satellite city of the same name, while Pantai Indah Kapuk is along the Java Sea in North Jakarta.

BSD is situated alongside the impressive Cisadane River that is framed by the upmarket housing estates of Serpong.

“The Indonesia PGA Championship together with our friends at the Japan Golf Tour Organisation and the world class Damai Indah Golf course will combine to help launch another great year on OneAsia,” said OneAsia Commissioner and Chairman Sang Y. Chun.

Next year is the sixth season of OneAsia and marks the third staging of the Indonesia PGA Championship.

“This year the Japan Golf Tour Organisation enjoyed an excellent start to the season by joint-sanctioning the Indonesia PGA Championship and Thailand Open with OneAsia and we look forward to a repeat of this in 2014,” said Katsuji Ebisawa, Chairman, JGTO.

In March, Korean Choi Ho-sung survived a dramatic three-hour storm delay on the final hole and drained an eight-foot birdie putt for a two-stroke victory in the Indonesian PGA Championship at Emeralda Golf Club.

At the inaugural event in 2011, Australian Andre Stolz beat Indonesian number one Rory Hie by a shot at Imperial Klub Golf.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Little Glory For Indonesian Golfers At 27th SEA Games

Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, 18 Dec - The Indonesian golfers couldn't repeat the success of the previous SEA Games held 2 years ago in their home country, where the ladies won two golds (individual and team) and the men won a silver (team) and bronze (individual) medal, as this time around they had to be satisfied with a single bronze medal for the ladies individual event.

Men's team gold medal went to Thailand with a score of 838, silver to home team Myanmar (846) and bronze was for Malaysia (848). Indonesia men's team, consisting of William Sjaichudin, Kevin C. Akbar, Jordan Irawan and Syukrizal, finished in 5th place with a score of 864.

In the men's individual competition gold went to Dandthai Boonma from Thailand who beat Gavin Kyle Green from Malaysia in a playoff after both finished at 10-under par 278. Bronze medal went to Poom Saksansin (281). also from Thailand. Best Indonesian was William Sjaichudin (285) who tied for 9th, with Kevin C. Akbar (291) in 17th place, Jordan Irawan (293) in a tie for 18th and Syukrizal (296) in 24th place.

The ladies team gold medal this time was for the Philippines (428), silver once more to home team Myanmar (439) and bronze was for the Thai ladies (440). Both Indonesia and Malaysia just missed out on a medal finishing in a tie for 4th just one shot further back.

Ladies individual gold went to the Philippines as well, as 16-year old Princess Mary Supera crushed the competition with a score of 210, 6 shots ahead of silver medalist Yin May Myo from Malaysia (216). Tatiana Jaqueline Wijaya secured a bronze medal for Indonesia, just one shot further back. The other Indonesian ladies, Victoria Chanora (229) and Gavrilla Arya (234), finished in respectively a tie for 11th and a tie for 17th.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Rory Hie's Half Point Not Enough For Team Asia-Pacific To Retain Dongfeng Nissan Cup

SHENZHEN, Dec 15 - Team China made the best of atrocious weather on Sunday to pip an Asia-Pacific Select side 12 1/2 - 11 1/2 and win OneAsia’s Ryder Cup-style Dongfeng Nissan Cup for a first time.

It took the last putt of a gripping contest to decide the match in China’s favor, with the home team winning Sunday’s singles 7 - 5 after taking Saturday’s foursomes 4 - 2 and going down 4 1/2 - 1 1/2 in Friday’s fourball encounters.

The Dongfeng Nissan Cup pits 12 Asia-Pacific players against a China national team over three days of matchplay competition at the CTS Tycoon Golf Club. The visitors won the inaugural 2011 tournament 12 1/2 - 11 1/2, and retained the title last year with a 14 1/2 - 9 1/2 victory.

“I said last week that when it comes to golf, China has been asleep for 40 years -- but they have certainly woken up now,” said legendary five-time Open Champion Peter Thomson, captain of the Asia-Pacific Select side for a third year.

“I am very impressed with the progress they have made. They are ready to take on anyone.”

The importance of the win to Team China was obvious as they mobbed Su Dong (above) after he sank a nervy four-footer to halve the 18th and beat Scott Laycock by one.

Su had missed a similar-length sitter on the 17th that would have secured the win, while Laycock’s 20-footer on the last to force a tie and playoff, agonizingly shaved the hole.

“This was a really good win for us,” said Cheng Jun, Team China’s vice-captain.

“This is definitely the strongest Asia-Pacific side that we have faced in the three years of the tournament, so I am very proud that this team managed to beat them.”

Cheng said the weather definitely helped the home team, with cold rain drenching the course overnight and through most of the day.

“A lot of my players are from the north where it is already hard winter,” said Cheng. “This weather is nothing to them.”

Playing in the second flight, Wu Ashun drew first blood for the home side with a 4 & 3 victory against Michael Long, but the visitors swiftly cancelled that when Masimichi Uehira beat Wang Minghao 3 & 1 -- an eagle on the par-four 17th underlining his dominance.

Choi Ho-sung and Huang Wenyi’s match was the first to go the distance and looked a likely Asia-Pacific win after Huang put his second into the water left of the 18th green and Choi safely found the middle. After dropping into an awkward lie, however, Huang brilliantly holed his fourth, while Choi could only two-putt for a half.

Filipino-American Eric Mina battled hard against Yan Bin in the next match, but had no answer to the seven birdies his opponent made in 15 holes and went down 4 & 3.

Thaworn Wiratchant simply wasn’t comfortable in the conditions and became a prize scalp for 16-year-old amateur Dou Zecheng in losing 4 & 3. The Thai ace, who was winning tournaments before Dou was even born, gave full credit to his young opponent, saying he had a bright future ahead.

Once Kazuhiro Yamashita — one of two Japan Tour regulars in the Asia-Pacific side — had dispatched Li Xinyang 2 & 1, China led 10 - 9 with five matches on the go.

Choo Tze-huang, Rory Hie and Matthew Griffin all secured halves for the visitors under different circumstances from Wu Kangchun, Huang Mingji and Zhang Lianwei respectively before Gareth Paddison despatched Li Chao 2 & 1 to tie the contest.

The beefy Su, playing in short-sleeves as if in the tropics, then gave the hardy China fans a pre-Christmas treat with his par on the last that delivered the trophy to the home team for the first time.

Results of Sunday’s singles matches between Team China and an Asia-Pacific Select side at OneAsia’s Dongfeng Nissan Cup being played at the CTS Tycoon Club in Shenzhen (Team China names first):

Team China 12 1/2, Asia Pacific Select 11 1/2

Wang Minghao lost to Masimichi Uehira 3 & 1

Wu Ashun bt Michael Long 4 & 3

Huang Wenyi halved with Choi Ho-sung

Yang Guanming bt Kim Dae-sub by one

Yan Bin bt Eric Mina 4 & 3

Dou Zecheng bt Thaworn Wiratchant 4 & 3

Li Xinyang lost to Kazuhiro Yamashita 2 & 1

Wu Kangchun halved with Choo Tze-huang

Huang Mingjie halved with Rory Hie

Zhang Lianwei halved with Matthew Griffin

Su Dong bt Scott Laycock by one

Li Chao lost to Gareth Paddison 2 & 1

Monday, December 16, 2013

Rory Hie Brings In Another Win For Team Asia-Pacific At Dongfeng Nissan Cup

SHENZHEN, Dec 14 - Team China dug deep on Saturday to get the better of an Asia-Pacific Select side in the foursomes matches of OneAsia’s Dongfeng Nissan Cup, and go into Sunday’s singles round just a point behind in pursuit of their first win.

The Asia-Pacific side lead 6 1/2 - 5 1/2 after clinching Friday’s fourball matches 4 1/2 - 1 1/2 and going down 2 - 4 in Saturday’s foursome clashes of the Ryder-Cup style tournament at CTS Tycoon Club in Shenzhen.

The Dongfeng Nissan Cup pits 12 Asia-Pacific players against a China national team over three days of matchplay competition. The visitors won the inaugural 2011 tournament 12 1/2 - 11 1/2, and retained the title last year with a 14 1/2 - 9 1/2 victory.

Veterans Zhang Lianwei and Huang Wenyi, paired again after their opening fourball win, set the pace from the start on Saturday by hammering Scott Laycock and Michael Long 5 & 4.

They only needed a par on the first to go ahead, but three birdies on the trot put them well in control and they were five up after five and cruising.

China’s gamble on changing all their other pairings -- the visitors kept their combinations the same -- paid off handsomely.

Eric Mina and Choo Tze-huang, the only Asia-Pacific pair to lose on Friday, looked to be making amends by turning four up against Yang Guanming and Yan Bin in the second match, but the Szechuan pair turned as hot as their home province’s famed spicy food, and they won five-in-a-row from the 13th to triumph 2 & 1.

The Southeast Asian pairing of Thaworn Wiratchant and Rory Hie looked comfortable for most of the day after starting birdie-birdie against Huang Mingjie and Wu Kangchun before easing to a 3 & 2 victory.

Su Dong and 16-year-old amateur Dou Zecheng didn’t have to do much in their 3 & 1 win against Choi Ho-sung and Kim Dae-sub as the Korean pair just couldn’t get it together and posted seven bogeys or worse before shaking hands.

Match five proved the most exciting of the day with Wu Ashun and Wang Minghao going toe-to-toe with the Japanese pair of Kazuhiro Yamashita and Masimichi Uehira all the way to the 18th before winning one up, with the lead changing hands four times.

The Asia-Pacific Select side grabbed a crucial second point in the final match courtesy of some more deadly putting from 2013 OneAsia Order of Merit champion Matt Griffin who snatched a half on Friday with a 60-footer on the last.

Paired again with Gareth Paddison, Griffin missed a 40-footer by a hair on the 15th before draining a 35-footer on the next hole to secure a 3 & 2 win against Liu Cha and Li Xinyang.

China vice-captain Cheng Jun was full of praise for the way his side battled back.

“It's a good match for Team China today,” he said. “It was a good and aggressive beginning, very stable, and then (the others) cooperated well later. Today's results went just like we planned.”

Asia-Pacific Select vice-captain Scott Laycock said the stage was set for a gripping day of singles on Sunday.

“It went our way yesterday but today it was all about Team China,” he said.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Rory Hie Helps Bring In Point As Asia-Pacific Takes Dongfeng Nissan Cup Lead

SHENZHEN, Dec 13 - An Asia-Pacific Select side seeking a third win in-a-row eased on Friday to a 4 1/2 - 1 1/2 lead against Team China after the opening round of OneAsia’s Ryder-Cup style Dongfeng Nissan Cup at the CTS Tycoon Club.

Veterans Zhang Lianwei and Huang Wenyi were the only Chinese pair to prevail on a day of fourball action that belonged to the visitors, although Su Dong and 16-year-old amateur Dou Zecheng looked to have their game in the bag on the 18th until Matthew Griffin drained a 60-foot birdie putt to steal a half with Gareth Paddison.

The Dongfeng Nissan Cup pits 12 Asia-Pacific players against a China national team over three days of matchplay competition. The visitors won the inaugural 2011 tournament 12 1/2 - 11 1/2, and retained the title last year with a 14 1/2 - 9 1/2 victory.

Scott Laycock and Michael Long got the Asia-Pacific select side off to the best possible start with a 7 & 6 thrashing of Wu Ashun and Wu Kangchun.

One up after five, the Asia-Pacific pair turned on the heat to take the next six holes, with Laycock in particular showing great form.

The Australian is also vice-captain, so the early finish gave him the chance to get back out on the course and show his team-mates the way home.

“It’s not over by a long way,” Laycock said afterwards.

“With matchplay anything can happen and the scores don’t really reflect how hard the Chinese players pushed us.”

Zhang and Huang were never behind against Choo Tze-huang and Eric Mina and led by four after nine holes, but stuttered down the final straight before winning 2 & 1.

The third match proved the most exciting of the day with Rory Hie and Thaworn Wiratchant trading birdies with Yang Guanming and Yan Bin until clinching the match one up.

“We were actually six under for the day and only won one up,” said Hie. “We couldn’t shake them off.”

The Korean pairing of Kim Dae-sub and Choi Ho-sung disposed of Li Chao and Huang Mingjie 4 & 2 and the Japanese duo of Masamichi Uehira and Kazuhiro Yamashita sent Wang Mingao and Li Xinyang packing 4 & 3.

Not surprisingly, the Asia-Pacific Select side chose to keep their pairings the same for Saturday’s foursomes, while Team China is ringing the changes.

“It felt we were like high school players up against college students,” said China vice-captain Cheng Jun.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Sponsors Pull Together To Support Junior And Amateur Golf In Run Up To CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters 2014

Jakarta, December 12 - Sponsors and Partners of the CIMB NIAGA Indonesian Masters gathered at a Press Conference in Jakarta to hail the Youth Development and Amateur league efforts of the Asian Tour tournament, which is set for its fourth edition at Royale Jakarta Golf Club from April 24th - 27th 2014.

The announcement comes as JS Luwansa signs on as Official Hotel and Linc Group, and Salonpas take up Main Partner positions.

"As the title sponsor of the event, one of our goals in being a major stake holder of the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters was to bridge the gap between Junior, Amateur and Professional golf in Indonesia. I believe we are achieving this goal through the Youth Development and Amateur League programs of the tournament, which makes us extremely proud to be a part of the effort," said Mr. Harsya Denny Suryo, Head of Corporate Communications of PT Bank CIMB Niaga Tbk (“CIMB Niaga”).
The Youth Development initiatives of the tournament include three golf clinics conducted at Royale Jakarta Golf Club by USA Certified Golf Professional, Michael Shelton for 20 Juniors selected by the Indonesian Golf Association (Persatuan Golf Indonesia) and CIMB Foundation (CIMB Niaga's Junior Development Program for Golf). Each program will be conducted monthly beginning in January 2014 and includes a one and a half hour clinic followed by a nine-hole playing lesson. The top five most attentive juniors from each session will win a chance to have an exclusive behind the scenes access to the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters 2014 as well as an opportunity to meet the Star Players of the US$750,000 tournament, which includes defending champion, Bernd Wiesberger and Thongchai Jaidee.

"Its always encouraging to see our tournaments taking the initiative to develop the game of golf and create various platforms for improvement. The CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters started this program two years ago and I am confident sponsors and partners involved will start to see the fruits of their efforts and can be proud of their contribution to the development of golf in Indonesia," said Mr. Kyi Hla Han, Chairman of the Asian Tour.

The CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters amateur league will see one Indonesian amateur qualifying for the tournament proper next year. Indonesian amateurs can participate in this league by entering the newly established Indonesia PGA Champions Tour which sees 14 tournaments kick starting in January next year. Forty amateurs will have the opportunity to play together with Indonesian golf professionals in three-day tournaments conducted across Jakarta and other selected cities in Indonesia. The highest ranked amateur following their participation in the series between January and April 2014 will win the opportunity to play against the best of the Asian Tour and PGA Indonesia in the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters 2014. More information about the league is available on www.indonesianmasters.co.id

"As the Governing body of professional golf in Indonesia, PGA Indonesia hails all the sponsors of the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters with their creative ideas to keep the tournament evolving and improving for the better with each passing year. We are very pleased they are using our newly established Indonesian PGA Champions Tour as a platform to qualify the winner of their Amateur League. Since the purpose of our Tour is to develop the next Champions to represent Indonesia on the International stage of professional golf, the level of competition on the Indonesia PGA Champions Tour will be high so we can be assured that the qualified amateur for the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters will be an excellent golfer" said Mr. M. Syafeii Asnap, Chairman of PGA Indonesia.

Other event sponsors and partners all came together at the Press Conference on Thursday to share their enthusiasm for the development programs of the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters saying it shows the long term thinking of the event organisers to leave behind a legacy and platform for the future of golf in Indonesia.

Tournament sponsors now include, CIMB Niaga, Telkomsel, Noble Group, OB Golf & Lifestyle Magazine, Salonpas, Linc Group, Rolex, JS Luwansa, SvinGolf and San Miguel. There are a number of other corporates looking seriously into becoming a partner to the event and will be announced in the coming months.

The CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters has cemented its place as the nation’s most prestigious event and continues to grow since its inauguration in 2011 with long-term event partners.

The event also focuses on giving back to the community through its charity initiatives together with Habitat for Humanity Indonesia. To date, the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters has managed to build 31 homes for families in need and together with National Energy Company, Pertamina, built a clean water solution for over 10,000 people in the Cilamaya area.

The CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters will have widespread exposure via a strong local media platform and the Asian Tour’s global television platform, which reaches out to over 200 countries and 650 million households on the Live, Highlights, Asian Tour Golf Show and Golfing World.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

ADT Season Finale To Take Place In Jakarta

Jakarta, December 11 - The final battle for the top-three positions on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) Order of Merit will be determined at the season-ending Jakarta Invitational next month.

Tournament promoters, OB Golf Events have announced that the inaugural Jakarta Invitational will offer a prize pot of US$60,000 and will be held at the Faldo designed, Jababeka Golf & Country Club, Jakarta from January 8 to 11.

With the launch of the inaugural Jakarta Invitational, the 2013 ADT Schedule will close with a record 16 events in Malaysia, Chinese Taipei, the Philippines and Indonesia.

The top players on the ADT Order of Merit including James Bowen of the United States, Iain Steel of Malaysia, Lindsay Renolds of Canada and Grant Jackson of England are expected to headline the event.

Asian Tour Chairman Kyi Hla Han expressed his delight on the newest event joining the ADT which started to offer Official World Golf Ranking points in 2013.

“On behalf of the ADT, I would like to welcome the inaugural Jakarta Invitational onto our 2013 Schedule. I’m delighted that we are witnessing such a positive growth on the ADT which initially started with five events in its first year in 2010,” said Han.

“There are a lot of young talents in the region and it is our fervent hope that these players can harness and nurture their games on the ADT before taking it to a higher level on the premier Asian Tour. Nicholas Fung is a fine example of a player who has enjoyed success on the ADT and will now be part of the elite field on the Asian Tour.

“Through our world ranking status, our ADT players will have a chance to qualify for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. We hope that the presence of the Jakarta Invitational in Indonesia will provide an impetus to the younger generation of golfers in Indonesia to showcase their talents and aim for a victory,” added Han.

There will be much to play for in the final event as Bowen, Steel, Renolds and Jackson, ranked second, third, fourth and fifth on the Order of Merit respectively, jostle for elusive playing rights on the 2014 Asian Tour season.

Current Order of Merit leader Nicholas Fung of Malaysia used his experience of playing on the ADT to good effect when he secured his Asian Tour card for next season by finishing inside the top-60 on the region’s premier Tour’s Merit list. He finished top-10 at the Resorts World Manila Masters and then tied second at the Indonesia Open to move up to 38th position on the Asian Tour Order of Merit.

Fung’s success on the Asian Tour means that the next best three players on the ADT will stand a chance to earn a card for the new season. Bowen has a season’s haul of US$38,444 while Steel is third with US$36,623.

Renolds sits in fourth place, just a little over US$1,000 behind Steel while Jackson is fifth with US$27,180.

The ADT was launched in 2010 with five tournaments before growing to eight in 2011 and 13 last year.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Disaster Hits For Rory Hie In Final Round Of Indonesia Open At Pantai Indah Kapuk

Jakarta, December 1 - Gaganjeet Bhullar dominated the Indonesia Open after shooting a flawless three-under-par 68 to win his first Asian Tour title in 2013 by three shots on Sunday.

The talented Indian opened with 10 straight pars but displayed a gutsy back nine performance highlighted by three birdies to complete a sensational wire-to-wire triumph at the US$750,000 Asian Tour event.

Malaysian rising star Nicholas Fung contended for the title before finishing tied second on 66 with Chapchai Nirat of Thailand, who shot two eagles today, at the Pantai Indah Kapuk Course at Damai Indah Golf.

Siddikur Rahman of Bangladesh ended his campaign with a 67 in solo fourth on 272 while Jyoti Randhawa (69) of India was a further shot back. Young Thai Jazz Janewattananond, the co-leader at the start of the day, returned with a disappointing 74 to finish tied sixth, but the 18-year-old earned plaudits by the Asian Tour stars for his battling performance.

The final round ended in a disaster for Indonesia's top player Rory Hie, who saw a good placement and securing his tour card for next year disappear after finishing the round in 8 over par. A double bogey on 8 and triple bogey on 9 contributed to a dismal 6-over on the front 9 alone, and his inability to score a birdie on the final day meant he dropped from a share of 5th to a very disappointing tie for 41st. Indonesia's Jordan Irawan (74) was the best amateur in 65th place, in front of Maan Nasim (73) in 71st, while the other amateurs William Sjaichudin (77) and Tirto Tamardi (76) closed the field in 73rd and 74th respectively.

At the end of 18 holes, it was Bhullar who was the last man standing. He got off to a slow start but picked up pace when the field, which included a fast charging Siddikur, Jazz and Fung, edged closer and threatened to overtake him.
Gaganjeet Bhullar holding the trophy after winning the Indonesia Open 2013.

A birdie on 11 was the turning point in his round which led to two more birdies on holes 13 and 14. His momentum came to halt when inclement weather suspended play for over an hour but he returned with four pars to clinch his fifth Asian Tour title.

"I gave myself a lot of opportunities in the first nine holes but I misjudged my yardages on a few holes. Apart from that, there was no difference in my strategy. Winning takes a lot of patience. I'm glad I stayed patient and showed a lot of confidence."

"It was kind of difficult for me when play was suspended. I find it hard to go back to my momentum. But I guess these kind of scenarios are common in Asia. We just have to accept it as it is," said Bhullar, who took home the winner's prize purse of US$135,000.

The victory was also a welcome return to form for the Indian who struggled in the last six months and finished last at the World Cup of Golf in Australia last week.

"I haven't had much success this season but I know my game was up there and winning is just a matter of time. I waited so long for my fifth win and this is my 10th consecutive event. Mentally, I was exhausted but Indonesia is one of my favourite cities as I won my first title on the Asian Tour here," said Bhullar.

The bespectacled Fung turned in 32 to raise his hopes of winning his first Asian Tour title before running out of holes. The 23-year-old settled for tied-second, which is his best Asian Tour result since finishing tied fifth in Manila two weeks ago.

Despite his defeat, Fung held his head high after a worthy performance that was highlighted by a superb 30-yard bunker shot from the edge of the 17th green which resulted in a two feet birdie.

"I'm extremely happy with my performance this week. It's really good to see my name up on the leaderboard amongst the other experienced players," said the Fung, hailed as one of the most talented players from Malaysia.

"During the rain suspension, I checked my phone and was overwhelmed with tons of messages from my friends and family, as well as my supporters. I felt really encouraged and I'm glad I didn't disappoint them," he smiled.

Chapchai, a three-time Asian Tour winner, remains confident that he still has what it takes to end a four-year title drought on the region's premier Tour which is celebrating its 10th season in 2013. His runner-up finish was his best result this year.

"I'm very happy with my round. I'm very hungry for a victory. I'm getting closer to it. I can really feel it. The win is coming soon."

"I made a few mistakes after my first eagle and I was so angry with myself. I gave my tee shot on the 17th hole a 100% effort and my seven iron approach landed 20 feet from the hole. I had a lot of time to think about that putt during the weather delay and made it when play resumed," smiled Chapchai.

The 39th edition of Indonesia's national championship, which has a rich and illustrious history dating back to its first edition in 1974, is the nation's oldest golf tournament.

The 2013 Indonesia Open is supported by some of the most recognisable domestic and international brands, which include BANK BRI, Total E&P Indonesie, Japfa, PT. Indofood Sukses Makmur Tbk, JS Luwansa Hotel & Convention Center, Pertamina, Harum Energy, Bintang, Sequislife, Subway, Beringer, Mazda, Srixon, Loewe, Danone, Hypernet, Ricoh, White Horse and Maui Jim.

Scores after round 4 of the Indonesia Open 2013 being played at the par 71, 7100 Yards Damai Indah GC course (a- denotes amateur):

268 - Gaganjeet BHULLAR (IND) 64-67-69-68

271 - Nicholas FUNG (MAS) 66-67-72-66, Chapchai NIRAT (THA) 67-67-71-66

272 - Siddikur RAHMAN (BAN) 71-65-69-67

273 - Jyoti RANDHAWA (IND) 69-70-65-69

274 - Antonio LASCUNA (PHI) 74-65-67-68, Anirban LAHIRI (IND) 71-68-67-68, Thaworn WIRATCHANT (THA) 70-64-69-71, Jazz JANEWATTANANOND (THA) 66-66-68-74

275 - Prom MEESAWAT (THA) 67-66-71-71, Thongchai JAIDEE (THA) 67-67-68-73

Selected:

283 - Rory HIE (INA) 68-68-68-79

289 - Jordan IRAWAN (A) (INA) 70-71-74-74

292 - Maan NASIM (INA) 72-71-76-73

294 - William SJAICHUDIN (A) (INA) 74-68-75-77

297 - Tirto TAMARDI (A) (INA) 71-71-79-76

Monday, December 2, 2013

Hie In Contention At Indonesia Open

Jakarta, November 30 - Rory Hie kept up his hopes of winning the prestigious Indonesia Open title when he shot a three-under-par 68 to trail co-leaders Gaganjeet Bhullar and Jazz Janewattananond of Thailand by four shots on Saturday.

The local star marked his card with five birdies against two bogeys for a three-day total of nine-under-par 204 to share fifth place with India’s Jyoti Randhawa, who returned with the day’s lowest score of 65, and Thailand’s Prom Meesawat (71) at the Pantai Indah Kapuk course at the Damai Indah Golf.

Hie, who capped two top-20 finishes on the Asian Tour this year, was delighted to put himself in a strong position to seal a dream victory in his National Open.

“It was exactly what I was looking for. I think I made up some ground to give myself a better chance going into the last round. That’s all I can ask for which is to get a chance to win my national Open,” said the 25-year-old Hie.

“I feel like I want to win more than anyone out there in the field because it is my National Open. I felt like I’ve taken another step in my mental approach to the game this week. There were times when I felt like it is getting away from me but I kept reminding myself to keep playing and keep going. Hopefully I can win tomorrow,” he added.

Hie was also proud with the performance of three local amateurs, Jordan Irawan (74), William Sjaichudin (75) and Tirto Tamardi (79), who made the halfway cut and is currently ranked in 60th, 69th and 74th position respectively.

“It is good news to see three amateurs made the cut because it shows that Indonesian juniors are playing well and growing as a nation in golf. Hopefully we will see more good players come out,” added the local talent.

Currently 89th on the Asian Tour Order of Merit, Hie will be aiming for a good finish to boost his rankings on the Order of Merit as the top-60 players at the end of the season will earn full play rights on the Asian Tour.

Scores after round 3 of the Indonesia Open 2013 being played at the par 71, 7100 Yards Damai Indah GC course (a- denotes amateur):

200 – Jazz JANEWATTANANOND (THA) 66-66-68, Gaganjeet BHULLAR (IND) 64-67-69

202 – Thongchai JAIDEE (THA) 67-67-68

203 – Thaworn WIRATCHANT (THA) 70-64-69

204 – Jyoti RANDHAWA (IND) 69-70-65, Rory HIE (INA) 68-68-68, Prom MEESAWAT (THA) 67-66-71

205 – Siddikur RAHMAN (BAN) 71-65-69, Chapchai NIRAT (THA) 67-67-71, Nicholas FUNG (MAS) 66-67-72

Selected:

215 - Jordan IRAWAN (A) (INA) 70-71-74

217 - William SJAICHUDIN (A) (INA) 74-68-75

219 - Maan NASIM (INA) 72-71-76

221 - Tirto TAMARDI (A) (INA) 71-71-79

Amateurs Shine In Second Round Of Indonesia Open At Pantai Indah Kapuk

Jakarta, November 30 - Gaganjeet Bhullar birdied the last for a second round four-under-par 67 to hold a one shot lead over an in-form Jazz Janewattananond of Thailand at the Indonesia Open on Saturday.

The talented Indian returned early morning to finish two holes in round two after play was suspended due to inclement weather yesterday at the Pantai Indah Kapur course at Damai Indah Golf.

Bhullar, who won his first of four Asian Tour titles in Indonesia in 2009, totalled 11-under-par 131 while Jazz birdied 17 for a 66 to stay in the hunt for his first victory on the region’s premier Tour which is celebrating its 10th season in 2013.

Nicholas Fung of Malaysia charged into contention with a 67 to share third alongside Prom Meesawat of Thailand at the US$750,000 Asian Tour event.

Thai titans Thaworn Wiratchant and Thongchai Jaidee, who have a combined total of five Asian Tour Order of Merit crowns, were a further three shots back in tied fifth alongside Chapchai Nirat after shooting 64, 67 and 67 respectively.

Indonesia's Rory Hie kept up the pressure with another round of 68, which kept him in a share of 8th. Meanwhile not less then 3 of Indonesia's amateurs managed to make the cut, with Jordan Irawan (71) in 40th and William Sjaichudin (68) and Tirto Tamardi (71) in a share of 51th place. The only other Indonesian player to make the cut was Maan Nasim (71) who finished the day in a tie for 60th.

Ranked sixth on the Order of Merit, Bhullar, who will take aim at his first Asian Tour win said: “This is Mother Nature and you can’t control it. I’m still playing well and my confidence is up there.”

The halfway cut at the Indonesia Open was set at two-over-par 144 with a total of 75 players making the last two round.

Scores after round 2 of the Indonesia Open 2013 being played at the par 71, 7100 Yards Damai Indah GC course (a- denotes amateur):

131 – Gaganjeet BHULLAR (IND) 64-67

132 – Jazz JANEWATTANANOND (THA) 66-66

133 – Prom MEESAWAT (THA) 67-66, Nicholas FUNG (MAS) 66-67

134 – Thaworn WIRATCHANT (THA) 70-64, Thongchai JAIDEE (THA) 67-67, Chapchai NIRAT (THA) 67-67

136 – KIM Gi-whan (KOR) 68-68, Chawalit PLAPHOL (THA) 69-67, Siddikur RAHMAN (BAN) 71-65, Rory HIE (INA) 68-68

137 – Retief GOOSEN (RSA) 72-65, Mardan MAMAT (SIN) 68-69, Namchok TANTIPOKHAKUL (THA) 69-68

Selected:

141 - Jordan IRAWAN (A) (INA) 70-71

142 - William SJAICHUDIN (A) (INA) 74-68, Tirto TAMARDI (A) (INA) 71-71

143 - Maan NASIM (INA) 72-71

CUT

145 - Fahmi REZA (A) (INA) 71-74, George GANDRANATA (INA) 71-74

146 - Andik MAULUDIN (INA) 71-75, Denny A. WIJAYA (INA) 74-72

148 - Fadhli R. SOETARSO (A) (INA) 76-72, Rinaldi ADIYANDONO (INA) 75-73, Kevin C. AKHBAR (A) (INA) 75-73, Johannes DERMAWAN (INA) 73-75

149 - Junaidi IBRAHIM (INA) 72-77

150 - Benny KASIADI (INA) 80-70, Indra HERMAWAN (INA) 73-77

151 - K. Soewarno (INA) 75-76, Asep SUGANDA (INA) 77-74

152 - Hendri NASIM (INA) 72-80

153 - Jamel ONDO (INA) 75-78, Ilyasyak (INA) 75-78, Aria KAMSURI (INA) 77-76

155 - Ujang ZAREM (A) (INA) 81-74, Nasin SURACHMAN (INA) 75-80

157 - Theodore RAHARDJA (A) (INA) 80-77

159 - Asep SAEFULLOH (INA) 80-79

160 - Kurnia Herisiandy SANTOSO (INA) 81-79, Joshua Andrew WIRAWAN (A) (INA) 80-80

164 - S Syukrizal (A) (INA) 86-78

79 - Ian ANDREW (INA) 79-RTD

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Local Hero Hie Gets Off To Solid Start

Jakarta, November 28 - Rory Hie of Indonesia turned the pressure of playing on home soil into his advantage when he signed for an opening three-under-par 68 at the US$750,000 Indonesia Open on Thursday.

Hie marked his card with one eagle, three birdies and two bogeys to stay four shots back from the first round leader Gaganjeet Bhullar of India, who leads on 64 at the Pantai Indah Kapuk course at the Damai Indah Golf.

The talented Indonesian was tied in 14th position alongside Singaporean Mardan Mamat, Zaw Moe of Myanmar, Kim Gi-whan of Korea, Chan Kim of the United States, Carlos Pigem of Spain, Lionel Weber of France and Chris Rodgers of England.

Currently 89th on the Asian Tour Order of Merit, Hie will be looking for a good finish this week to boost his rankings as the top-60 players at the end of this season will earn full playing rights on the Asian Tour next year.

The local talent, who capped two top-20 finishes on the Asian Tour this year, soared up the leaderboard when he chipped in for eagle from 120 yards on the 16th hole.

“It was a solid round. It was fun playing with Daniel (Chopra) and Shiv (Kapur). They are both very good players. We were all playing very well. The course is in a really good condition out there,” said Hie.

As much as he hopes to make his nation proud, he is determined not to let the pressure get to him.

“There are obviously more pressure on me this week but I think that helps me to play well as compared to any other week. I was really happy with my eagle on 16. I hit a really good shot and that was pretty amazing,” said the 25-year-old, who chipped in the eagle from about 120 yards on the 16th hole.

Local amateur Jordan Irawan signed for a 70 to take a share of 30th place while another four Indonesians including Andik Mauludin and George Gandranata returned with matching 71s to tie at 43rd.

The 39th edition of Indonesia’s national championship, which has a rich and illustrious history dating back to its first edition in 1974, is the nation’s oldest golf tournament.

Fans from around the world can also watch these world class golfers in action through the live broadcast on the Asian Tour Media platform. Asian Tour Media will produce 16 hours of live coverage from the event which will be seen across Asia, Australia, the Middle East, Europe and Latin America plus further coverage and distribution generated via the highlights and magazine programmes from the event, resulting in global media exposure for all the sponsors involved in this prestigious tournament.

The 2013 Indonesia Open is supported by some of the most recognisable domestic and international brands, which include BANK BRI, Total E&P Indonesie, Japfa, PT. Indofood Sukses Makmur Tbk, JS Luwansa Hotel & Convention Center, Pertamina, Harum Energy, Bintang, Sequislife, Subway, Beringer, Mazda, Srixon, Loewe, Danone, Hypernet, Ricoh, White Horse and Maui Jim.

Scores after Round 1 of the Indonesia Open played at Pantai Indah Kapuk course (A - denotes amateur):

64 - Gaganjeet BHULLAR (IND)

66 - Jazz JANEWATTANANOND (THA), Anthony KANG (USA), MO Joong kyung (KOR), Nicholas FUNG (MAS), Berry HENSON (USA), Shaaban HUSSIN (MAS)

67 - Sam BRAZEL (AUS), David LIPSKY (USA), Sujjan SINGH (IND), Prom MEESAWAT (THA), Thongchai JAIDEE (THA), Chapchai NIRAT (THA)

Selected:

68 - Rory HIE (INA)

70 - Jordan IRAWAN (A) (INA)

71 - Fahmi REZA (A) (INA), George GANDRANATA (INA), Tirto TAMARDI (A) (INA), Andik MAULUDIN (INA)

72 - Junaidi IBRAHIM (INA), Maan NASIM (INA), Hendri NASIM (INA)

73 - Johannes DERMAWAN (INA), Indra HERMAWAN (INA)

74 - Denny A. WIJAYA (INA), William SJAICHUDIN (A) (INA)

75 - Nasin SURACHMAN (INA), Jamel ONDO (INA), Rinaldi ADIYANDONO (INA), Ilyasyak (INA), K. Soewarno (INA), Kevin C. AKHBAR (A) (INA)

76 - Fadhli R. SOETARSO (A) (INA)

77 - Asep SUGANDA (INA), Aria KAMSURI (INA)

79 - Ian ANDREW (INA)

80 - Theodore RAHARDJA (A) (INA), Joshua Andrew WIRAWAN (A) (INA), Asep SAEFULLOH (INA), Benny KASIADI (INA)

81 - Kurnia Herisiandy SANTOSO (INA), Ujang ZAREM (A) (INA)

86 - S Syukrizal (A) (INA)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thongchai Ready To Rumble In Indonesia

Jakarta, November 26 - A recharged Thongchai Jaidee will hunt for a 14th Asian Tour title at the Indonesia Open, a result that will ultimately boost his position inside the top-50 on the Official World Golf Ranking.

The decorated Thai is currently ranked 48th in the world and he hopes to go even higher on the standings by winning this week’s US$750,000 Asian Tour event which starts on Thursday.

“My main goal this year is to stay inside the top-50 in the world rankings. Right now, I’m on the bubble but if I have two good weeks then I will definitely finish the year inside the top-50,” said Thongchai.

He will headline the Indonesia Open this week alongside two-time Major champion Retief Goosen of South Africa, exciting Spanish talent Pablo Larrazabal, home hero Rory Hie, Asian Tour stars Scott Hend of Australia and Anirban Lahiri of India at the Pantai Indah Kapuk course.

To fuel his title ambitions, Thongchai, whose last victory on the Asian Tour was in 2010, took a one-week break after playing in six straight events where he finished second in China last month.

“I’m feeling a bit better now. I was feeling tired previously but I was home last week and I think that’s prepared me for this week. I needed a break to get ready for a busy stretch towards the end of the year,” said the 44-year-old Thongchai.

The Indonesia Open will bring back fond memories for the former paratrooper as he won the event in 2009 and went on to lift an unprecedented third Asian Tour Order of Merit crown in the same year.

“It feels like home here. I will try my best to give myself a chance to win this tournament. There’s a strong field this week and I hope the Indonesia Open will grow even bigger on the Asian Tour,” Thongchai added.

Goosen Eyes Good Showing In Indonesia

Jakarta, November 26 - Two-time Major winner Retief Goosen of South Africa hopes to attune to the rhythm of playing good golf again when he tees off at the US$750,000 Indonesia Open on Thursday.

The 44-year-old will headline the star-studded field which include Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal, Thai veteran Thongchai Jaidee, China’s Liang Wen-chong and local star Rory Hie at the Pantai Indah Kapuk course at Damai Indah Golf.

Goosen, winner of the 2001 and 2004 U.S. Open, is feeling more confident and comfortable with his swing after recovering from a back injury which curtailed most of his season last year.

“I’ve had some problems with my back last year and I’ve not played much golf since. I think I only played one month of golf last year. I feel great playing in the last three events. It has been a tough year but it’s nice to be back and playing again,” said Goosen.

“I felt like my swing is coming back a little bit when I played in South Africa last week. I just need to start making some putts. I’ve always enjoyed playing in Asia. The golf course is looking great and I’m very looking forward to this week.”

He admits that the road to recovery has not been easy. “Getting back to the rhythm of playing good golf is not easy. You got to practice a lot and give yourself a few weeks to get back to playing well again.

“Overall, I’m pretty confident with the way I’m playing now,” explained Goosen, whose last victory on the Asian Tour was the Iskandar Johor Open back in 2008.

Larrazabal, who recorded two top-10 finishes in Portugal and Shanghai in October, will put his recent run of good form to the test against Asia’s top stars.

“I love to challenge the top stars as they motivate me to play better. I need to work on my driving as I’ve been missing a lot of fairways. My iron shots are better now and my short game is still alright. My putting is getting better too. If my driver gets better, I should be able to shoot some low numbers,” said the Spaniard.

He returns to Indonesia for the first time since 2008 and will aim for a return into the winners’ circle as his last victory was back in 2011.

“It feels great to be back. I love playing golf all around the world. I played nine holes here yesterday and the golf course is looking great. I’m looking forward to playing good this week and I hope to keep up with my good form” said Larrazabal.

Fans from around the world can also watch these world class golfers in action through the live broadcast on the Asian Tour Media platform. Asian Tour Media will produce 16 hours of live coverage from the event which will be seen across Asia, Australia, the Middle East, Europe and Latin America plus further coverage and distribution generated via the highlights and magazine programmes from the event, resulting in global media exposure for all the sponsors involved in this prestigious tournament.

Established in 1974, the Indonesia Open, which is making a return onto the Asian Tour schedule after a lapse of several years, boasts of a roll of honor that includes prominent names such as the late American Payne Stewart, Frank Nobilo of New Zealand, Filipino legend Frankie Minoza, Australia’s Craig Parry, Chinese Taipei’s Lu Chien-soon, Myanmar’s Mya Aye and Thai duo Thongchai Jaidee and Thaworn Wiratchant, who are both Asian Tour Order of Merit champions.

The 2013 Indonesia Open is supported by some of the most recognisable domestic and international brands, which include BANK BRI, Total E&P Indonesie, Pertamina, Japfa, PT. Indofood Sukses Makmur Tbk, JS Luwansa Hotel & Convention Center, Harum Energy, Bintang, Subway, Beringer, Srixon, Loewe, Danone, Hypernet, Ricoh and Maui Jim.

Indonesia Open 2013: Preview Interview With Rory Hie


Rory Hie Blog: Aiming For Home Glory

In this latest blog, local hope Rory Hie talks about his challenge at the Indonesia Open where he will be battling to earn an Asian Tour card for the 2014 season. He currently sits in 89th position on the Merit list and will need to finish inside the top-60 on the final Order of Merit to earn a card for next year.

By Rory Hie
It is going to be a special week for Indonesia because there are a lot of star players coming out. The course we are playing on this week is probably one of the best in the country as well. It is a step up for the Indonesia Open so hopefully I can play well and represent my country.

I need about 30 grand to save my Asian Tour card. It will be pretty spectacular if I can save my Tour card this year given the limited events that I can play in. It will be a dream week if I can win though!

I’m hitting the ball very well and I’m getting better as the season progress. Hopefully I can put it together. You need to putt well here and control your ball flight because there’s a lot of wind here. That will be a big factor this week. The greens are also fast. You can attack the par fives and I think that’s where you can score. There are a couple of key holes that you need to be aware of.

There’s been a lot of improvement in my game this season. I made a lot of cuts in the second half of the year. I just need to finish higher on the standings.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Bernd Wiesberger Committed To Defend Title At 2014 CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters

Jakarta, 14th November 2013 - Bernd Wiesberger will attempt to successfully defend his CIMB Niaga Niaga Indonesian Masters title from April 24 to 27, 2014, a feat that has only been achieved by Lee Westwood of England.

The Austrian, who has two victories in Europe, expressed enthusiasm to return to the Royale Jakarta Golf Club. “I'm excited to be returning to Jakarta to defend my CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters title at Royal Jakarta Golf Club, one of my favorite courses."

When Wiesberger lifted the prestigious trophy at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club last year, he promised to come back to defend his title at the Asian Tour event. "The crowds were so supportive this year, and I'm sure next year's event will be bigger and better than ever," Wiesberger added.

Asian Tour legend, Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand, a three-time Asian Tour Order of Merit winner, has also agreed to play in the US$750,000 event. Title sponsor, CIMB Niaga, has committed to invite more great players to participate in the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters 2014.

“It is great to have Bernd Wiesberger back to defend his title together with Thongchai Jaidee. These two players will certainly add value and excitement to our event. We look forward to announcing more names in the months to come and are currently in talks with some impressive Star Players. CIMB Niaga is committed to growing this event year on year to make it better for our loyal customers and guests.” said Arwin Rasyid, President Director of CIMB Niaga.

Arwin added that since becoming Title Sponsor in 2012, the purpose of CIMB Niaga is very clear which is to enhance golf in Indonesia. That’s why the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters is aiming to become the right tool to optimize the potential of Indonesian players, from junior level to professional.

Asian Tour Chairman, Kyi Hla Han praised the announcement. "As the official sanctioning body for golf in the region, the Asian Tour is proud to be associated with the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters. On behalf of our talented players, the Asian Tour would like to thank CIMB Niaga, who has been a tremendous title sponsor. We also welcome the wonderful news that Bernd will return to defend his title next year, said Han.

The 2014 edition of the Indonesian Masters will be played on the same (South and West) courses at the 27-hole Royale Jakarta Golf Club. George Chandra, COO of the club added: "Earlier this month during the Asia Pacific Golf Summit, Royale Jakarta was awarded with the 'Best Golf Course in Indonesia' award for the third year running, which underlines the quality of our course. This year we're making some minor changes like cutting roughs and extending greens to make play even more challenging and have more variety in pin placement for the tournament next year. Then during the upcoming tournament we will record all ball locations as inputs for a course analysis by Bob Moore, the course designer, to see if changes need to be made to bring the course to an even higher level."

The CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters has cemented its place as the nations most prestigious event and continues to grow since its inauguration in 2011 with long-term event partners.

The event also focuses on giving back to the community through its charity initiatives together with Habitat for Humanity Indonesia. To date, the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters has managed to build 31 homes for families in need and together with National Energy Company, Pertamina, built a clean water solution for over 10,000 people in the Cimalaya area.

The CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters will have widespread exposure via a strong local media platform and the Asian Tour’s global television platform, which reaches out to over 200 countries and 650 million households on the Live, Highlights, Asian Tour Golf Show and Golfing World. Indonesia’s premier news channel, Metro TV, will also be broadcasting the event locally for 10 hours live and will be airing additional shows and features related to the event and the positive impact to the golf industry and overall economy of Indonesia.

Partners include Title Sponsor CIMB Niaga, Salonpas by Hisamitsu (Main Partner), Telkomsel (Official Communications Partner), Rolex (Official Time Keeper), and SvingGolf (Official Apparel),

Merapi Golf Club In Top Ten World's Deadliest Golf Courses

Jakarta, 19 November - In a recent article for the British "The Independent", journalist Zoah Hedges-Stocks lists her take on the world's 10 deadliest golf courses.

Where dangers vary from crocodiles to landmines to extreme weather, the number 7 spot is for Indonesia's Merapi Golf Club. Its location on the slopes of Indonesia's most active volcano, Mount Merapi, where as recent as 2010 122 people died after an eruption that caused parts of the golf course to be covered in lava, got it to be included in this top ten.

As most of the days the smoke spewing mountain provides just a dramatic backdrop for a great round of gold, one should never forget that danger is real here.

For the full article, please follow the link to The Independent here.

Vietnamese Billionaire Uses Jakarta Stage To Fund Asian Junior Golf Development

In an unprecedented move, Vietnamese entrepreneur turned philanthropist, Mr. Le Van Kiem, has made a substantial contribution to help establish the Asian Junior Golf Development Foundation. Mr. Le is the Chairman of the KN Vientiane Group. The announcement was made following the conclusion of the 2013 Asia Pacific Golf Summit in Jakarta, Indonesia.

"I understand the challenges that Asia's under-privileged children face in taking up the game of golf and through this foundation, I hope to be able to help aspiring young Asian talent who do not have the financial means to develop and aim for top honours in the sport of golf," Mr. Le declared.

One of Vietnam's leading entrepreneur, the billionaire has invested in a 36-hole golf course as part of the Vientiane-Long Thanh special economic zone covering an area of 557.74 ha with a total investment of US$1 billion.

The Asian Junior Golf Development Foundation will be managed by the Asia Pacific Golf Group with Mr. Le serving as its Patron.

Commenting on the formation of the foundation, Angela Raymond, president of the Asia Pacific Golf Group said, "What Mr. Le has done is indeed a highly commendable gesture from a man who believes in sharing his success with the less fortunate and this initiative is destined to grow under his patronage and we hope to work with various national golfing bodies in the region to identify and support juniors who need the help of the foundation."

One of Asia's top coaches of juniors, Tony Meechai, President of Tony Meechai Golf Academy said, "This is certainly a momentous moment for junior golf development and I am sure that with Mr. Le at the helm of the new foundation, efforts will be made to reach out to Asia's heartlands to draw out some of the best talent available to develop into future champions."

This sentiment was shared by the principals of Pro Tour Golf College, the leading golf academy in the region, David Milne and Lawrie Montague who said, "We are now actively developing programs for juniors in Asia and it is really wonderful to see this generous gesture from Mr. Le and we believe that it can only do a lot of good for the development of golf in Asia."

The Asian Junior Golf Development Foundation has been made possible with a donation from Mr. Le. "In the months ahead, we will partner with various stake-holders in the golf industry to roll out a very thorough program to see how best we can help deliver support to deserving juniors who come from under-privileged homes in Asia," said Ms. Raymond.

The Asian Junior Golf Development Foundation will be headquartered in Singapore.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Rory Hie Selected For Asia-Pacific Team To Defend Dongfeng Nissan Cup

HONG KONG, Nov. 18 - A strong Asia-Pacific invitation side has been named to take on Team China in the third edition of the Dongfeng Nissan Cup next month to counter a mainland squad determined to win the Ryder-Cup style tournament for a first time.

The Asia-Pacific side boasts four OneAsia tournament winners with five titles between them, as well as a pair of Japanese stars to showcase the burgeoning relationship with the Japan Golf Tour Organisation.

Team China will be named in coming days.

The tournament takes place at CTS Tycoon Golf Club in Shenzhen from December 13-15 and pits 12 Asia-Pacific players against a China national team over three days of matchplay competition. The visitors won the inaugural 2011 tournament 12 1/2 - 11 1/2, and retained the title last year with a 14 1/2 - 9 1/2 victory.

Australian golfing legend Peter Thomson, a five-time winner of Britain’s Open Championship, will captain the Asia-Pacific team for a third time and has again hand-picked OneAsia regular Scott Laycock as his playing deputy.

“I am honoured to be involved in these matches and it still provides a thrill to be head of this team,” said Thomson.

“I expect Team China will show an improvement in their play and therefore it will be harder for the Asia-Pacific to beat them.”

The rest of the team is selected via a combination of Order of Merit ranking and nationality in order to make the squad as geographically representative as possible.

Leading the charge for the visitors is Australian Matthew Griffin, who currently tops the OneAsia Order of Merit title race following an excellent season capped by victory at the SK Telecom Open.

Another powerful addition to the squad is Korean Choi Ho-sung, winner of this year’s Enjoy Jakarta Indonesia PGA Championship, and countryman Kim Dae-sub, the 2012 Kolon Korea Open champion.

The Japan Tour representatives are Kazuhiro Yamashita, currently 21st on their Order of Merit, and Masamichi Uehira, ranked 56th.

From New Zealand, former European and U.S. PGA Tour member Michael Long will be making his third appearance in the tournament, joined by debutant Gareth Paddison, who has had an excellent season on OneAsia in 2013 and is currently 17th on the money list.

South-East Asia’s contribution to the squad comes in the form of Thai heavyweight Thaworn Wiratchant, winner of the Indonesian Open on OneAsia in 2011, and Rory Hie, the home favorite he beat into joint second place in that tournament.

The squad is rounded off by Singapore’s Choo Tze-huang, making his second appearance, and Erica Mina, who has a foot either side of the Pacific by virtue of being America-born to parents of Philippine extraction. Mina won OneAsia’s inaugural California Q-School in January.

Thomson, 84, said he had not tired of being involved in competitive golf despite the years rolling by and was delighted to be part of the growth of the game in China.

“Golf has been my life and for many years I was involved in Asian golf as a player, so it is wonderful to still be a part of the growing scene in China,” he said.

“I am keen to win as always, and as long as I can make a contribution, I’ll be up for it.”

Vice-captain Laycock said he expected Team China to come out with all guns blazing in December.

“They won’t be happy having lost twice in a row so I think we’ll see a very determined effort,” he said.

“I’m honoured to be part of Peter Thomson’s team and I think the side we have will be very competitive. It should be a great contest.”

Following are brief profiles of the Asia-pacific players:
Scott Laycock (Australia) Vice-captain

Born 15 September 1971
1.80m, 92kg
From Melbourne, Australia
Turned professional 1992
Laycock earned his PGA Tour card through Q-School in 2002 and broke into the world top 100 the following year. He won the Hugo Boss Foursomes on the Asian Tour and also won the Bridgestone Open on the Japan Tour in 2002. He has two wins on the Australasian Tour including the Surf Coast Knockout in 2011. Laycock has played in three Majors — the Open Championship in 2002 and 2007, and the PGA Championship in 2002. He has recorded an amazing 15 holes-­in-one in his career. Laycock has been vice-captain at both previous Dongfeng Nissan Cup tournaments.
Matthew Griffin (Australia)

Born 26 July 1983
1.79m, 74kg
From Melbourne, Australia
Turned professional 2005
Griffin scored his breakthrough win on OneAsia in 2012 at the Charity High1 Resort Open and followed that up with victory this year in the weather-shortened SK Telecom Open on Jeju Island. His first professional win was the exotic South Pacific Open Golf Championship in Noumea, New Caledonia in 2011. One of the most consistent performers on OneAsia this year, Griffin is a natural left hander who plays right-handed, but can still be seen giving a left-handed fist-pump when he drains a crucial putt. Coached by Denis McDade, he is also a big supporter of the Melbourne Football Club AFL team. This is his first Dongfeng Nissan Cup appearance.
Choi Ho-sung (Korea)

Born 23 September 1973
1.72m, 77kg
From Gyeongbuk, South Korea
Turned profesional 2001
Choi scored his first victory on OneAsia at this year’s Enjoy Jakarta Indonesia PGA Championship, earning his place on the Japan Tour as well because the tournament was co-sanctioned by the Japan Golf Tour Organisation. A stylish dresser with a distinctive haircut and idiosyncratic swing, Choi has been a very steady performer throughout his career, but has only won twice on the Korean domestic tour — in 2008 and 2011.
Kim Dae-sub (Korea)

Born 30 June 1981
1.73m, 72 kg
From Seoul, South Korea
Turned profesional 2001
Kim burst onto the golf scene as a 16-year-old amateur in 1998 when he stunned a classy professional field to claim the Korean Open. He proved that was no fluke by winning the tournament again three years later, turning professional immediately afterwards. He won six times on the Korea domestic tour until putting his career on hold in 2010 in order to complete the compulsory two-years of military service that all Korean men must perform, and stunned everyone in 2012 by winning again, just six weeks after being discharged. He followed that up with a magnificent third Korean Open title — his first OneAsia crown — in October 2012.
Kazuhiro Yamashita (Japan)

Born 5 November 1973
1.70 m, 70 kg
From Osaka prefecture, Japan
Turned professional 1998
Yamashita started playing golf relatively late, aged 15, inspired by his idol Jumbo Ozaki. After 10 years of grinding on Japan’s Challenge Tour, he finished eighth on the money list in 2007 to earn his full card and he has remained on the Japan Tour ever since. Cheered on by his wife Yumiko, eldest son Taisei (aged five), and toddler daughter Haruka, Yamashita finished 12th at this year’s Thailand Open and 32nd at the Enjoy Jakarta Indonesia PGA Championship — the two tournaments co-sanctioned by OneAsia and the Japan Golf Tour Organisation.
Masamichi Uehira (Japan)

Born 27 December 1977
1.58 m, 58 kg
From Fukuoka prefecture, Japan
Turned professional 2001
Although one of the smallest players on tour, Uehira has a big personality honed by a steely determination. Encouraged by his father, he started playing at high school and was a very successful university amateur. He always wanted to be a professional, however, and after graduating in 2001 joined the paid ranks, winning four titles on the Challenge Tour. He won their Order of Merit in 2010 to progress to the top table, where he is a consistent performer. He is married with a two-year-old daughter.
Michael Long (New Zealand)

Born 27 August 1968
1.88m, 88 kg
From Cromwell, New Zealand
Turned professional 1990
The lanky New Zealander seemed destined for a great career after getting into the world top 100 in 1997 and spending two years on the European Tour, but he broke his neck in a boogie-board accident in 1999 and needed a long period of recovery. He spent two years on the U.S. PGA Tour (2002, 2005) although failed to keep his card on both occasions. He won twice on the highly competitive Nationwide Tour and four times in Australia, where he is now based. Long’s best finish on OneAsia was joint runner-up after a playoff at the 2011 Nanshan China Masters.
Gareth Paddison (New Zealand)

Born 13 May 1980
1.83 metres, 74kg
From Wellington, New Zealand
Turned professional 2001
As an amateur Paddison won the New Zealand Amateur Stroke Play Championship and the Queensland Amateur Championship in 1999 before venturing overseas to claim the Canadian Amateur Championship in 2001. He also represented New Zealand at the Eisenhower Trophy in 2000. Paddison was named Norman Von Nida PGA Tour of Australasia Rookie of the Year in 2002 after he won the Scenic Circle Hotels Golf Classic. He also played on the European Challenge Tour that year where he finished third at the Izki Challenge de España. In 2004 he won the Victorian Open in Australia and then claimed his first win on the Challenge Tour in 2007 at the Open des Volcans. His father, Gary, played for the New Zealand national soccer team in the 1970s. He is now based in Perth, Australia.
Thaworn Wiratchant (Thailand)

Born 28 December 1966
1.73 m, 68kg
From Nakhon Prathorn, Thailand
Turned professional 1987
Thaworn won the Indonesia Open on OneAsia in 2011, adding to the 16 titles he had already won on the Asian Tour in a career that also saw him twice win their Order of Merit (2005, 2012). He has one of the most distinctive swings in golf, with a loopy action that sees his hands directly over his head at the height of his swing — but that only disguises a deadly touch, particularly around the greens. Outside of golf, he loves snooker, soccer and fast cars.
Rory Hie (Indonesia)

Born 1 September 1988
1.84m 80 kg
From Jakarta, Indonesia
Turned professional 2008
The best golfer to emerge from Indonesia, Hie had a brilliant amateur career during which he was ranked in the top ten in the world. Although still seeking his breakthrough win on a major tour, Hie has won at home and in China and is a regular top-ten performer on OneAsia. He made a noteworthy start to his OneAsia career season in 2012, finishing second twice.
Eric Mina (USA)

Born 27 October 1988
1.67m, 65kg
From Los Angeles, California
Turned professional 2012
Mina’s life turned upside-down in January when he won OneAsia’s first-ever California Q-School, booking his place in all the tour’s events. He struggled at first, however, and failed to make a cut until the mid-season break since when he has been in very good form, twice leading after first rounds. One of the smallest players on tour, he nevertheless generates enormous power and has excellent control of his ball flight. Mina’s mother is Filipina and his father an American-born Filipino.
Choo Tze-huang (Singapore)

Born 14 February 1987
1.85m, 85kg
From Singapore
Turned professional 2011
Choo is one of Southeast Asia’s most exciting prospects having won individual honours in the region’s top amateur competitions, the Putra Cup, in 2011 as well as helping Singapore to the team title. He also achieved the feat of winning both individual and team honours in the Putra Cup in 2006, and also claimed the team title in 2008. He started playing as a six-­year-old and finished a golf scholarship at the University of Washington.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Team Indonesia Finishes Second To Host South Africa In 19th Amateur World Golfers Championship

Team South Africa has delivered on its promise to secure a historical win and home victory at the 19th Amateur World Golfers Championship, which was played in KwaZulu - Natal this week.

Determination, perseverance and the "drive to win" paid off when Team SA1 finished with a runaway victory of 1143 Nett, 25 strokes ahead of 2nd place winner, Indonesia on 1168 Nett. The individual scores for Team Indonesia were Wisnu Sanjaya (290 Nett), Liesan Jafar T (291 Nett), Islah Bahrawi Q (295 Nett), Julius C Barito (302 Nett) and Vincent N Kusame (304 Nett)

Team SA2 shared the podium with another impressive finish in 3rd place on 1183 Nett.

In the individual flightings, Valentin Savelsberg from Germany made an impressive win in the 0-5 flighting by sprinting through the field from 8th place at the start of play on the final day and finished 2 shots ahead of Grant Olivier from South Africa who lead the flighting throughout the championship.

First time entrants in the championship, Swaziland, returned home with the 11-15 flighting trophy when Bernhardt Joubert finished first on 292 Nett.

In the Invitational, the leaders from the outset Team Sweden/Namibia claimed the winning trophy with a 584 Nett finish. Malaysia Team 4 finished on 609 Nett, followed by their counterparts Malaysia Team 2 in 3rd place on 613 Nett.

“It has been an unforgettable week of golf with over 200 golfers, representing 26 countries from all over the world competing for the 19th World Final title across four of KwaZulu-Natal's championship courses, Durban Country Club, Prince‟s Grant Golf Estate, Umhlali Country Club and Cotswold Downs Country Club.

To add to the excitement, a first-ever recorded "hole-in-one" was achieved in the World Final by Maksyn Poliakov from the Ukraine on the 14th hole at Cotswold Downs Golf Club,” said Craig Clay-Smith, spokesperson for World Golf Events South Africa, the SA event owners and organizers.

This year the Sven Tumba Spirit Trophy, was awarded to Team Spain for the camaraderie and positive spirit that they brought to the championship, reminding all of Sven's vision that World Golfers Championship is not only about winning, but also about forging new friendships and business opportunities.

In a further tribute to the vision of Sven Tumba to develop numeracy and literacy through sport, World Golf Events South Africa together with Mona Tumba handed over a cheque for R100 000 to the Sven Tumba Education Fund in commitment to Sven's legacy that every child has the right to grow up with love, with play, with sports and above all with education.

Nils Nordh, CEO and Chairman of World Golfers Championship, said, “On behalf of World Golfers Championship and all the countries who participated this year, we would like to congratulate World Golf Events SA on another highly successful and most enjoyable World Final”.

Craig Clay-Smith, Marketing Director of World Golf events SA, concluded, “The international acclaim we have received for the successful hosting of the 19th World Final is attributed to the unwavering support received from Tourism Kwazulu-Natal, Trade & Investment KwaZulu-Natal and the Department of Economic Development & Tourism.

A further thanks also goes to our loyal sponsors, Tsogo Sun, Business Report, The Golfers Club and Bavaria 0.0% who in each of their roles help us to deliver a golfing experience with ever lasting memories”.

Rory Hie Aiming For Success At Resorts World Manila Masters

Manila, November 12 - Indonesia’s number one golfer, Rory Hie, is confident his recent good run of form will ensure him of a good showing at the inaugural US$750,000 Resorts World Manila Masters which starts on Thursday.

Hie, who turned professional in 2008 after a successful amateur career, will be up against a strong line-up of players, including Sweden’s Daniel Chopra, Singapore’s Mardan Mamat, local heroes Angelo Que and Antonio Lascuna at the Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club.

Having come through Qualifying School earlier this year, Hie is beginning to make his mark on the Asian Tour where he has now made the cut in four out of six events this season.

“There have been a lot of ups and downs for me this season. The second half is getting better though. I’m starting to move up in the rankings. Hopefully I can break into the top-60 by the end of the year,” said the 25-year-old.

“My form has been pretty good so far. I played well only in the first few days of the last few tournaments. I really hope I can finish well this weekend. I think it’s going to be a great week. We’re staying at a very nice hotel complex at the Resorts World Manila. This course is probably one of the best in Asia too,” added Hie.

American Chan Kim, who topped the class at the Qualifying School, is determined to end his rookie year on a high with strong finishes in his remaining events this season.

“I feel pretty confident this week. I hurt my back three weeks ago but I went for therapy and my back feels healthy now. I feel really good coming to this week. I practiced a lot and worked hard with my coaches back home. I’m definitely looking forward to a great week here,” said Kim, who is the highest-ranked rookie on the merit list where he sits on 51st place.

Kim’s best result was a second-placed finish at the Yeangder Tournament Player Championship in September where he lost to the reigning Order of Merit winner, Thaworn Wiratchant.

“My season has been pretty good this season. I am still a rookie and there were some tournaments where I could still felt the pressure especially when I was not playing well,” said Kim.

“It would have been nice to win the Yeangder TPC but it was a great learning experience. I learnt a lot from that tournament and it boosted my confidence as well,” added Kim.

Singapore’s Choo Tze Huang, who also came through the Qualifying School, is happy to be regaining his best form after enduring a rough season.

“It has been a rough season for me. I started alright at the beginning of the year but struggled till about a couple of months ago,” said Choo.

“Things are getting better now. My game is getting better. I’m actually quite confident with my game right now. I’m happy with my mental game as well. Hopefully I will do well this week and finish well this season,” added Choo.

Retief Goosen Major Attraction At Indonesia Open 2013

Jakarta, November 12 - Major winner Retief Goosen of South Africa hopes to put a frustrating season behind him when he headlines the US$750,000 Indonesia Open from November 28 to December 1.

The two-time U.S. Open champion has struggled with a serious back injury for over a year but is determined to bounce back into winning form at the full-field Asian Tour event at the Pantai Indah Kapuk course at Damai Indah Golf.

“My golf game has been non-existent in the past year or so with my back issue. I had a back operation in August last year which was a success. My back felt great from January to April, but I then picked up a stress fracture in my back and had to take another four or five months off,” said Goosen.

“It has been a disappointing last year and a half. Hopefully this is the end of it and I can start concentrating on my golf again,” he added.

Goosen will be joined by decorated Thai star Thongchai Jaidee, a three-time Asian Tour Order of Merit winner, Indonesia’s highly rated Rory Hie and a strong cast of Asian Tour stars at the event which is part of the Asian Tour’s milestone 10th season.

Pablo Larrazabal, a three-time winner in Europe, will also feature in the event. The Spanish star will enter the Indonesia Open in fine form after recording two top-10s in Portugal and Shanghai in October.

After taking an enforced break from golf and spending time with his family, the smooth-swinging Goosen is determined to end his four-year title drought.

A return to Asia will give the amiable South African plenty of confidence as he has enjoyed much success in the expansive region, winning twice in China in 2005 and 2006 and also the 2008 Iskandar Johor Open in Malaysia.

“Obviously it was nice spending time with the kids during my break. I don’t think they have seen their dad this much! It has been a good downtime as well but I’m looking forward to going to Jakarta and playing some good golf. Hopefully by then, my game will be good and I can perform.

“I’ve always enjoyed coming to this part of the world. I’ve been coming here since the 1990s. The people in Asia recognise me and they are always friendly. I’m really looking forward to it,” said Goosen.

The 44-year-old, who is also a two-time European Tour Order of Merit winner, expressed his intention to meet Indonesia’s number one golfer, Hie.

“I think golf in Asia is looking very healthy. You can see by the amount of tournaments that are popping up (there) including World Golf Championships event. It’s a growing market and a lot of good players are coming out of there,” said Goosen.

“I am sure I will find out (about Hie) when I see him in Indonesia. Qualifying is so tough, tour schools are tough, so it’s just hard to get yourself on the main tour to show how really good you are. I’m sure he will at some stage be out here and doing well.”

Fans from around the world can watch these world class golfers in action through the live broadcast on the Asian Tour Media platform. Asian Tour Media will produce 16 hours of live coverage from the event which will be seen across Asia, Australia, the Middle East, Europe and Latin America plus further coverage and distribution generated via the highlights and magazine programmes from the event, resulting in global media exposure for all the sponsors involved in this prestigious tournament.

Established in 1974, the Indonesia Open, which is making a return onto the Asian Tour schedule after a lapse of several years, boasts of a roll of honor that includes prominent names such as the late American Payne Stewart, Frank Nobilo of New Zealand, Filipino legend Frankie Minoza, Australia’s Craig Parry, Chinese Taipei’s Lu Chien-soon, Myanmar’s Mya Aye and Thai duo Thongchai Jaidee and Thaworn Wiratchant, who are both Asian Tour Order of Merit champions.

The 2013 Indonesia Open is supported by some of the most recognisable domestic and international brands, which include BANK BRI, Total E&P Indonesie, Pertamina, Japfa, PT. Indofood Sukses Makmur Tbk, JS Luwansa Hotel & Convention Center, Harum Energy, Bintang, Subway, Beringer, Srixon, Loewe, Danone, Hypernet, Ricoh and Maui Jim.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Good Recovery For Rory Hie At Australian PGA Championship

GOLD COAST, Australia, November 10 - U.S. Masters champion Adam Scott shrugged off a two-hour lightning suspension to fire a four-under-par final-round 67 on Sunday and claim a four-stroke victory in OneAsia’s Australian PGA Championship, presented by Coca-Cola.

Aussie Scott, who spent his childhood on the Gold Coast, was 14-under-par for four rounds at the 6,747-meter RACV Royal Pines Resort course, with American Rickie Fowler (68) second and Australian PGA academy trainee Jack Wilson (68) alone in third at eight under.

Indonesia's top player Rory Hie was able to recover from a disastrous round yesterday, and with a final round 70 he was able to gain a few spots to a tie for 45th. With 3 rounds under par it was really the third round that kept him from being in the top 10 here, which would have been a major boost to his career.

The win means Scott now has a career Australian Triple Crown, having won the Emirates Australian Open in 2009 — the first year it featured on OneAsia — and adding the Australian Masters last year.

While his Major victory at Augusta in April will probably always be regarded as his greatest, it was clear how much winning the Joe Kirkwood Cup meant to the 33-year-old.

“This is the one I wanted desperately, and it’s kind of the icing on the cake for me,” he said. “This one is for my folks — especially for my dad, who is a PGA member. I hope he’s feeling proud at the moment.”

He earned A$225,000 for the win from the $A1.25 million purse.

Scott had seen his three stroke overnight lead whittled down to one when play was suspended for two hours by lightning flashing around the course.

Until the break Wilson was the man of the moment with four birdies that put him level second with Fowler, but the siren sounded immediately after he pulled his tee shot into the bunker on the par-three 14th, while Scott had just split the fairway with a towering drive on the par five 12th.

The tournament was decided by the first shots after the restart.

Scott drilled a four iron from 240 m (260 yards), missing an albatross by inches as it came to rest about two feet behind the cup, while Wilson flew the flag from the bunker and three-putted for bogey.

While Fowler made a comfortable four, Scott’s eagle meant the next six holes were a victory parade made easier by a brace of birdies.

“I kind of had some momentum as the delay came in. I made a putt and then hit a great drive down 12, and then we went and cooled down,” said Scott.

“But I came out and knew I had to do something great — that’s what happens at these tournaments, someone always does something great. I came out and hit some great shots and that four iron was just perfect — I mean, I just flushed it!”

Scott has passed up potentially millions in appearance fees and U.S. PGA Tour purses to take his Green Jacket on a month-long tour of his homeland after becoming the first Australian to win at Augusta, and he has been fēted like a rock star in public appearances since arriving last week.

The parade continues next week when he gets the chance to become only the second man since Robert Allenby (2005) to claim the Triple Crown in the same season -- at the Australian Masters in Melbourne and OneAsia’s Emirates Australian Open a fortnight later.

Fowler, whose first professional victory came at OneAsia’s Kolon Korea Open in 2011, rued the weather delay.

“I had some good momentum going until up until we had the rain delay,” he said. “I got to within one, and then he came out swinging. It’s a little tough to catch a guy when he’s making an eagle and a couple of birdies.

“That was the highlight, walking up 18 with everyone around. Obviously I wasn’t going to win, but being alongside Adam and seeing him win in front of his hometown crowd, and the support we had this week, was great.”

Scores after the final round of the Australian PGA Championship, presented by Coca-Cola, being played at the 6,747-m par-71 RACV Royal Pines resort course:

270 - Adam Scott (AUS) 65-67-71-67

274 - Rickie Fowler (USA) 63-72-71-68

276 - Jack Wilson (AUS) 68-71-69-68

277 - Cameron Percy (AUS) 69-73-67-68

278 - Michael Wright (AUS) 69-70-68-71

279 - Jason Norris (AUS) 67-74-71-67, Ji-man Kang (KOR) 72-68-70-69, Gareth Paddison (NZL) 68-67-73-71, Nathan Green (AUS) 66-69-73-71, Ashley Hall (AUS) 68-69-71-71

Selected:

286 - Rory Hie (INA) 69-70-77-70

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Rory Hie Stumbles In Third Round Of The Australian PGA Championship

GOLD COAST, Australia, November 9 - U.S. Masters champion Adam Scott shot an even-par 71 on Saturday but extended his overnight lead to three strokes after the third round of OneAsia’s A$1.25 million Australian PGA Championship, presented by Coca-Cola.

In a dream pairing for tournament promoters, the local hero will tee off Sunday with American superstar Rickie Fowler (71) who shares second place with Australian veteran David McKenzie (72) after a day the 6,747-meter RACV Royal Pines Resort course bit back.

OneAsia regulars Michael Wright (68) and Steven Jeffress (71) are a shot further back.

Rory Hie, Indonesia's top-ranked player, had a disastrous third round and will have to give up on finishing in the top ten. After two solid rounds got him in a tie for 12th, today's 7 bogeys and just a single birdie saw him drop 39 places on the leaderboard to a tie for 51st.

“I’ve had a lot of fun playing with Rickie in the States the last few years and I think a lot of his game,” said Scott. “I think he's got a big future so it will be nice for us to play well tomorrow and kind of turn it on for everyone who comes out to watch.”

Scott is already a huge draw playing at home for the first time since winning the coveted green jacket in April, and he has made no secret of his desire to win this tournament — the only leg of the Australian “Triple Crown” to elude him.

The 33-year-old has passed up potentially millions in appearance fees and U.S. PGA Tour purses to take his Green Jacket on a month-long tour of his homeland that will also include the two other legs — the Australian Masters and OneAsia’s Emirates Australian Open — as well as the World Cup of Golf.

He won the Emirates Australian Open in 2009, the year it joined OneAsia, and claimed the Aussie Masters title last year over defending champion Ian Poulter.

Fowler, one of the game’s biggest stars despite just two wins as a professional, pulled level with Scott on Saturday courtesy of birdies on the second and seventh.

Scott looked serene and steady until the seventh when a three-putt from 12 feet — his first bogey of the tournament — led to another on the ninth, and he gave himself a talking-to.

“Obviously if you saw any of the round today you knew things weren’t going my way on the greens,” he said. ”So, I did well on the back nine to bring it back and shoot even.”

“The greens are so firm and dry at the moment — and with the wind whipping across it makes it hard to hole putts because the wind is affecting the putts. I think reading the greens is a big challenge, so I'll try to do a better job of that tomorrow. “

Fowler, whose first professional victory came at OneAsia’s Kolon Korea Open in 2011, made a mockery of the resort course in the opening round with a 63 that left analysts predicting the tournament would be won at around 20 under par.

But the subtleties of a redesign-in-process that should provide a wonderful base for the event until at least 2017 came to the fore with the weather.

“If the breeze stays up the fairways aren’t too generous, and there is a lot of cross wind out there so you need to be in control of your golf ball,” said Fowler.

He was relishing the chance to go head-to-head with Scott.

“We’ve spent some time together in the States and he is always fun to be with. He’s a great guy,” he said.

McKenzie, 46, suffered a recurrence of an allergic reaction that literally floored him ahead of the third round at OneAsia’s Thailand Open in March, where he eventually finished joint fourth.

“I’ve had it a couple of times before so I recognized the symptoms,” he said, “so at the eighth tee I had an anti-histamine and just hoped like hell that it wouldn’t worsen; that it would get better before it would get worse. But yeah, I really struggled on nine and ten.

“Standing up straight, balance, being able to see and focus … I had blind spots in my vision. It wasn’t a very happy time.”

“In Thailand … that actually floored me, where if I wasn’t lying down I felt like I was going to pass out. Racing heart, that type of stuff and I had that out there as well. I could hear my heart beat in my ears when I was hitting shots.”

With most of the field retreating from par, U.S. PGA Tour regular Marc Leishman fired a 68 and shares sixth place with five others, five adrift of Scott.

Scores after the third round of the Australian PGA Championship, presented by Coca-Cola, being played at the 6,747-m (7,378-yard) par-71 RACV Royal Pines resort course:

203 - Adam Scott (AUS) 65-67-71

206 - Rickie Fowler (USA) 63-72-71, David McKenzie (AUS) 65-69-72

207 - Michael Wright (AUS) 69-70-68, Steven Jeffress (AUS) 68-68-71

208 - Marc Leishman (AUS) 69-71-68, Jack Wilson (AUS) 68-71-69, Ashley Hall (AUS) 68-69-71, Nathan Green (AUS) 66-69-73, Gareth Paddison (NZL) 68-67-73

Selected:

216 - Rory Hie (INA) 69-70-77

Friday, November 8, 2013

Rory Hie Aiming For Top Ten Finish In Australian PGA Championship

GOLD COAST, Australia, Nov 8 - U.S. Masters champion Adam Scott shot a four-under-par 67 on Friday to grab a two-stroke lead after the second round of OneAsia’s A$1.25 million Australian PGA Championship, presented by Coca-Cola.

Playing at home for the first time since winning the coveted green jacket in April, Scott is 10 under around the 6,747-metre (7,378-yard) RACV Royal Pines Resort course — two better than veteran David McKenzie (69) and three ahead of American overnight leader Rickie Fowler (72), New Zealander Gareth Paddison (67) and Aussie Nathan Green (69).

Indonesia's Rory Hie is still in a good position after a second round 70 puts him 7 shots off the lead in a share of 12th place. His countryman George Gandranata (76) had a harder time and for him the tournament is over finishing at 9-over in a tie for 123rd place in the 155 strong field.

While Australian golf now boasts 10 Major winners with 17 titles between them, the U.S. Masters eluded the nation until Scott prevailed in a tense play-off with Argentinian Angel Cabrera.

The 33-year-old has eschewed potentially millions in appearance fees and U.S. PGA Tour purses to take his Green Jacket on a month-long tour of the country that will include three other tournaments — the Australian Masters, the World Cup of Golf and OneAsia’s Emirates Australian Open from November 28 - December 1.

With Scott being fêted like a rock star and credited with sparking something of a boom in the game Down Under, the Australian Professional Golf Association campaigned for fans to “Go Green for Adam” on Friday, prompting thousands of spectators — and many of his fellow competitors — to dress in the colors of Augusta National to honor Scott, who was raised just a few kilometers down the road.

“It was nice to see everyone out there, so many people in green today,” said Scott. “That everyone embraced it, even the players, is really special for me. To think that my peers would do that … (it’s) so nice to see that they enjoyed seeing an Aussie win the Masters too.”

Scott is determined not to rest on his laurels, however, and says there is a glaring gap in his trophy cabinet for the Kirkwood Cup, awarded to the PGA Champion.

“I put a real focus on getting ready the best I could for this event and wanting to play well, so here I am in pretty good shape at the moment,” said Scott, who started par-birdie-eagle from the 10th hole on Friday.

“At the end of the day I'll hopefully not be having too much to chase tomorrow, but in with a good chance to win the Australian PGA and that's what I was focused on. This kind of mentality I've (now) got, of really putting a focus on something and going to get it and not just waiting for it to happen.”

After finishing his morning round, Scott stayed just long enough to hear Fowler — eight under after round one — grab a share of the lead with an audacious 100 meter (110-yard) chip-in eagle on his first hole, the 10th.

But the flamboyant American, whose first professional victory came at OneAsia’s Kolon Korea Open in 2011, couldn’t get it going after that and posted four bogeys offset by a sole birdie.

“Usually there's one tough round in a tournament when you have a chance to be in contention,” he said. “Hopefully that was the one that I got out of the way, and I have two good ones the next two days.”

Second-placed McKenzie, 46, has missed just one OneAsia cut all year as well as winning on the PGA Tour of Australasia in January and claiming a luxury car with a hole-in-one last month at the European Tour co-sanctioned Perth International.

Although he felt his game was at sixes and sevens leading into the championship, he said something clicked on the range on Wednesday and he was now playing with confidence.

“The bogey on the last was unfortunate. I just got the wind wrong,” he said. “But I’m really pleased to be where I am and I’ll give it everything this weekend.”

With the cut set at plus two, OneAsia Order of Merit title race leader Matthew Griffin comfortably made the weekend after posting a second 69.

Scores after the second round of the Australian PGA Championship, presented by Coca-Cola, being played at the 6,747-m par-71 RACV Royal Pines resort course:

132 - Adam Scott (AUS) 65-67

134 - David McKenzie (AUS) 65-69

135 - Rickie Fowler (USA) 63-72, Gareth Paddison (NZL) 68-67, Nathan Green (AUS) 66-69

136 - Steven Jeffress (AUS) 68-68, Josh Geary (NZL) 68-68

137 - Jason Scrivener (AUS) 70-67, Ashley Hall (AUS) 68-69

Selected:

139 - Rory Hie (INA) 69-70

151 - George Gandranata (INA) 75-76