Sunday, May 19, 2013

No More Play For Rory Hie As SK Telecom Open Final Round Called Off Because Of Fog

JEJU ISLAND, Korea, May 19 - Australian Matthew Griffin won his second OneAsia title in less than a year on Sunday when the final round of the one billion won (U.S. $900,000) SK Telecom Open was called off without a shot being played because of thick fog at Pinx Golf Club on Korea's Jeju Island.

Griffin can credit a spectacular 40 foot putt from off the back of the 18th green on Saturday for the win, as it meant he held a one-shot lead over Korean veteran Kang Wook-soon at the end of three rounds.

The tournament ended in similar circumstances in 2011 when Kurt Barnes was declared the winner after fog prevented any play in the final round.

Built on a plateau, Pinx Golf Club is prone to rolling fog from the extinct Mount Halla volcano, but the weather had been perfect for two rounds -- albeit damp and windy for the third.

"It's unfortunate to finish like this, but I'll take it," said Griffin, 29, who banked 200,000 won (around U.S. $180,000) for the win and leapt to the top of the OneAsia Order of Merit with earnings of over $233,000 for the season.

"I thought my final putt yesterday was big as it gave me the lead, but I didn't think it would be the winning putt. It just goes to show you really must try and make everything."

Griffin recorded rounds of 64, 67 and 72 for a 13-under par aggregate of 203 around the 6,732 meter (7,361 yard) course -- one better than Kang and four ahead of China's Hu Mu and Koreans Lee Ki-sang and Park Do-kyu.

The 29-year-old from Melbourne has developed a liking for Korea after winning OneAsia's Charity High1 Resort Open in September -- his second professional title following victory at the South Pacific Open Golf Championship on the PGA Tour of Australasia a year earlier.

"High1 was fantastic but this feels even better," said Griffin. "I never really played well in Korea in the past -- which is surprising because I think the courses suit me -- but it looks like I've found my way here now."

Griffin has taken up membership of the Korean Tour and will stay to play next week's Happiness Kwangju Bank Open before heading to the United States in a bid to qualify for the U.S. Open.

Rory Hie finished the tournament in a tie for 51st at 2 under par, after carding a 67, 71 and 76.

OneAsia takes a break until August 29 when the tour returns to Korea and Griffin will defend his title at the Charity High1 Resort Open.

Final scores at the SK Telecom (Par 72):

203 - Matthew GRIFFIN (AUS) 64-67-72

204 - KANG Wook-soon (KOR) 65-72-67

207 - LEE Ki-sang (KOR) 67-68-72, PARK Do-kyu (KOR) 67-66-74, HU Mu (CHN) 66-68-73

208 - David OH (USA) 66-72-70, AN Jae-hyun (NZL) 71-69-68, KIM Hyung-tae (KOR) 67-69-72, MOON Kyong-jun (KOR) 67-69-72

Selected:

214 - Rory HIE (INA) 67-71-76

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Tough Day For Rory Hie At SK Telecom Open

JEJU ISLAND, Korea, May 18 - Australian Matt Griffin stayed on course for a second OneAsia title in less than a year with an even-par 72 on Saturday that gave him a one-shot lead going into the final round of the one billion won (U.S. $900,000) SK Telecom Open on Korea's Jeju Island.

After two days of perfect weather, a stiff wind and late afternoon rain played havoc with the field, and only 10 players broke par around the 6,732 metre (7,361 yard) Pinx Golf Club course.

Griffin, a winner of the Charity High1 Resort Open in September, stands 13 under for the tournament -- a stroke clear of Korean veteran Kang Wook-soon, whose 67 was the day's best round.

China's Hu Mu (73) and Koreans Lee Ki-sang (72) and Park Do-kyu (74) shared third place at nine under.

Overnight leader Kim Chang-yoon, who broke the course record with a 62 on Friday, slipped to minus seven after shooting a 79.

Indonesia's Rory Hie had a tough day on the course, scoring 4 birdies, 4 bogeys and 2 double bogeys on the par-3 5th and 14th holes. His 3-round total of 214 saw him drop back to a tie for 51th place.

Griffin got to grips with his round at the par-five ninth when he chipped in for eagle from around 40 yards to cancel out a bogey-bogey start.

From then he was a picture of concentration for nine pars in-a-row, and he credited his win last year with giving him the mental fortitude to maintain focus in the worsening conditions.

"Definitely I feel like a different player now," he said. "It helps that you know you can do it, you know you can win."

He drew on that experience on the par-four 18th -- which played like a par five for most of the day -- when he put his third shot through the back of the green and then drained the remaining 40-footer to guarantee him the overnight lead.

"That was huge … that could be the difference at the end of the tournament," he said.

Kang, 46, a seven-time winner on the Asian Tour and two-time Order of Merit champion, hasn't lifted a title since 2009 and said he was feeling it in his legs after Saturday's round.

"I'm a little bit tired, but I have been doing this for a long time so I know how to go home and recover," he said.

"If the wind stays the same as it was today, then I think two or three under from the leaders will probably win it."

A pair of birdies moved star attraction K.J. Choi (73) in touch until a disastrous triple bogey on the seventh.

"I hit a poor shot there from the greenside bunker, but the hole was playing extremely long today," he said. "Most of the players were hitting three woods or five woods into the green today."

The shot of the day came from 19-year-old amateur Kim Nam-hun who recorded the tournament's first albatross on the par five 10th with a sweetly struck utility wood from 200 metres.

Scores after round three of the SK Telecom (Par 72):

203 - Matthew GRIFFIN (AUS) 64-67-72

204 - KANG Wook-soon (KOR) 65-72-67

207 - LEE Ki-sang (KOR) 67-68-72, PARK Do-kyu (KOR) 67-66-74, HU Mu (CHN) 66-68-73

208 - David OH (USA) 66-72-70, AN Jae-hyun (NZL) 71-69-68, KIM Hyung-tae (KOR) 67-69-72, MOON Kyong-jun (KOR) 67-69-72

Selected:

214 - Rory HIE (INA) 67-71-76

Friday, May 17, 2013

Rory Hie Losing Ground At SK Telecom Open

JEJU ISLAND, Korea, May 17 - Unheralded journeyman Kim Chang-yoon fired a course-record 10-under-par 62 on Friday to lead after two rounds of OneAsia's SK Telecom Open at Pinx Golf Club on Korea's Jeju Island.

Kim had 10 birdies around the 6,732 meter (7,361 yard) par-72 course -- remarkably without a single chip-in -- to stand at 14 under for the tournament, a stroke ahead of overnight leader Matt Griffin (67) from Australia.

Another Australian, Jason Norris, posted his second 66 for sole possession of third place, with Korea's Park Do-kyu (66) one more behind.

Kim only made it into the one billion won (around U.S. $900,000) tournament as an alternate having all but lost his status on the Korean domestic tour by making just two cuts last year. Although he has one tournament victory to his name -- the 2007 KPGA Championship -- his nine-year professional career has mostly been middle-of-the-road seasons with the occasional return trip to Q-School.

The 29-year-old retains a hunger for the game, however, which he staved off -- literally -- by chewing his way through vast quantities of gum during his record-breaking round.

"I have never done it before, but I decided to chew gum so that I would concentrate," he said. "I don't know how much I chewed, but it helped.

"I am trying not to be so stressed about the game, not to worry so much, and this definitely worked."

Kim said he had prepared far less for 2013 than in previous seasons despite the pressure of trying to earn enough to make ends meet.

"I had to try something different as what I was doing before wasn't working," he said. "I hope I can keep this up now."

He birdied all four of the par fives and six of the par fours after making every green in regulation on Friday. He had just 25 putts, with the longest being a 20-footer on the par-four 12th.

The previous record at Pinx was a 63 scored by Korean Hur In-hoi in the third round of last year's tournament.

Griffin is chasing his second win on OneAsia and in Korea following victory in September at the Charity High1 Resort Open.

"Any time you shoot a 64 it's hard to back it up, so I was really happy with a 67 today," said Griffin, whose only bogey came at the 12th when he was distracted by a camera crew on the tee.

"I've got a really good strategy around here and it's working well for me so I reckon I'll just stick to the same thing. I wouldn't mind if the weather changes a bit … it would make it interesting."

Adelaide-born Norris was delighted with his second 66 and the chance for a lucrative weekend after a brush with death the last time he was in a similar position.

Norris was leading Queensland PGA Championship in Australia in February after rounds of 60 and 66, but was struck down with viral meningitis before the third round and rushed to intensive care.

"I was very sick," he said. "It took me more than six weeks to recover. It really wasn't very nice at all."

The illness came just as Norris was enjoying some form, having finished second at the New Zealand Open in November but claiming first prize as winner Jake Higginbottom was an amateur at the time.

Norris wouldn't make any predictions for the weekend.

"It's nice to be where I am, but the conditions are perfect for scoring," he said. "I could have had a few more out there today."

Defending champion Kim Bi-o (70) will have it all to do at the weekend from six under, while star attraction K.J. Choi, fresh from his appearance in The Players Championship in the United States, is better placed at eight under after shooting a 67 on Friday.

Rory Hie in action in the second round of the SK Telecom Open. Picture by Paul Lakatos/OneAsia.

Rory Hie had one less birdie than yesterday, but combined with 3 bogeys he finished the day at one-under. With an aggregate score of 6-under he's going into the weekend in a share of 22nd place. Fellow Indonesian George Gandranata was also not able to improve, and with 2 birdies and 6 bogeys he finished at 7-over total, 10 shots off the cut.

The cut was set at three under, with 68 professionals and two amateurs playing at the weekend.

Scores after round two of the SK Telecom (Par-72):

130 - KIM Chang-yoon (KOR) 68-62

131 - Matthew GRIFFIN (AUS) 64-67

132 - Jason NORRIS (AUS) 66-66

133 - PARK Do-kyu (KOR) 67-66

134 - HU Mu (CHN) 66-68

135 - LEE Ki-sang (KOR) 67-68, Jin JEONG (KOR) 68-67, KIM Jae-ho (KOR) 66-69

136 - K.J. CHOI (KOR) 69-67, PARK Sang-hyun (KOR) 68-68, KIM Hyung-tae (KOR) 67-69, KIM Woo-chan (KOR) 68-68, MOON Kyong-jun (KOR) 67-69, KIM Gi-whan (KOR) 70-66, KIM Do-hoon 753 (KOR) 66-70, Akinori TANI (JPN) 67-69, PARK Chan-joon (KOR) 68-68

Selected:

138 - Rory HIE (INA) 67-71

151 - George GANDRANATA (INA) 75-76

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Rory Hie Continues Good Form At SK Telecom Open

JEJU ISLAND, Korea, May 16 - Australian Matt Griffin made the most of perfect conditions to shoot an eight-under-par 64 on Thursday for a one shot lead after the first round of OneAsia's one billion won (around U.S. $900,000) SK Telecom Open on Korea's Jeju Island.

Griffin, a winner in Korea last year at the tour's Charity High1 Resort Open, had nine birdies and a bogey around the 6,732 metre (7,361 yard) par-72 Pinx Golf Club course -- and it could have been even better if not for two three-putts.

Korean veteran Kang Wook-soon surprised even himself to take sole possession of second place, while ten others were jostling for position at six under -- including China's Hu Mu, Australians Anthony Brown and Jason Norris, American David Oh and Michael Long of New Zealand.

Korea's Kim Do-hoon, runner-up at last week's GS Caltex Maekyung Open, was also at six under with countrymen Kang Kyung-nam, Jang Dong-kyu, Kim Jae-ho and Lee Sung-ho.

Playing the course back-to-front, Griffin started with a birdie and then put on a masterclass from the 15th to the second with six in-a-row.

He three-putted the fourth for a routine par and repeated the sin on the seventh for a bogey, but birdies on six and nine put him in charge of the tournament.

"For a while I had visions of Thailand," said Griffin, who finished the last round of the season-opening Thailand Open in April with eight birdies in-a-row for a career-low 64.

"I had a good go at eagle on the last today which would have given me a 63, but it wasn't to be."

Kang, 46, a seven-time winner on the Asian Tour and two-time Order of Merit champion, hasn't lifted a title since 2009 and said his confidence had taken a blow after missing the cut at the GS Caltex Maekyung Open last week on a course he normally prefers.

"But this is my best score ever at Pinx, so I am feeling confident again," he said. "I am not sure if I can win, but I will definitely try my best."

Indonesia's top player Rory Hie had another good start with a round of 5-under par. He's currently in a 10-way tie for thirteenth, just 3 behind the leader. Countryman George Gandranata had more difficulties, and his round of 75 puts him in a tie for 134th after the first round.

Rory Hie in action in the first round of the SK Telecom Open. Picture by Paul Lakatos/OneAsia.

Defending champion Kim Bi-o, who has been in the golfing doldrums since his victory last year, fared much better on Thursday and posted a 68, one better than star attraction K.J. Choi, who jetted in straight from the United States after finishing joint 48th on Sunday at The Players Championship, a tournament he won in 2011.

"I'm adjusting to the jet lag better than expected … my condition feels great," said Choi. "I thought maybe two or three under would be a great round today, but the scores are even better."

The shot of the day belonged to American Jason Kang, who aced the 176-metre (193-yard) par three 17th to win a Jaguar XF 2.0P luxury four-door sedan worth 70 million won (around $65,000).

"None of us saw it go in," he said of his five-iron shot.

"The sun was on the horizon so we couldn't see it finish, but when we were walking up to the green we still couldn't see the ball and my partner said 'dude, I think you got it", and there it was, in the hole."

Kang finished one under for the day.

Scores after round one of the SK Telecom being (Par 72):

64 - Matthew GRIFFIN (AUS)

65 - KANG Wook-soon (KOR)

66 - KANG Kyung-nam (KOR), KIM Do-hoon 753 (KOR), HU Mu (CHN), Anthony BROWN (AUS), Michael LONG (NZL), JANG Dong-kyu (KOR), KIM Jae-ho (KOR), David OH (USA), Jason NORRIS (AUS), LEE Sung-ho (KOR)

67 - Rory HIE (INA), Craig HANCOCK (AUS), Akinori TANI (JPN), PARK Do-kyu (KOR), LEE Soo-min (am, KOR), LEE Ki-sang (KOR), KIM Hyung-tae (KOR), PARK Jae-kyung (KOR), BAEK Joo-yeob (KOR), MOON Kyong-jun (KOR)

Selected:

75 - George GANDRANATA (INA)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Top 15 Finish For Rory Hie In GS Caltex Maekyung Open

SEOUL, May 12 - Overnight leader Ryu Hyun-woo held his nerve with a two-under-par 70 on Sunday to win OneAsia's GS Caltex Maekyung Open by a shot at The Namsoul Country Club on the outskirts of Seoul.

Ryu's four-round 14-under-par aggregate gave him his second professional victory -- he won for the first time on the Japan Tour last year -- and earned him nearly U.S. $180,000 from the one billion won (U.S. $900,000) purse on offer at the OneAsia event.

Kim Do-hoon (68) and Kim Hyung-sung (70) shared second place, with two others three shots further behind.

Defending champion Kim Bi-o (71) finished at four under in 15th place.

"I am really pleased with this win, I didn't think I had a chance after starting with a 72 in the opening round," said Ryu, who named his son Dae-sung, which means "multi-winner", to inspire him to try harder.

The turning point in the final round came at the par three 17th, with the top three finishers all on the tee at 14 under.

Ryu flushed a six iron to five feet and made birdie, while the two Kims -- Do-hoon playing in the group ahead -- both missed the green and couldn't get up and down.

With a two-shot lead down the last, Ryu could afford to make a bogey and still claim the spoils.

Jake Higginbottom (68) was the best of the non-Koreans and finished at six under for a share of eighth place. The Australian 20-year-old only turned professional in November, just two days after winning the BMW New Zealand Open as an amateur.

Other notable performances by international players came from Indonesia's Rory Hie (68), who finished at four under, and China's Hu Mu (71) and Brazil's Lucas Lee (73), who were two under for the tournament.

China's Wang Minghao, playing in his first event as a professional after graduating from college in the United States only last week, was four over for the day and plus two for the week.

Kim Bi-o gets the chance to make amends for his showing when he defends his title on Jeju Island at the next stop on the OneAsia circuit, the SK Telecom Open, at Pinx Golf Club from May 16-19.

Scores after the final round of the GS Caltex Maekyung Open (Par 72):

274 - RYU Hyun-woo (KOR) 72-65-67-70

275 - KIM Do-hoon 753 (KOR) 67-70-70-68, KIM Hyung-sung (KOR) 67-67-71-70

278 - LEE Kyoung-hoon (KOR) 67-71-69-71, KIM Dae-sub (KOR) 70-66-71-71

279 - KANG Kyung-nam (KOR) 68-71-68-72

281 - LEE Tae-hee (KOR) 69-72-68-72

282 - Jake HIGGINBOTTOM (AUS) 69-71-74-68, CHOI Ho-sung (KOR) 70-68-75-69, PARK Ju-hyuk (KOR) 68-70-73-71, PARK Il-hwan (KOR) 68-72-71-71, SONG Young-han (KOR) 68-70-73-71

283 - MO Joong-kyung (KOR) 70-68-74-71, MUN Do-yeob (KOR) 70-72-69-72

284 - Rory HIE (INA) 71-73-72-68

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Parkroyal To Launch In Indonesia With Golf Resorts In Bogor And Bali

The recent signing of two management agreements boosts the Group’s resorts portfolio and extends the PARKROYAL footprint to Indonesia, marking one of several major developments for the brand this year.

Following the highly-anticipated opening of the iconic hotel-in-a-garden PARKROYAL on Pickering in Singapore last month, Pan Pacific Hotels Group announced that the PARKROYAL brand will launch in Indonesia with the opening of PARKROYAL Rainbow Hills Bogor Resort in 2014 and PARKROYAL Pecatu Bali Resort in 2016.

Under the management agreement with PT Bahana Bukit Pelangi (BBP), Pan Pacific Hotels Group will operate the 225-room PARKROYAL Rainbow Hills Bogor Resort, situated beside the existing Rainbow Hills Golf & Country Club managed by BBP.

Just 60km south of Jakarta, Bogor is famed for its cool weather, scenic Botanical Gardens and its presidential palace – one of the world’s oldest. It is also a popular retreat for Jakarta residents and a prime meetings destination outside the capital.

PARKROYAL Rainbow Hills Bogor Resort is located amidst Bogor’s spectacular volcanic mountains and picturesque rivers. It will boast a wide range of recreational facilities including a spa, pool, fitness centre as well as comprehensive conference and event spaces. The resort also offers convenient access to the stunning 18-hole Rainbow Hills golf course, a masterpiece by the world’s foremost golf course designer J. Michael Poellot Golf Design Group.

Pan Pacific Hotels Group further extends PARKROYAL’s reach in Indonesia with the signing of a management agreement with PT Pecatu Adi Graha to manage PARKROYAL Pecatu Bali Resort.

Located on the southern peninsula of Bali, Pecatu is well-known as a surfer’s paradise with limestone cliffs and beautiful, secluded beaches. PARKROYAL Pecatu Bali Resort will be part of the 400-hectare Pecatu Indah Resort, an integrated development with planned facilities including a shopping mall and conference venues that can accommodate up to 12,000 people.

Offering 380 hotel rooms and 35 villas, the PARKROYAL resort in Bali is located near the New Kuta Golf Course, an 18-hole championship standard course that is perched on top of a limestone cliff, overlooking the Indian Ocean and surrounding beaches. In addition, the resort will also feature a wide range of dining options, as well as a swimming pool, fitness centre, jogging track, spa and business centre.

In Indonesia, Pan Pacific Hotels Group currently manages two other hotels under the “Pan Pacific” brand – namely, Pan Pacific Jakarta and Pan Pacific Nirwana Bali Resort, located at Bali’s magnificent southwest coast, boasting the Greg Norman-designed Nirwana Bali Golf Course.

“As one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, Indonesia presents vast business development opportunities and growth potential for both our brands,” said A. Patrick Imbardelli, President and Chief Executive of Pan Pacific Hotels Group.

“The opening of PARKROYAL Rainbow Hills Bogor Resort and PARKROYAL Pecatu Bali Resort will introduce our customers in Indonesia to the distinct PARKROYAL guest experience that emphasises authentic local connections, modern comforts and uncomplicated service, further strengthening the Group’s presence and mindshare in this important growth market.”

Together with Pan Pacific Nirwana Bali Resort, the two new PARKROYAL properties in Indonesia will also boost the Group’s resorts portfolio which includes three other award-winning beach and ski resorts in Canada and Malaysia, in line with its strategy to develop Pan Pacific and PARKROYAL resorts in unique destinations across Asia Pacific.

The signing of the management agreements for PARKROYAL Rainbow Hills Bogor Resort and PARKROYAL Pecatu Bali Resort marks one of many significant developments for the PARKROYAL brand this year.

Adi Bramantyo Best Amateur At PGM-ASEAN PGA A'Famosa Masters

Melaka, Malaysia, May 11 - Evergreen Mardan Mamat marched to a convincing victory in the PGM-ASEAN PGA A'Famosa Masters today at the A'Famosa Golf Resort.

The 45-year-old shot a two-under-par 70 for a four stroke win over Malaysian Khor Kheng Hwai.

The US$60,000 tournament, which is joint sanctioned by the ASEAN PGA Tour and the PGM Tour, marked Mamat’s third ASEAN PGA title.

His triumph also made up for his loss against Filipino Tony Lascuna in a sudden-death play-off in the Sabah Masters in January.

Mamat started the day with a five shot lead thanks to a third round 65.

He made the turn in one under although gave a glimmer of hope to the chasing pack after double bogeying the 10th.

However, he showed his class by nailing birdies on 13, 17 and 18.

He finished the tournament on 15-under-par 273.

Khor carded a 69 for his finest performance on the ASEAN PGA Tour.

Thailand’s Ratchapol Jantavara and R. Nachimuthu from Malaysia tied for third eight shots behind Mamat. Ratchapol shot 70 while Nachimuthu returned 73.

Indonesians Kurnia Herishandy (75) and Adi Bramantyo (78) finished in 36th and 47th position respectively, which for Adi meant he's the best amateur in the field.

Mamat also won on the PGM Tour last year in the PGM-CCM Impian Masters and later in the season claimed the Philippine Open.

The next leg on the ASEAN PGA Tour is the PGM-ASEAN PGA Penang Classic. The US$60,000 event will be played at Penang Golf Resort from June 12 to 15.

Leading Final Round Scores (Par 72):

273 - Mardan MAMAT (SIN) 69 69 65 70

277 - KHOR Kheng Hwai (MAS) 68 69 71 69

281 - Ratchapol JANTAVARA (THA) 71 67 73 70, R NACHIMUTHU (MAS) 73 67 68 73

282 - Mohd Rizal AMIN (MAS) 69 69 73 71

283 - Kenneth DE SILVA (MAS) 70 70 73 70, Iylia JAMIL (MAS) 71 68 72 72, S. MURTHY (MAS) 63 73 74 73, Airil RIZMAN (MAS) 69 72 69 73

285 - Anis Helmi HASSAN (MAS) 72 67 69 77

Selected:

297 - Kurnia HERISHANDY (INA) 76 72 74 75

303 - Adi BRAMANTYO (am) (INA) 76 72 77 78

Even Par For Rory Hie At GS Caltex Maekyung Open

SEOUL, May 11 - Korean Ryu Hyun-woo scrambled to a five-under-par 67 on Saturday to take a one stroke lead into the final round of OneAsia's GS Caltex Maekyung Open after overnight leader Kim Hyung-sung (71) bogeyed the last to slip to second place.

Runner-up last year after a blistering Sunday 63, Ryu is 12 under for three rounds at the hilly 6,349 meter (6,943 yard) Namseoul Country Club course on the outskirts of the Korean capital.

Four players share third place at nine under -- Kang Kyung-nam (68), Lee Kyoung-hoon (69), Kim Do-hoon (70) and reigning Kolon Korea Open champion Kim Dae-sub (71).

Defending champion Kim Bi-o is three under in 20th place after shooting a 70.

Although he had six birdies and just one bogey on Saturday, Ryu said the golf was tougher than his scorecard suggested.

"The greens were much faster today and some of the pin positions were very tricky," the 31-year-old said. "I wasn't always in good position with my tee shots, but fortunately my short game was ok and I managed to make birdies."

Second-placed Kim also scrambled his way around the course and was lucky to get away with a bogey on the last after seemingly hooking his tee shot into thick forest. He played a provisional, but on his way up spotted his original ball had actually ricocheted into the rough on the edge of the fairway.

"The last hole was not good," he said. "I shouldn't let something like that happen at this stage of the tournament."

Leader Ryu, a Japan Tour regular whose first professional win came only at their Coca-Cola Tokai Classic last year, is desperate for a second title so his son can live up to a weighty name conferred on him by his parents.

Ryu' s three-year-old is named Da-seung which means "multi-winner", and the toddler was waiting to greet him as he finished his round on Saturday.

"I'll just try to play the par three holes level tomorrow and see if I can make a few birdies on the par fives," said Ryu. "We'll see what happens."

Namseoul lived up to its reputation as being a graveyard for foreigners with only two non-Koreans in the top 15 -- Australians Steve Jeffress and Jamie Arnold, who both shot 70s and are four under for the tournament.

Brazilian Lucas Lee and Australian Matt Griffin -- a winner in Korea at OneAsia's Charity High1 Resort Open last year -- have a share of 20th place, a shot further behind.

Indonesia's Rory Hie is another 3 shots further behind after a round of 72 today, staying at even par for the tournament.

China's Wang Minghao, who only turned professional last week after graduating from college in the United States, stayed on course for his first payday with a 74 that left him two under -- exactly the same as Australian Jake Higginbottom, who made the transition from the amateur ranks just two days after winning the BMW New Zealand Open in November.

Scores after the third round of the GS Caltex Maekyung Open (Par-72):

204 - RYU Hyun-woo (KOR) 72-65-67

205 - KIM Hyung-sung (KOR) 67-67-71

207 - KANG Kyung-nam (KOR) 68-71-68, LEE Kyoung-hoon (KOR) 67-71-69, KIM Do-hoon-753 (KOR) 67-70-70, KIM Dae-sub (KOR) 70-66-71

209 - LEE Tae-hee (KOR) 69-72-68

210 - BYUN Jin-jae (KOR) 71-68-71, KIM Hui-soo (KOR) 70-69-71

211 - MUN Do-yeob (KOR) 70-72-69, PARK Il-hwan (KOR) 68-72-71, PARK Ju-hyuk (KOR) 68-70-73, SONG Young-han (KOR) 68-70-73

Selected:

216 - Rory HIE (INA) 71-73-72

Friday, May 10, 2013

Kurnia Herishandy Maintains Momentum At PGM-ASEAN PGA A’Famosa Masters

Melaka, Malaysia, May 10 - Mardan Mamat took control of the PGM-ASEAN PGA A’Famosa Masters at A’Famosa Golf Resort today with a faultless seven-under 65.

The Singaporean, who shot 69s over the first two days, opened up a healthy five-stroke lead at the top of the leader board on 13-under 205 after the third round.

R. Nachimuthu (68), Anis Helmi Hassan (69) and Khor Kheng Hwai (71) led the Malaysian charge as they moved into joint second place on 209.

Malaysia’s S. Murthy, who led the first half of the tournament, stumbled to a 74 and slipped into a tie for fifth, alongside Airil Rizman (69) on 210.

Indonesia's Kurnia Herishandy (74) moved a few places up the leaderboard to 34th, while Adi Bramantyo lost a couple of places after carding a 77.

Mamat, who chalked up three birdies over the first nine and then carded another four on the homeward stretch, said his putting was really behind his excellent display today.

“Of course, I hit the ball solidly,” said the Singaporean. “But my putting has improved tremendously recently and that has shone through today.”

Mamat said he struggled with the flat stick in recent months, but after “switching back to my old Yes putter” things changed for the better.

“There is no doubt about it. After I went back to my old Yes putter things got a lot better and I’m putting – and playing – with much more confidence,” he added.

The US$60,000 tournament is co-sanctioned with the PGM Tour and the ASEAN PGA Tour.

Leading Third Round Scores (Malaysian unless stated otherwise):
203 - Mardan Mamat (Sin) 69-69-65

208 - R Nachimuthu 73-67-68, Anis Helmi Hassan 72-67-69, Khor Kheng Hwai 68-69-71

210 - S. Murthy 63-73-74, Airil Rizman 69-72-69

211 - Ratchapol Jantavara (Tha) 71-67-73, Iylia Jamil 71-68-72, Mohd Rizal Amin 69-69-73

213 - Kenneth De Silva 70-70-73, Mohd Sukree Othman 69-70-74

Selected:

222 - Kurnia Herishandy (INA) 76-72-74

225 - Adi Bramantyo (INA) 76-72-77

George Gandranata Misses Cut, Rory Hie Scrapes Through At GS Caltex Maekyung Open

SEOUL, May 10 - Korean Kim Hyung-sung fired a five-under-par 67 on Friday to grab a one shot lead after the second round of OneAsia's GS Caltex Maekyung Open at The Namseoul Country Club.

The Japan Tour regular had six birdies and a bogey around the hilly 6,349 metre (6,943 yard) course -- made more difficult by drizzly conditions throughout the day -- to stand at 10 under for the one billion won (around U.S. $900,000) tournament.

Kim Gi-whan also shot 67 to finish alone in second place, while Kim Dae-sub -- who won the Kolon Korea Open on OneAsia last year just two months after completing a 22-month stint of national service -- is a stroke further behind after posting 66.

The course once again lived up to its reputation as a graveyard for foreigners, with Australian overnight leader Terry Pilkadaris (75) the best of the non-Koreans in joint 12th place and five shots off the lead.

Cho Min-gyu (73), who shared the first round lead, also remains in the hunt at seven under.

After Thursday's near-perfect conditions, the damp and persistent drizzle made scoring much more difficult in the second round.

"You can see it wasn't very good weather, so I am very happy with my score," said leader Kim, adding he had finally recovered from a shoulder injury that plagued him for the last two years.

"This tournament is always won by great players, so to do well here would be something special for me. I am feeling very comfortable, and I have my caddy from Japan with me so we are having a good time."

Defending champion Kim Bi-o will have it all to do at the weekend after coming unstuck at the par-five 16th when his tee shot struck a tree and ricocheted into oblivion.

"My provisional did the same thing, but at least I found it," he said, but a costly eight saw him finish at one under for the round and tournament so far.

"Well at least I'm in the red and anything can happen at Namseoul," he added.

Missing a cut set at par was a pair of former champions in Kim Kyung-tae (74) and Kim Dae-hyun (73) who both finished one over.

One of the surprises of the tournament has been the performance of China's Wang Minghao, who only turned professional after graduating from Georgia Tech in the United States last week and is playing his first OneAsia tournament.

He followed his opening-round 69 with a topsy-turvy 71 on Friday that included five birdies and an eagle, but also four bogeys and a double.

"I had no expectations coming into this, so any result is great," the 23-year-old said.

Australian Jake Higginbottom (71) who turned pro in November just two days after winning the BMW New Zealand Open, will also start the weekend at four under, alongside countryman Australian Matt Griffin (73) and Kiwi Mark Brown (70).

Other internationals to make the cut include Brazil's Lucas Lee (69), who is two under, and Indonesian Rory Hie (73) at level par.

Unfortunately it's over for George Gandranata as his second round of 75 means he misses the cut by a single shot.

Scores after the second round of the GS Caltex Maekyung Open (Par-72):

134 - KIM Hyung-sung (KOR) 67-67

135 - KIM Gi-whan (KOR) 68-67

136 - KIM Dae-sub (KOR) 70-66

137 - RYU Hyun-woo (KOR) 72-65, KIM Do-hoon 753 (KOR) 67-70, CHO Min-gyu (KOR) 64-73

138 - CHOI Ho-sung (KOR) 70-68, MO Joong-kyung (KOR) 70-68, PARK Ju-hyuk (KOR) 68-70, LEE Kyoung-hoon (KOR) 67-71, SONG Young-han (KOR) 68-70

Selected:

144 - Rory HIE (INA) 71-73

145 - George GANDRANATA (INA) 70-75

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Solid Second Rounds For Adi And Kurnia At PGM-ASEAN PGA A’Famosa Masters

Melaka, Malaysia, May 9 - S. Murthy held on to a slim one-stroke lead after the second round of the PGM-ASEAN PGA A’Famosa Masters at A’Famosa Golf Resort in Melaka today.

Following the Malaysian’s superlative 63 on the opening day, a poor opening nine left Murthy hanging on, and he had to fight back gallantly down the homeward stretch to settle for a one-over 73 and 136 total.

A shot back was compatriot Khor Kheng Hwai, who carded a 69.

Thailand’s Ratchapol Juntavara was one of the three players who signed for the low round of day – a 67.

He was tied with Malaysia’s Mohd Rizal Amin (69) and Mardan Mamat (69) of Singapore on 138 in third place.

Like yesterday, both Adi Bramantyo and Kurnia Hershandy from Indonesian had an equal score. After a 76 yesterday, both improved to an even par today putting them in a tie for 38th. This means both players made the cut with a 2-round total of 148.

Murthy, who was red-hot with his short-irons and on the greens and led by five strokes after the first day, stumbled to a four-over 40 over the first nine, surrendering a triple-bogey and another two bogeys - against one birdie.

But the player who said he was working hard at his game over the past year-and-a-half or so and began his second round at the 10th hole, hit back with a birdie on the fifth and an eagle on the par-five seventh.

For his part, Ratchapol said he drove the ball well, but lamented a “few blunders” when his putting cost him the chance of doing even better than his 65.

The US$60,000 event, co-sanctioned with the PGM Tour and the ASEAN PGA Tour, sees the top-10 players at the mid-point of the tournament all within four strokes of the lead.
v Leading Second Round Scores (Par 72, Malaysian unless stated otherwise):

136 - S. Murthy 63-73

137 - Khor Kheng Hwai 68-69

138 - Mohd Rizal Amin 69-69, Ratchapol Juntavara (THA) 71-67, Mardan Mamat (SIN) 69-69

139 - Mohd Sukree Othman 69-70, Anis Helmi Hassan 72-67, Iylia Jamil 71-68

140 - Kenneth De Silva 70-70, R Nachimuthu 73-67

Selected:

148 - Adi Bramantyo (INA) 76-72, Kurnia Hershandy (INA) 76-72

Good Start For George Gandranata At GS Caltex Maekyung Open

SEOUL, May 9 - Korean Cho Min-gyu and Australian Terry Pilkadaris made the most of near-perfect conditions with blistering eight-under-par 64s on Thursday to share a three-shot lead after the first round of OneAsia's GS Caltex Maekyung Open at The Namseoul Country Club on the outskirts of Seoul.

Pilkadaris and Cho both capped remarkable rounds with birdies on the ninth -- their final hole -- to put daylight between them and a chasing pack that included four Koreans and an Australian.

Pilkadaris credited a change to his putting stroke made on Sunday for his flawless round, while Cho said he scrambled well.

"The course is in really good nick and the fairways are cut shorter so you're not worried about getting flyers," said Pilkadaris, whose last win came at the Brunei Open in 2005.

The 39-year-old admitted he has struggled around the hilly 6,349 meter (6,943 yard) course in the past, but felt this year that Namseoul was in the best condition he had ever seen it.

"I only made the cut for the first time a couple of years ago ... I haven't had a good run here," he said.

"But the greens are also bit slower than they normally are; I had a couple of downhill putts that I managed to two-putt where in previous years you'd be lucky to do that."

Terry Pilkadaris made the cut at last week's Volvo China Open after squeaking into the OneAsia and European Tour co-sanctioned tournament as an alternate and following a last minute dash from Italy, but after a promising opening round he went off the boil and finished three over.

"I putted poorly at the weekend -- actually the last three rounds were disappointing -- and so after the round I just went to the putting green," said Pilkadaris.

While practicing, he bumped into former European Tour player Ian Garbutt, who is now a manager, and asked him to have a look at his stroke.

"He said 'hey, your stroke looks a little bit slow, just quicken your back swing up', so I worked on that for few days after getting here, and now I've putted nicely."

Cho also credited his putter for his excellent round.

"My putting was really good today but actually the score looks better than the golf … I was scrambling a bit out there," he said.

The 24-year-old has played full time on the Japan Tour since 2010 -- winning the Kansai Open Golf Championship the following year -- and he finished joint fourth at March's Thailand Open which was co-sanctioned by both OneAsia and the Japan Golf Tour Organization.

Both Indonesian players rebounded from poor performances the week before. George Gandranata, who last week missed the cut at home turf at the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters, carded a 70 putting him in a tie for 26th place. Meanwhile Rory Hie, who also missed the cut but at the Volvo China Open, needed one shot more, good for a 43rd position after day 1.
,
Defending champion Kim Bi-o blamed a lapse in concentration on the last for a double-bogey that left him level par for the round.

"I felt a bit of pressure out there and was coping well, but I let it slip right at the end," he said.

"I will try not to let that happen again.

Scores after round one of the GS Caltex Maekyung Open (Par-72):

64 - CHO Min-gyu (KOR), Terry PILKADARIS (AUS)

67 - LEE Kyoung-hoon (KOR), KIM Do-hoon 753 (KOR), Matthew GRIFFIN (AUS), KIM Hyung-sung (KOR), PARK Jun-won (KOR)

68 - SONG Young-han (KOR), PARK Ju-hyuk (KOR), PARK Eun-shin (KOR), KIM Seng Yong (KOR), KIM Gi-whan (KOR), PARK Jae-kyung (KOR), KANG Kyung-nam (KOR), Peter WILSON (AUS), PARK Il-hwan (KOR), KIM Woo-chan (KOR)

Selected:

70 - George GANDRANATA (INA)

71 - Rory HIE (INA)

Slow Start For Adi And Kurnia At PGM-ASEAN PGA A’Famosa Masters

Melaka, Malaysia, May 8 - S. Murthy equaled his career best low round on the first day of the PGM-ASEAN PGA A’Famosa Masters at A’Famosa Golf Resort in Alor Gajah, Melaka today.

Murthy, who has shown some good form this season, fired a bogey-free nine-under-par 63 to carve out a four-stroke lead at the top of the leaderboard in the event co-sanctioned with the ASEAN PGA Tour.

The Malaysian left Thailand’s Philip Matsson (67) to settle for second place, while fellow Malaysians Khor Kheng Hwai and Nicholas Pua were joint third with rounds of 68.

Singaporean Mardan Mamat, along with Malaysia’s Mohd Sukree Othman, Mohd Rizal Amin and Airil Rizman were tied for fifth on 69.

Indonesians Adi Bramantyo and Kurnia Herisyandi both carded a 4-over 76 for a tie of 53rd.

Murthy, who was right in the mix going into the last round of this year’s Maybank Malaysian Open before fading away, attributed his recent run good run to a number of factors, but in the main – hard work.

“I’ve been working hard even during the off-season,” he said. “And I’ve made a few changes to my swing and equipment. I believe that this has all been part of why I am striking the ball so much better and putting with more confidence.”

A seasoned campaigner on the local front, Murthy said his new Srixon Z72 irons were crucial to this, as was a new Odyssey putter.

“I hit 17 greens today and made 26 putts,” added Murthy. “That tells me that my iron play was on the mark and I putted very well too.”

Without trying to get ahead of himself, Murthy added that he planned to take the tournament “day by day” and see how it all turns out on Saturday.

Leading First Round Scores (Malaysian unless stated otherwise):

63 - MURTHY, S.

67 - MATSSON, Philip (THA)

68 - PUA, Nicholas, KHOR, Kheng Hwai,

69 - MAMAT, Mardan (SIN), OTHMAN, Mohd Sukree, RIZMAN, Airil, AMIN, Mohd Rizal

70 - RAMLI, Rahizam, MUDA, Shaifubari, DE SILVA, Kenneth

Selected:

76 - BRAMANTYO, Adi (INA), HERISHANDY, Kurnia (INA)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Change Of Venue For Junior Golf Community of Surabaya Anniversary Tournament

Due to uncertainty of course facilities, the Junior Golf Community of Surabaya (JGCS) has decided to name BUKIT DARMO GOLF, located in Jalan Bukit Darmo Raya, Surabaya, as the new host facility for their 2nd Anniversary Tournament on 19-20 June. Taman Dayu Golf & Resort will no longer be used for this year’s event.

For tournament details see here.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Wiesberger Pips Els By One At CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters

Jakarta, May 5 - Bernd Wiesberger of Austria sealed a dramatic win at the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters with a five-under-par 67 to defeat a persistent Ernie Els of South Africa by one-shot on Sunday.

Wiesberger won his second title in Asia courtesy of some exquisite ball striking as he totaled 15-under-par 273 at the US$750,000 Asian Tour event which was staged at the majestic Royale Jakarta Golf Club.

CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters Champion 2013, Bernd Wiesberger (Center) celebrates his -15 win together with Arwin Rasyid – President Director CIMB Niaga (Left) and H.E. Roy Suryo – Minister of Youth and Sport (Right) during the Prize Giving Ceremony at Royale Jakarta Golf Club. Photo by Colin Dunjohn/IMPL

Els, the reigning Open Championship winner, settled for second place after carding 68 while overnight leader Daisuke Kataoka of Japan claimed third place with a round of 70 to finish on 275. Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand was a further three shots back in fourth after registering 69.

The towering Wiesberger, whose coach Philippe De Busschere is based at Cengkareng Golf Club in Indonesia, credited his acute iron play for his victory and dedicated the win to his grandfather who passed away a year ago.

“I was struggling in the beginning after my birdie on one. But at the turn I got a bit of momentum going because I was confident with my ball striking,” said Wiesberger, who finished seventh last year and went on to win in Korea.

He made the turn in 34 but tightened his grip on the third edition of the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters with an eagle three on the 12th hole.

“It was good to hole the eagle and it was nice that Ernie (who also eagled the same hole) stayed in touch. He wouldn’t let go and that’s why he is such a great champion. It was a good time to do that and it got my round going,” he smiled.


Crowds gather around hole 18 while the final puts are made at Royale Jakarta Golf Club

Els, ranked 24th in the world, was one-over after five holes but put on a battling display with birdies on six and nine followed by an eagle three on 12 which he putted from 30 feet from the fringe. He birdied the last to finish sole second.

“I played and fought hard. I wasn’t quite at my best but had a good time. I didn’t hit my iron shots close enough especially at the start. I was one over through five holes and had to battle back all the time,” said Els.

“A win would have been unbelievable but second is not all that bad. This has given me something and it shows my game is going in the right direction. I’m starting to feel really good about my game.”

The South African tipped his hat to Wiesberger, who he played with in the opening two days and on the final round. “I think Bernd played better than all of us. I played with him for three rounds and I think he deserves to win.”

Kataoka, who has never led in a tournament before, felt nervous on the first tee but managed to pull-off his best performance since turning professional in 2007. His third place result matched his career’s best on the Asian Tour at the 2011 Taiwan Masters.

“I’m not disappointed with how I played this week. I played very well and hit a lot of good shots. When we teed off, I felt very nervous but I told myself not to be nervous and to try and concentrate on my game. I didn’t sleep very well last night!” he smiled.

He hopes the experience of playing with multiple Major champion Els will provide him with the impetus to lead him to a first victory on the region’s premier Tour which is celebrating its 10th season this year.

“I had a good experience this week. I led for the first time in a tournament and it was fantastic to play with Bernd Wiesberger and Ernie Els. If I can continue to keep up with this consistency then I think my first win will come very soon,” said the 24-year-old.

Andik Mauludin, Indonesia's lone representative in the final rounds, saw his game completely fall apart after making the cut. After a disappointing 80 yesterday, he carded an 81 in the final round, finishing 7 behind the rest of the field.

Pak Arwin Rasyid, President Director of CIMB Niaga was delighted with the third staging of the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters as it has grown into Indonesia’s most prestigious golfing event.

"When CIMB Niaga became the title sponsor to the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters in 2012, we wanted to be part of an event that is the nation’s most prestigious. I stand here today proudly to say, we have achieved our goal. Thanks to the support of the other event partners and of course, you, the golfing fans, we see the end of yet another fantastic edition of the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters. We have certainly seen golf at it’s finest over the past four days and Congratulations to Wiesberger for his spectacular win today. It was an exciting finish and you certainly earned yourself the title of the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Master 2013!"

Scores after round 4 of the CIMB NIAGA Indonesian Masters (Par 72):

273 - Bernd WIESBERGER (AUT) 67-72-67-67

274 - Ernie ELS (RSA) 68-70-68-68
275 - Daisuke KATAOKA (JPN) 70-69-66-70

278 - Thongchai JAIDEE (THA) 69-65-75-69

280 - Angelo QUE (PHI) 70-70-70-70, Ryan MCCARTHY (AUS) 70-70-70-70, MO Joong-kyung (KOR) 72-69-68-71

281 - Unho PARK (AUS) 68-72-70-71, HWANG Inn-choon (KOR) 66-74-70-71, Jake HIGGINBOTTOM (AUS) 69-69-71-72, Rahil GANGJEE (IND) 71-69-69-72

Selected:

306 - Andik Mauludin (INA) 73-72-80-81

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Els And Wiesberger Chasing Unheralded Kataoka At CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters

Jakarta, May 4 - Little known Japanese Daisuke Kataoka shot a solid six-under-par 66 to lead by one-shot over a relentless Ernie Els of South Africa and Austrian Bernd Wiesberger in the third round of the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters on Saturday.

Kataoka birdied the last two holes for 11-under-par 205 to steal the limelight from reigning Open Championship winner Els, who shot a 68 at the US$750,000 full field Asian Tour event.

Wiesberger, who finished tied seventh in last year’s edition, carded a 67 to stay in the title hunt while Asian Tour rookie Richard T. Lee of Canada was a further shot back in fourth place after he signed for a 67 at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club.

Bernd Wiesberger teeing of from hole 18 in the third round of the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters. Picture: Daniel S/IndoGolf

The 24-year-old Kataoka shot the best round of the day highlighted by eight birdies against two bogeys to lead an Asian Tour tournament for the first time since turning professional in 2007.

“I’m striking the ball very good. My putting was normal on the first two days but it was great today. I never changed anything, somehow I just felt more confident with my putting. I’ve mastered the speed of the greens and that made my round slightly easier,” said Kataoka, an Asian Tour member since 2011.

The Japanese hopes to preserve his lead and win his first Asian Tour victory but knows that it will be a close call as four other players are within four shots of his lead.

“This is the first time I’m leading a tournament. When I looked at the scores, I saw many good players chasing me so I hope to have some luck to win! It won’t be easy,” said the Japanese, who played baseball before reverting to golf.

South Africa’s Els bounced back from jet-lag to shoot five birdies, including one on the last, against one bogey to put himself in prime position of winning his first title this year.

“My body felt good and my concentration was pretty good as well. I just try to hang in there. I hit a lot of good shots, missed a lot of putts and in the end I grinded out a 68,” said Els, who has won over 60 titles worldwide.

“I was pretty consistent the whole day. I played well and it was one of those days where I tried to stay in the tournament. I was trying to get to 12-under but that didn’t quite happen. I’m one shot behind and I just wanted to stay in the mix which I managed to do.”

The world number 24 was surprised to be in contention as overnight leader Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand slipped back to tied sixth place following a 75.

“Thongchai played well yesterday but thankfully for us chasing him, he had a slow day and we now have a host of players that can win tomorrow. So it should be a great day. It’ll be tough to break away from the chasing pack and it’s important to stick to your game plan. It’ll be interesting to watch,” he smiled.

Wiesberger, winner of the 2012 Ballantine’s Championship in Korea, is confident his consistent ball-striking will guide him to victory.

“I’m pretty sure I’m one of the best ball strikers here so I know that I’m not going to miss a lot of fairways. I’m going to give myself lots of opportunities so I don’t see why I won’t win,” said the towering Austrian.

Thongchai struggled to stretch his overnight two-shot lead. He needs a top-three finish this week to jump inside of the top-60 on the Official World Golf Rankings and give himself a strong chance of qualifying for the U.S. Open next month.

Meanwhile Andik Mauludin, the only player from Indonesia who made the cut, had a disappointing round of 80, which puts him in 70th place with an aggregate of 226.

Scores after round 3 of the CIMB NIAGA Indonesian Masters (Par 72):

205 - Daisuke KATAOKA (JPN) 70-69-66

206 - Bernd WIESBERGER (AUT) 67-72-67, Ernie ELS (RSA) 68-70-68

207 - Richard T. LEE (CAN) 72-68-67

208 - HUNG Chien-yao (TPE) 70-68-70

209 - MO Joong-kyung (KOR) 72-69-68, Rahil GANGJEE (IND) 71-69-69, Shiv KAPUR (IND) 70-69-70, Jake HIGGINBOTTOM (AUS) 69-69-71, Thongchai JAIDEE (THA) 69-65-75

Selected:

226 - Andik MAULUDIN (INA) 73-72-80

Friday, May 3, 2013

Thongchai On Fire While Els In Pursuit At CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters

Jakarta, May 3 - Thai star Thongchai Jaidee drew inspiration from the presence of his family members by firing a superb seven-under-par 65 to take the second round lead at the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters on Friday.

Thongchai, who holds an unprecedented three Order of Merit titles, posted a flawless round highlighted by seven birdies for two-day total of 10-under-par 134 at the US$750,000 Asian Tour event which is played at the immaculate Royale Jakarta Golf Club.

Australia’s Scott Barr shot a second successive 68 in his 200th appearance on the Asian Tour to trail Thongchai by two shots while Wade Ormsby of Australia was in third position on 137.

Reigning Open Championship winner Ernie Els of South Africa shot 70 to stay in the hunt in tied fourth place with Hung Chien-yao of Chinese Taipei and Australians Kieran Pratt, Jake Higginbottom and Scott Hend, who was the overnight co-leader.

The third round of the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters will start at 7am and is expected to finish at approximately 2pm local time due to expected thunderstorms in the afternoon.

Thongchai, who has four top-10s this season, wielded a hot putter as he continues his search for a 14th Asian Tour victory.

“My wife and two sons are here with me this week. My oldest son followed me for nine holes today but my youngest is at the hotel. I’m very happy with my family support. I want to show them that I can play very well,” said Thongchai.

A top-three result at the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters will push him inside the top-60 on the Official World Golf Rankings, giving him a strong chance to qualify for the U.S. Open next month. Thongchai was the first Thai to ever play in all four rounds in the 2001 U.S. Open.

“I hope I can keep my confidence like this in the next few days. If I drive, hit and putt like today then I think I have a good chance to win the tournament. My putting wasn’t that good in the last few months but it is coming around now,” said the world number 65.

“I played very solid and I have no complains at all. I think I have a chance to go even lower in the next few days. I’m only halfway there. There are many strong players here but getting off to 10-under after two rounds gives me a good chance.”

Barr hopes to make it a really special 200th Asian Tour event by winning his first victory this week. His wife is also expected to give birth to his second child on Tuesday.

“This week sort of feels like a special week for me. I’ve had a lot of media attention and you sort of feel like you are in the limelight and ready to go. I’ve enjoyed it. Hopefully it will be a week that I will remember,” said Barr.

“I’ve been preparing for my second child for months now. Obviously when I get home after this week, I will be pretty busy. It is very exciting and I’m looking forward to it,” he added.

Els, nicknamed the Big Easy, endured an energy-sapping day but remained confident that he can shoot a low number and contend for the title.

“Today was a bit of a jet-lag day for me. I was trying to get some energy going. Hopefully I will have more energy tomorrow. I think my game is all there. I just need to get a bit sharper mentally,” said the four-time Major champion.

“I was hoping for a better score but I didn’t quite get it. My game is not too bad. I just need to eliminate some really small mistakes.This is the type of course where you can get a little bit aggressive. I’m hitting the ball quite nicely so I like to stay aggressive. If I get myself in position, I will go for flags and get my putts in,” added Els.

The halfway cut was set at two-over-par 146 with 69 players making the weekend rounds including 2011 Open Championship winner Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland, who shot a 75 for 145.

Scores after round 2 of the CIMB NIAGA Indonesian Masters (Par 72):

134 - Thongchai JAIDEE (THA) 69-65

136 - Scott BARR (AUS) 68-68

137 - Wade ORMSBY (AUS) 69-68

138 - Kieran PRATT (AUS) 70-68, Jake HIGGINBOTTOM (AUS) 69-69, HUNG Chien-yao (TPE) 70-68, Ernie ELS (RSA) 68-70, Scott HEND (AUS) 66-72

139 - Chapchai NIRAT (THA) 71-68, Shiv KAPUR (IND) 70-69, Bernd WIESBERGER (AUT) 67-72, Daisuke KATAOKA (JPN) 70-69

Déjà Vu For Rory Hie At Volvo China Open

Tianjin, China, May 3 - Once again Indonesia's top player Rory Hie did not manage to make the cut at the Volvo China Open. In a scenario that mirrors that of last year, a poor second round score saw him drop from 58th after round 1 to the back of the field once again. His final score of 147 (73-74) puts him 3 shots from the cut.

Meanwhile, Finland's Mikko Ilonen, seeking a first victory since winning twice in 2007, fired a record-equaling nine-under-par 63 on Friday to claim a three-shot lead after the second round of the Volvo China Open at Tianjin Binhai Lake Golf Club.

Ilonen is 12 under at the 20 million yuan (U.S. $3.2 million tournament), co-sanctioned by OneAsia and the European Tour, with a pair of more recent winners lurking in the shadows in the form of Australian Brett Rumford and Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who both shot 67s.

Overnight leader Robert-Jan Derksen (70) is a shot further back, while defending champion Branden Grace (67) is three under.

The cut was set at par, also eliminating 12-year-old local wonder boy Ye Wocheng who became the youngest player ever to take part in a OneAsia or European Tour event when he teed off on Thursday. He shot two rounds of 79.

Ilonen, playing the course back-to-front, had a blemish-free-round that included three birdies on his opening nine and six on the way home. He has shot 63 twice before, and his score equalled the course record set by Swede Alexander Noren at the same event last year.

"I hit the ball better than yesterday. Obviously 69 yesterday was a good score and it was a bit breezier, but I gave myself more chances today -- hit more greens and hit more fairways. It was a very stress-free round today," he said.

He credited a six week spell away from home during the off season with helping him prepare better for 2013.

"I went away with my family in December to Thailand, to Black Mountain (Golf Course), for five to six weeks before the season started. Compared to a year ago it was a lot of good preparation in a facility where you can hit balls outdoors."

Rumford dedicated his round to caddy, John "Ronnie" Roberts, who marked his 67th birthday on Friday and has overseen something of a renaissance in the Australian's career since taking over his bag in December.

"Each player has their own motivation, I guess, and that varies from day-to-day," said Rumford, who ended a five-year drought with victory in the European Tour's Ballantine's Championship in Korea last week.

"It was in my mind at the beginning of the day that it would be nice to shoot 67 on Ronnie's 67th birthday. Tomorrow I'll have to find something different to motivate me."

Kiradech, who won his first European Tour event at the Malaysian Open in March, missed only one green in regulation despite the wind around the long, links-style course, which played to 6,749 metres (7,381 yards) on Friday.

"My driver has done very well for the first two days," he said.

"I talked to my coach last night and he said I have to keep the ball low, and if you miss, miss on the right side. If you miss on the easy side, you can still get up and down, you can still have a mistake and recover."

Pre-teen Ye was somewhat overwhelmed by the course's length and the wind, but still found positives from the experience.

"Golf is a hard game to play at this level of competition and on these courses, but I feel I will soon be ready for it," he said. "I’m looking forward to the next time I can play out here."

His 16-year-old compatriot Dou Zecheng, however, made the cut after shooting level par on Friday to go with his opening round 70.

"I feel great to have achieved that," he said. "Now I will enjoy my game through the weekend. I am not thinking too much about the score, just trying my best and getting more experience."

Scores after round two of the Volvo China Open 2013 (Par 72):

132 - Mikko ILONEN (FIN) 69-63

135 - Brett RUMFORD (AUS) 68-67, Kiradech APHIBARNRAT (THA) 68-67

136 - Robert-Jan DERKSEN (NED) 66-70

137 - Pablo LARRAZABAL (ESP) 71-66, Lee SLATTERY (ENG) 69-68

138 - Matthew GRIFFIN (AUS) 70-68, Graeme STORM (ENG) 70-68

139 - Mark FOSTER (ENG) 70-69, Richie RAMSAY (SCO) 71-68, Paul CASEY (ENG) 71-68, PARK Sang-hyun (KOR) 69-70, Aaron TOWNSEND (AUS) 69-70, Joel SJOHOLM (SWE) 74-65, Damien McGRANE (IRL) 73-66

Selected:

147 - Rory HIE (INA) 73-74

Andik Mauludin Only Local Player Into The Weekend At CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters

All but one of the Indonesian players failed to make the cut for the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters held this week at Royale Jakarta Golf Club. Similar to the Enjoy Jakarta PGA Championship held a few weeks ago at Emeralda Golf Club, Andik Mauludin was the only player who made the cut that was set at 2-over in this Asian Tour event.

Junaidi Ibrahim, the best local player in round 1 with 72, needed 10 strokes more for his second round causing him to drop to a multi-tie for 120th.

Amateur Kevin C. Akbar, who had the worst score by any local player at the first day with 83, took revenge today with a stellar performance, scoring 5 birdies and 2 bogeys in the process. His second round 70 was the best round of any Indonesian player during the first two days, indicating that we may hear a lot more from this player in the future.

High expectations for a weekend performance for George Gandranata did not materialize, as his second round sore of 82 had him finish in a tie for just 140th place.

Scores for the Indonesian players after round 2 of the CIMB NIAGA Indonesian Masters (Par 72, A denotes amateur):

145 - Andik MAULUDIN (INA) 73 72

Missed cut:

147 - Benny KASIADI (INA) 76 71

148 - Nasin SURACHMAN (INA) 75 73, Heri Kurniasandi (INA) 74 74

151 - Denny A. WIJAYA (INA) 73 78

152 - Adi BRAMANTYO (A) (INA) 76 76

153 - Maan NASIM (INA) 79 74, Hamzah RACHMADI (INA) 78 75, Kevin C. AKBAR (A) (INA) 83 70

154 - Jamel ONDO (INA) 78 76, Ramadhan ALWIE (INA) 78 76, Junaidi IBRAHIM (INA) 72 82

155 - Jordan IRAWAN (A) (INA) 79 76

156 - Ian ANDREW (INA) 80 76, Hendri NASIM (INA) 76 80, Ilyasyak (INA) 75 81

157 - Ade SEBUL (INA) 78 79, HARDJITO (INA) 77 80, Aditya NOVANTO (A) (INA) 76 81

159 - George GANDRANATA (INA) 77 82

162 - Andi Atmo (INA) 77 85

167 - Sandro BERNAD (INA) 80 87

171 - Cahyo ADHITOMO (A) (INA) 81 90

(81) - Indra HERMAWAN (INA) 81 WDN

CIMB Niaga Extends Indonesian Masters Sponsorship

Jakarta, May 3 - The CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters is set to feature prominently on the Asian Tour Schedule for another three years after the event received further backing from title sponsor, CIMB Niaga, organisers announced on Friday.

The commitment from CIMB Niaga will ensure that the full field Asian Tour event continues to be staged on the region’s premier Tour until 2016. CIMB Niaga also committed to bring international stars in every edition.

Since making its debut in 2011, the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters has grown into Indonesia’s most prestigious international golf tournament that is sanctioned by the Asian Tour, which is celebrating its 10th season this year.

Over the years, the event has attracted a stellar field including Lee Westwood, a two-time Indonesian Masters champion, Darren Clarke, Ernie Els and the top Asian Tour stars.

Arwin Rasyid, President Director of CIMB Niaga Tbk is delighted to witness the growing stature of the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters and is confident that the event will continue to enjoy further success.

"Our commitment towards the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters underscores the success of the tournament to date and we’re confident that it will continue to grow as one of the premier sporting event in Indonesia,” said Arwin.

"We are delighted to have CIMB Niaga sign on as our Title Sponsor for another three years. It has been a pleasure working together with them for the past two years and we look forward to growing the tournament in the years to come. Our goal from the start was to establish an Asian Tour event in Indonesia that would become one of the most prestigious international golf tournament in the region." said Grant Slack, Director, Indonesian Masters PTE LTD, the event's promoter.

Asian Tour Executive Chairman Kyi Hla Han said the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters will continue to form part of the strong Asian Tour Schedule that showcase the best talents from the Tour.

“I would like to express our fullest appreciation to CIMB Niaga who has taken every effort to further raise the profile of this wonderful event to the world. As a full-field Asian Tour tournament, our talented members will continue to be given the opportunity to compete against many of world’s best players,” said Han.

Sukajadi Batam 3rd Anniversary Tournament

Padang Golf Sukajadi Batam will have their 3rd Anniversary & Grand Opening Tournament on Saturday, 22 June 2013. There will be a double Shot Gun start at 06.30am and 13.00pm WIB.
Playing format is System 36 handicapping.

Tournament fees

Member: Rp. 600.000,-
Guest Morning : Rp. 1.200.000,-
Guest Afternoon : Rp. 1.400.000,-
Inclusive: Green fee, Caddy & buggy sharing, Goodie bag, Lunch & Dinner

Many prizes to be won, including: Lucky Draw, Grand Prize 2 Unit Motorcycle. Hole In One prizes 2 Unit Car and 1 Life Time Membership PGS

Further Information & registration:

Padang Golf Sukajadi Batam
Tlp. 0778 8073008 Fax : 0778 8073088
Email: sales@padanggolfsukajadi.com or receptionist@padanggolfsukajadi.com

Jakarta Highland Gathering Charity Golf Tournament

As part of the 34th Jakarta Highland Gathering, the charity golf tournament will be held once again to raise funds to support some of the charitable projects to help the community.

The details for this tournament are:
When:Thursday 23 May 2013
Where:Imperial Klub Golf
Lippo Village, Karawaci
Programme:Registration starts from 11am
Shotgun start at 12 noon
Format:4 Man Team Texas Scramble
Price:Rp 850,000/person
Rp 3,000,000/team of 4
:(including light lunch, drinks on course, dinner, awards & giveaway prizes)

Jakarta Highland Gathering 2013 selected Charities are:
  1. Wisma Cheshire (Services for people with disabilities)
  2. Yayasan Rawinala (School for children with multiple disabilities including vision impairment)
  3. The Foundation for Mother and Child Health
Register your team now to play in this fun golf day and give to people in need!

Golf Events Indonesia

Tel. (62-21) 5793 6315 - 16
Fax. (62-21) 5793 6316
E-mail : info@golfeventsindonesia.com

Rory Hie Looking For Redemption At Volvo China Open

TIANJIN, China, May 2 - Robert-Jan Derksen made light of stiff winds to shoot a six-under-par 66 for a two-shot lead after the opening round of the Volvo China Open at Tianjin Binhai Lake Golf Club on Thursday.

The tall Dutchman shrugged off two early bogeys with eight birdies around the links-style course to stamp his mark on the 20 million yuan (around U.S. $3.2 million) tournament, co-sanctioned by OneAsia and the European Tour.

Thai Kiradech Aphibarnrat, France's Raphael Jacquelin and Australian Brett Rumford -- winners on the European Tour already this season -- had a share of second place, while six players were bunched a shot further back.

Defending champion Branden Grace, seeking to become the first person to lift the title for a second time and against a field that boasts six other former winners posted a 74.

"It was a funny day because I started well with a birdie from about five feet but then three-putted the third and fourth and ended up in three divots on the fairways later in the round," said Derksen.

"But I made a lot of birdies (coming home), and I’ve ended the day in a really good position. I started making a few putts and my confidence lifted."

Derksen, 39, began his professional career in Asia in 1999 and has enjoyed a chequered career in Europe ever since, having to return to Q-School five times and bouncing between the Challenge Tour and the flagship circuit.

He famously beat Ernie Els by a stroke to win the Dubai Desert Classic in 2003, but his only other win came at the Maderia Island Open two years later.
"It’s only the first day, I know, but I haven’t led a tournament for quite a while, so if I can keep rolling-in the putts, hopefully we could be in for a good week", he said.

The trio in second place has shown far more recent European Tour form.

Rumford won the Ballantine's Championship in Korea last week, Jacquelin claimed the Open de España in Valenica a fortnight ago and Kiradech grabbed his first European Tour title at the Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur in March.

"Mentally I feel nice and fresh -- and obviously it was a bit of a mental grind out there with the wind," said Rumford.

"You had to be really patient, so it was a good test for the first round back after my victory last week. It's just a matter of 'keep doing what you're doing'.

"I was quite lucky on the front nine as there wasn't a lot of wind," said Kiradech, who was one of the early starters before the breeze picked up. "With this type of wind … it isn't suited for us (big hitters). The good way to play this course is to know how to control the ball and keep it low."

Jacquelin was delighted with his blemish-free round after missing a cut in Korea last week following the high of winning a marathon nine-hole playoff the week before.

"It’s a great start. Any time you have no bogeys and four birdies, it’s always a good day," he said.

"It’s fairly wide open so it’s not too difficult off the tee, but if you do miss the fairway you can find yourself in trouble because it can be difficult to pick the right line for your second shot."

Twelve-year-old Chinese amateur Ye Wechong, who after striking his opening drive firmly down the middle of the fairway became the youngest player ever to take part in a OneAsia or European Tour event, struggled in the conditions and finished with a 79.

His 16-year-old fellow qualifier Dou Zecheng, however, shot an impressive 70.

Ye said he was proud to have broken the age record set only last year by countryman Guan Tianlang, who made history last month by becoming the youngest player to take part in the U.S. Masters -- making the cut to boot.

Ye seems to be following in Guan's footsteps in more ways than one, as he also came under time pressure during his round on Thursday. Guan was docked a shot for taking too long during the second round at Augusta.

"I was a little nervous when I teed off but I tried to forget the nerves," he said. "(Then) the referee timed me... and warned me to play more quickly. I was affected a little -- Guan Tianlang was penalized as well. I will pay more attention to this.

The six players sharing fifth place are Park Sang-hyun (Korea), Aaron Townsend and Terry Pilkadaris (Australia), Mikko Ilonen (Finland), Lee Slattery (England) and Paul Lawrie (Scotland).

Indonesia's number one player Rory Hie, who for the second year in a row chose to play in China instead of the Indonesian Masters going on this same week in his home country, completed the first round in one-over 73, which puts him in a tie for 58th place. This must bring back memories from last year when he missed the cut here after scoring 72 in the first round followed by a 74. Hence he'll need a solid round tomorrow to avoid this happening again.

Scores after round one (Par 72, am denotes amateur):

66 - Robert-Jan DERKSEN (NED)

68 - Kiradech APHIBARNRAT (THA), Raphael JACQUELIN (FRA), Brett RUMFORD (AUS)

69 - PARK Sang-hyun (KOR), Aaron TOWNSEND (AUS), Mikko ILONEN (FIN), Lee SLATTERY (ENG), Terry PILKADARIS (AUS), Paul LAWRIE (SCO)

70 - Garrett SAPP (USA), Mark FOSTER (ENG), DOU Ze-cheng (am, CHN), Stephen GALLACHER (SCO), YAN Bin (CHN), Alexander NOREN (SWE), Thomas BJORN (DEN), Alvaro QUIROS (ESP), Estanislao GOYA (ARG), S S P CHOWRASIA (IND), Ricardo SANTOS (POR), Matthew GRIFFIN (AUS), Matthew BALDWIN (ENG), Graeme STORM (ENG), LEE Hyung-joon (KOR)

Selected:

73 - Rory HIE (INA)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Slow Start For Indonesian Players At CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters

Jakarta, May 2 - Scott Hend of Australia continued his dominant run on the Asian Tour when he shot an opening round six-under-par 66 to share the clubhouse lead with Hwang Inn-choon of Korea at the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters on Thursday.

Reigning Open Championship winner Ernie Els of South Africa was also in the mix with his effort of 68 at the US$750,000 Asian Tour event which is staged at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club.

Bernd Wiesberger of Austria, who finished tied seventh last year, fired 67 for third place while Adilson Da Silva of Brazil and Asian Tour rookie David Lutterus of Australia shared fourth with Els.

Hend, known for his come-from-behind victories, was delighted to be in position to win his second Asian Tour title this season after his triumph at the Chiangmai Golf Classic in March.

“I’m in a good position. The scores are going to be low this week so I’ve got to keep grinding those numbers and add that into a good score,” said the big-hitting Australian, who won his first Asian Tour title in Indonesia in 2008.

“I think because of how wet it is from the rain last night and the ball’s not rolling very far. We (big hitters) have an advantage over the other guys who may have a shorter iron hitting into the greens but you still have to get those putts into the hole.”

He got off to a fast start with three straight birdies from 12 but his charge came to a halt when he double bogeyed five which was swiftly erased with an eagle two on the next hole.

“Got a bit unlucky and hit an average drive and chipped out from the rough where I hit into the cart path which went into an unplayable lie and took a double bogey. But you know what these things happen in golf and got straight back into business with an eagle,” said Hend.

Korea’s Hwang, who won on the Asian Tour in 2008, put his new putter to good use when he birdied four out of his closing five holes for the share of the lead.

“I wasn’t putting good enough but on Wednesday I decided to go to the pro-shop to buy a new Odyssey putter. It felt so good and that’s why I’m putting so well this week!” he smiled.

“I’m very happy because my putting was so good and I hit a lot of drives on the fairways. I like to play on this golf course because it has very good fairways and fast greens,” added Hwang.

A return to Asia has brought out the best out of four-time Major champion Els, who finished tied 13th at the Masters Tournament and placed 15th on the PGA Tour on Sunday.

“I’m starting to feel more comfortable with my game. The last time I played in Chiangmai, I wasn’t too comfortable with my game. I played okay at the Masters Tournament and had a nice week at New Orleans. I feel that things are starting to come around so I got to thank the Asian Tour for getting my game back in shape. I like playing out here,” said Els.

Of the Indonesian players Junaidi Ibrahim had the best round. An even par 72 puts him in a share of 52nd place for the day, one shot ahead of Denny A. Wijaya and Andik Mauludin, who are both tied for 73rd place. Best amateurs are Adi Bramantyo and Aditya Novanto, who both went around the course in 76 strokes.

Meanwhile George Gandranata will have to battle hard tomorrow if he wants to make the cut, as his first round 77 puts him already 5 shots behind the projected cut off. This is however true for all Indonesian players, as based on today's results only one player would have made the cut, and just by a hair, so hopefully tomorrow they all will improve their game and more local players get to play the final 2 rounds.

Results of the first round of the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters at Royale Jakarta Golf Club (A denotes amateur):

66 - HWANG Inn-choon (KOR), Scott HEND (AUS)

67 - Bernd WIESBERGER (AUT)

68 - Adilson Da SILVA (BRA), Ernie ELS (RSA), David LUTTERUS (AUS), Jason KNUTZON (USA), Scott BARR (AUS), Arnond VONGVANIJ (THA), Unho PARK (AUS)

Selected:

72 - Junaidi IBRAHIM (INA)

73 - Denny A. WIJAYA (INA), Andik MAULUDIN (INA)

74 - Heri Kurniasandi (INA), Johannes DERMAWAN (INA)

75 - Ilyasyak (INA), Nasin SURACHMAN (INA)

76 - Adi BRAMANTYO (A) (INA), Aditya NOVANTO (A) (INA), Benny KASIADI (INA), Hendri NASIM (INA)

77 - George GANDRANATA (INA), HARDJITO (INA), Andi Atmo (INA)

78 - Ramadhan ALWIE (INA), Hamzah RACHMADI (INA), Jamel ONDO (INA), Ade SEBUL (INA)

79 - Jordan IRAWAN (A) (INA), Maan NASIM (INA)

80 - Ian ANDREW (INA), Sandro BERNAD (INA)

81 - Indra HERMAWAN (INA), Cahyo ADHITOMO (A) (INA)

83 - Kevin C. Akbar (A) (INA)

Els Wary Of Asian Challenge At The CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters

Jakarta, May 1 - Reigning Open Championship winner Ernie Els of South Africa believes his next biggest challenge will come from Asian players when he makes his debut at the US$750,000 CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters starting on Thursday.

The South African nicknamed the “Big Easy”, has enjoyed more than 60 victories worldwide but as the sport continues to enjoy unprecedented growth on the Asian Tour, the current world number 24 knows the competition is only going to get tougher.

“I had a few offers to play all around the world but I feel that coming to Asia is a good call. I like going around the world as an Open champion and taking the game everywhere and playing with guys that are coming through. I feel that Asia is a market where these guys are eventually going to become top players,” said Els, who finished tied 15th on the PGA Tour on Sunday.

The reigning Open Championship winner registered tied 13th at the Masters Tournament in April with the long putter and hopes to carry the momentum into this week’s full field Asian Tour event staged at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club.

Els headlines the third edition of the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters alongside Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland, three-time Asian Tour winner Anirban Lahiri of India and Scott Hend of Australia, who won the Chiangmai Golf Classic in March.

“I went to Augusta with a long putter and I actually played quite well. While it is good, I’ll go with it and if they change the rules then I’ll go back to the short putter. I like to get to the short putter but I’m putting so nicely with the long putter,” said Els.

“I was so concentrated of getting ready for the Masters that I put all my energy in the long putter so I don’t see any reason why I should change putters,” added the 43-year-old, who helped the Habitat for Humanity, a charity organization, raise funds to build more than two homes for the underprivileged in a charity dinner on Tuesday night.

Meanwhile Lahiri continues his search for a first Asian Tour win outside of India as his previous three victories came from play-off triumphs on home soil.

“I have the game to win anywhere, whether it’s India, Indonesia or Malaysia or even in Europe. For me, the focus is to go out there, enjoy my golf and just stick to the basics and keep it in play,” said Lahiri, who recorded fifth position in last year’s edition.

“The moment we get onto the golf course, we’re not thinking about factors like whether I’ve won here or there, it just trying to hit the best possible shot and focus on what you need to do. That’s really critical for all of us, whether we come here or any other country.”

Hend, who took a three-week break from golf after his win in Chiangmai, hopes to return to winning ways in the country where he won his first Asian Tour title at the 2008 Indonesian President Invitational.

“I flew straight back to Florida after winning in Chiangmai and played soccer with my son on the front yard every day! There was no time to watch the television. I didn’t touch the sticks for three weeks but pulled them out just in time for the Ballantine’s Championship last week.

“I had to do some serious range work in the cold last week. It is nice to be in the warmth here because it takes five minutes to warm up instead of an hour!” said the big-hitting Australia.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

24 Indonesian Players Ready To Take On International Field At CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters

Jakarta, 1 May 2013 - Tomorrow morning, when the 3rd edition of the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters goes underway, there will be 24 Indonesians doing their best to shine in the shadow of golfing greats like Ernie Els, Darren Clarke, Bernd Wiesberger or Thongchai Jaidee. Even though that odds of winning are against them, the past has shown that local players can pose a serious challenge with Rory Hie twice finishing second in big tournaments on home soil.

The Indonesian PGA has 20 players represented, being Andik Mauludin, George Gandranata, Maan Nasim, Benny Kasiadi, Indra Hermanwan, J. Dermawan, Junaidi Ibrahim, Denny A. Wijaya, Hendry Nasim, Ilyassyak, Jamel Ondo, Hardjito, Ramadhan Alwie, Roby Sugara, Andi Atmo, Ade Sebul, Heri Kurniasandi, Hamzah Rachmadi, Nasin Surachman and Ian Andrew.

Meanwhile PGI (Indonesian Golf Association) has selected 4 amateur players to participate. They are Kevin C. Akbar, Aditya Novanto, Cahyo Adhitomo and Adi Bramantyo.

We wish all the Indonesian players a successful tournament and we'll keep a close eye on them, hopefully all the way through to the final on Sunday. Everyone who wants to cheer on the 'local boys' is encouraged to come to Royale Jakarta Golf Club to see how they are doing. Proceeds of ticket sales go to Habitat for Humanity Indonesia, so your presence will not only support the Indonesian players, but also the lesser privileged through Habitat's projects.

We hope to see you all there.

Gandranata Blog: Thank You CIMB Niaga!

Jakarta, April 30 - Asian Development Tour's George Gandranata hopes to raise local cheers when he takes on the Asian Tour stars and Major champions Ernie Els and Darren Clarke at the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters. In this latest blog, he talks about handling the pressure and promoting golf tourism in Indonesia.

By George Gandranata

The course is in terrific shape. The roughs are high. The course is playing tighter so I think it will be an interesting week. This is one of the best, maybe the best, golf course in Indonesia. Hopefully it will be a fun week for me.

I’ve played in all the Asian Development Tour (ADT) events so far. I learned a lot from there and my game has improved from last year. I understand how professional golf is different compared to amateur golf now. I feel like I have a good chance to play well here.

The course is long and obviously it doesn’t suit my game because I hit it short and straight. But I’m going to rely on my short game. Those are the two aspects of my game that is my strength. I hope that I play well this week. Your goal is always to play as good as you can.

It means a lot to play at home. I’m thankful these guys (Ernie Els and Darren Clarke) are here. They will help expose golf in Indonesia to the world. They will show that Indonesia is a golfing destination and that we have fantastic courses here. It will be good for the game and everyone.

By having tournaments like this, the game of golf will grow and there will be more professional events because sponsors will be willing to come and say ‘Hey this is a good emerging market.’

Hopefully the golf fans will come out this week and support the local and star players. As a player, I’m glad and happy that CIMB Niaga and the Asian Tour worked together to invite these guys and make this tournament into a world class event.

Pressure is always there whenever you play professional golf. The hardest pressure usually comes from yourself. I learnt from my rookie year that pressure is pressure so whatever you do, it will always be there. My goal this week is to do as well as I can. A top-10 will be a great goal for me. I’m going to play one shot at a time then we will see how it goes.

Arnond Wants To Erase 'Silly Mistakes' At CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters

Jakarta, April 30 - Thai rising star Arnond Vongvanij wants to keep the ‘silly mistakes’ off his scorecard when he vies for a second Asian Tour title at the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters which starts on Thursday.

The pint-sized golfer will search for honors against an elite field which includes four-time Major champion Ernie Els of South Africa, three-time Order of Merit winner Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand and 2011 Open Championship winner Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland.

Arnond was the joint halfway leader in the last week’s Asian Tour event in Korea but eventually finished in tied 26th place. He hopes to learn from that experience and bounce back in the third edition of the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters.

“I learnt a lot last week. Being in contention in Korea gave me a perspective of what I need to do when I’m in contention in a big event. I just made easy mistakes which I shouldn’t have. This week, I’m going to focus and be more careful so I don’t make silly mistakes,” said the 24-year-old.

Playing at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club will bring back some fond memories for Arnond, who was two shots off the lead in the first round before settling for tied 27th.

“I played quite well here on the first day so I’m looking forward to this week. Like any other course, you need to hit a lot fairways and greens,” he said.

He won his first Asian Tour title at the 2012 King’s Cup on home soil last year but admits that he has been trying to cope with the pressure to win his second Asian Tour victory.

“I was putting too much pressure on myself to do well. That didn’t work out too well because I started to get too tense. I wasn’t enjoying the game as much and I didn’t get the results which I wanted. I’m just trying to enjoy the game and have fun,” said Arnond.

“I’ve started to enjoy the game again after Chiangmai. I played well in Chiangmai and in the Philippines but I didn’t make any putts. I continued to play well in Korea so it shows that my game plan is coming along pretty good.”

Thongchai, holder of three Order of Merit titles and winner of the 2009 Indonesian Open, finished tied sixth in Korea on Sunday and hopes to carry the momentum into the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters.

“It will be very challenging but I have a good chance to win this tournament. I’m going to try to win it. I always enter a tournament with the thought that I can win. I guess that’s the key to my success so far,” said Thongchai, a 13-time Asian Tour champion.

He is wary of the strong challenges this week especially from the upcoming Thai stars. “The young Thais are playing well. It is good for my country. They have been performing well in the big events and you see them on the leaderboard almost every week. It is a good thing.”