Thursday, October 31, 2013

Indonesia Open Plays Major Role In Developing Talent Says Rory Hie

Jakarta, October 30 - Rory Hie, Indonesia’s number one golfer who recently confirmed his participation at the 2013 Indonesia Open, believes the prestigious championship plays a major role in developing local and regional talents and keeps the sport front of mind amongst the general public in his home country.

Having turned professional in 2008 after a successful amateur career, the 25-year-old is beginning to make his mark on the Asian Tour and hopes to mount a serious challenge at the Pantai Indah Kapuk course at Damai Indah Golf from November 28 to December 1. He hopes by doing well, he can raise the profile of golf in Indonesia and inspire more of his fellow countrymen to take up the sport.

“The Indonesia Open is our National Championship and it is my Major of the year. This event has been around for a very long time so it has a lot of history and heritage associated with it and people do take note on who are playing, so it definitely creates a lot of interest. I hope I can keep playing well, and hopefully kids will look at golf as a fun sport, and take it up professionally.

“The Indonesia Open does a lot to develop up-and-coming talents. For many of the local young players, this event provides the best opportunity for them to compete with, and learn from, the very best in the world. I have learned a lot from being in contention at the Indonesia Open two years ago and it was a priceless experience for me because it certainly helped me get to where I am today with my career,” Hie added.

Joining Hie at this year’s Indonesia Open will be two-time Major champion Retief Goosen, three-time Tour winner Pablo Larrazabal and 2009 Indonesia Open winner Thongchai Jaidee.

Fans from around the world can enjoy these world class golfers in action in Jakarta through television coverage that will be broadcast live 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.

Arifin Panigoro, Chairman of PGI, said: “We are less than a month away from the Indonesia Open and the countdown to this exciting event is really on now. We are delighted with the quality of the field and it is always exciting to have a Major Champion and a local hero in the line up. TV coverage for the tournament is truly global this year, which means fans from around the world will not only be able to see top class golf action but also the true beauty of Jakarta as a city.”

Established in 1974, the US$750,000 event 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, PT. Indofood Sukses Makmur Tbk, JS Luwansa, Bintang, Subway, Danone, Srixon and Maui Jim.

For more details on the 2013 Indonesia Open, please visit the official tournament website or its Facebook page

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Strong Final Round For Kurnia Herishandy At PGM-ASEAN PGA Negeri Sembilan Masters

Seremban, Malaysia, October 26 - Thailand’s Kwanchai Tannin cemented his position at the top of the ASEAN PGA Tour Order of Merit after claiming his second title of the season at the PGM-ASEAN PGA Negeri Sembilan Masters today.

Kwanchai, aged 27, had a one shot lead over his teenage compatriot Rattanon Wannasrichan at the start of the day at Seremban International Golf Club.

In a thrilling final day they both carded six-under-par 66s giving the title to Kwanchai with a winning score of 18-under-par 270.

Singapore’s Choo Tze Huang was also very much in the hunt and shot a 67 to finish three behind Kwanchai.

Indonesia's Kurnia Herishandy was able to improve from yesterday, and with a round of 71 he gained a few places to finish in a share of 43rd on the leaderboard.

The event was the eighth leg on the 2013 ASEAN PGA Tour and the third to be jointly sanctioned with the PGM Tour.

Kwanchai won the Singha Pattaya Open in April and following his victory in Malaysia, worth US$9,677, he leads the Merit list with earnings of US$34,426.

He is US$10,732 ahead of second placed Namchok Tantipokhakul from Thailand who tied for 11th – a fine performance considering he opened with a 79.

Kwanchai and 18-year-old Rattanon were tied at the turn, with the latter buoyed by an eagle on the par-five sixth.

However, Rattanon made a double-bogey five on the par-three 12th to hand the lead back to Kwanchai ,which he did not surrender again.

Kwanchai is enjoying an outstanding season as he was also fourth in the Luang Prabang Laos Open and third in the Singha Chiangmai Open.

Choo caught fire with four birdies in a row from the third to mount a challenge but was unable to catch the Thai front runners.

His countryman Mardan Mamat returned a 68 to end outright fourth.

Leading Final Round results (Par 72):

270 - Kwanchai Tannin (THA) 67 68 69 66

271 - Rattanon Wannasrichan (THA) 71 65 69 66

273 - Choo Tze Huang (SIN) 68 69 69 67

275 - Mardan Mamat (SIN) 69 71 67 68

276 - Mohd Zurie Harun (MAS) 70 68 68 70

277 - Koh Dengshan (SIN) 71 71 66 69

278 - Iylia Jamil (MAS) 67 72 71 68

279 - Mars Pucay (PHI) 73 67 70 69, Mohd Sukree Othman (MAS) 68 73 67 71, Mohd Azman Basharudin (MAS) 72 68 66 73


294 - Kurnia Herishandy (INA) 78 70 75 71

Indonesia Open 2013 Amateur Qualifying

The 'Indonesia Open 2013 Amateur Qualifying' will be held at Damai Indah Golf, Pantai Indah Kapuk Course from 11 until 13 November 2013.

Terms & Conditions

  • Open to Indonesian nationality amateur golfers with maximum handicap 7 from black tees.
  • Playing format is 54 holes stroke play.
  • No carts or other transport allowed, except with permission of the committee.
  • Players are not allowed to bring their own caddies.
  • Clubs and balls used must conform to R&A rules.
  • The tournament will be played under rules of the R&A, competition rules and additional local rules made by the Organizing Committee for the whole competition.
  • Daily start 06.30WIB (first tee-off).
  • Maximum number of players is 40. Players will be entered on a 'first come, first serve' base.


  • Monday, 11 November: Round 1
  • Tuesday, 12 November: Round 2
  • Wednesday 13 November: Round 3


  • Players must register by filling registration form and return to PB PGI. d/a Gedung MEDCO I, Jalan Ampera Raya No. 18-20, Jakarta, fax (021) 78841215 or email
  • Registration closes on Wednesday 6 November at 15.00WIB.
  • Registration fee is IDR 850,000, which includes lunches during tournament.
  • Registration fee excludes caddy fee (IDR 120,000 per round) and caddy tip.
For complete rules and registration form you can contact the organizing committee or send an email to us at

Friday, October 25, 2013

Kurnia Herishandy Struggling At PGM-ASEAN PGA Negeri Sembilan Masters

Seremban, Malaysia, October 25 - Thailand’s Kwanchai Tannin, the young man once dubbed the next Boonchu Ruangkit, maintained his lead in the PGM-ASEAN PGA Negeri Sembilan Masters today.

His third round three-under-par 69 gave him a one shot lead over compatriot Rattanon Wannasrichan, who also shot 69, at Seremban International Golf Club.

Kwanchai leads the US$60,000 event on 12-under-par 204.

Singapore’s Choo Tze Huang is tied for third, two off the lead, after firing 69, along with Malaysia’s Mohd Azman Basharudin (66), and Mohd Zurie Harun (68).

Kurnia Herishandy from Indonesia couldn't repeat yesterday's performance and had to be content with a round of 75, leaving him in a current share of 47th at 7-over-par.

The event is the eighth leg on the 2013 ASEAN PGA Tour and the third to be jointly sanctioned with the PGM Tour.

ASEAN PGA Tour Order of Merit leader Kwanchai won the Singha Pattaya Open in April for his second ASEAN PGA title.

He birdied two out of the last three holes to nudge ahead.

The 27 year old turned professional in 2006 after a stellar amateur career. He has taken time to adjust to life in the professional ranks but is steadily rising through the ranks and mastering golf’s complicated paradigms.

He leads the Merit list with earnings of US$24,748. He was also fourth the in the Luang Prabang Laos Open and third in the Singha Chiangmai Open.

Singapore’s Mardan Mamat carded a 67 and is hovering ominously in joint sixth place three off the lead.

First round leader S. Siva Chandhran from Malaysia, who claimed the 2010 Negeri Sembilan Masters Invitational here at Seremban International by 12 strokes, slipped back with a 77 and is nine shots off the pace.

Leading Third Round results (Par 72):

204 - Kwanchai Tannin (THA) 67 68 69

205 - Rattanon Wannasrichan (THA) 71 65 69

206 - Mohd Azman Basharudin (MAS) 72 68 66, Mohd Zurie Harun (MAS) 70 68 68, Choo Tze Huang (SIN) 68 69 69

207 - Airil Rizman (MAS) 72 70 65, Mardan Mamat (SIN) 69 71 67

208 - Koh Dengshan (SIN) 71 71 66, Mohd Sukree Othman (MAS) 68 73 67, Nicholas Pua (MAS) 68 68 72


223 - Kurnia Herishandy (INA) 78 70 75

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Kurnia Herishandy Fights Back To Make The Cut At PGM-ASEAN PGA Negeri Sembilan Masters

Seremban, Malaysia, October 24 - Kwanchai Tannin showed why he is ranked first on the ASEAN PGA Tour this year after taking the halfway lead in the PGM-ASEAN PGA Negeri Sembilan Masters.

He added a four-under-par 68 to his opening 67 at Seremban International Golf Club to lie on nine-under 135.

The 27-year-old leads by a stroke from overnight leader S. Siva Chandhran (70) and Nicholas Pua (68), both from Malaysia, and Thailand’s Rattanon Wannasrichan (65).

Singapore’s Choo Tze Huang (69) is two off the lead.

Both Indonesian players Kurnia Herishandy (70) and Ian Andrew (71) put in good rounds, but poor first rounds for both means Ian misses the cut by just a single stroke while Kurnia just made it through.

The event is the eighth leg on the 2013 ASEAN PGA Tour and the third to be jointly sanctioned with the PGM Tour.

Kwanchai claimed the Singha Pattaya Open in April and leads the Merit list with earnings of US$24,748. He was also fourth the following week in the Luang Prabang Laos Open and third in the Singha Chiangmai Open.

He peppered his round with seven birdies and three bogies.

The young Thai, the nephew of Prayad Marksaeng and once touted as the new Boonchu Ruangkit, also tasted victory in the 2009 Mercedes-Benz Masters Indonesia on the ASEAN PGA Tour.

A back nine of two under meant Siva stayed in the hunt.

Siva claimed the 2010 Negeri Sembilan Masters Invitational here at Seremban International by 12 strokes after leading from start to finish and the 34-year-old from Kuala Lumpur will look to draw on those memories over the next two days.

Singapore’s Mardan Mamat, already a winner this year in the PGM-ASEAN PGA A'Famosa Masters in May, shot 71 and is five behind Kwanchai.

Leading Second Round Scores (Par 72):

135 - Kwanchai Tannin (THA) 67 68

136 - Nicholas Pua (MAS) 68 68, S Siva Chandhran (MAS) 66 70, Rattanon Wannasrichan (THA) 71 65

137 - Choo Tze Huang (SIN) 68 69

138 - Akhmal Tarmizee (MAS) 68 70, Mohd Zurie Harun (MAS) 70 68

139 - Kenneth De Silva (MAS) 71 68, Iylia Jamil (MAS) 67 72


148 - Kurnia Herishandy (INA) 78 70

149 - Ian Andrew (INA) 78 71

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Difficult Start For Kurnia Herishandy And Ian Andrew At PGM-ASEAN PGA Negeri Sembilan Masters

Seremban, Malaysia, October 23 - Malaysian S. Siva Chandhran took the lead after the opening round of the PGM-ASEAN PGA Negeri Sembilan Masters today with a six-under-par 66, and based on precedent he may be very hard to catch this week.

Siva claimed the 2010 Negeri Sembilan Masters Invitational here at Seremban International Golf Club by 12 strokes after leading from start to finish.

The 34-year-old from Kuala Lumpur once again showed his love of the layout by nailing seven birdies, including on 17 and 18, to lead by a stroke from compatriot Iylia Jamil and Thailand’s Kwanchai Tannin - the current leader of the ASEAN PGA Tour Order of Merit.

Siva has not tasted victory this year but since turning professional in 2006 he is a multiple winner of Malaysian domestic titles.
v The event is the eighth leg on the 2013 ASEAN PGA Tour and the third to be jointly sanctioned with the PGM Tour.

Singapore’s Choo Tze Huang is tied for third after a 68 along with Malaysians Akhmal Tarmizee, Mohd Sukree Othman, and Nicholas Pua.

One of the pre-tournament favourites Mardan Mamat from Singapore, winner of the PGM-ASEAN PGA A'Famosa Masters in May, came in with a 69.

Both Kurnia Herishandy and Ian Andrew from Indonesia completed the first round at 6-over-par 78, sharing 60th place in the field of 79 players.

Thailand’s Namchok Tantipokhakul, who is second on the Merit list, shot a disappointing 79.

Leading First Round Scores (Par 72):

66 - S Siva Chandhran (MAS)

67 - Kwanchai Tannin (THA), Iylia Jamil (MAS)

68 - Akhmal Tarmizee (MAS) , Choo Tze Huang (SIN) , Mohd Sukree Othman (MAS) , Nicholas Pua (MAS)

69 - Nattapong Putta (THA) , Ratchapol Jantavara (THA) , Mardan Mamat (SIN) , Keegan Kam (MAS)


78 - Kurnia Herishandy (INA), Ian Andrew (INA)

Sunday, October 20, 2013

George Gandranata's Charge Stopped On Last Day Of Venetian Macao Open

Macau, October 20 - Australian Scott Hend hit the jackpot for the third time this season as he cruised to a commanding three-stroke victory at the Venetian Macau Open on Sunday.

With an overnight four-shot lead, the big-hitting Hend comfortably held off the chasing pack at the Macau Golf and Country Club, closing with a four-under-par 67 to for a 16-under-par 268 total to add to his triumphs in Chiangmai and Taipei this year.

India’s Anirban Lahiri matched the course record with a blistering nine-under-par 62 for second place while four-time Major champion Ernie Els of South Africa shared third with Elmer Salvador of the Philippines after a 67 and 66 respectively in the US$800,000 Asian Tour tournament.

Both Indonesians in the tournament, George Gandranata (72) and Rory Hie (71), had to be content with a minor role. George dropped a few places when he failed to make birdies where he did manage to the previous days, and Rory gained a few places with even par 4th round, despite a double bogey on the 5th hole.

Hend, who picked up the champion’s cheque of US$144,000, was delighted to extend his magical season after opening his week with a dismal 74 and then going head-to-head with Els over three rounds.

“It’s important to win again this week, for the third time, it feels good. Thursday was a difficult day, mentally and physically. Then on Friday and Saturday, I started holing putts which I haven’t done the whole year even when I won a couple of weeks ago. I’ve holed my fair share this week,” said Hend, who averaged 26.5 putts for the tournament.

“Ernie is one of the best players in the world. I had my own goals and targets and I achieved my goal which was to stay patient, patient, patient. In the first four holes, I didn’t make any birdie. Ernie started to put some heat on me and all of the sudden, I hit a great shot on the fifth for birdie there. It was all about being patient.

“Three wins in a year is definitely the best golf of my career. Who knows what’s going to happen in the next few months. There are some big tournaments coming up and it’ll be nice to perform well in those and be competitive. The year hasn’t finished yet,” added the Aussie, whose victory was his fifth on the Asian Tour.

Els, who turned 44 on Thursday, applied the pressure early on with birdies on two, three and six but a bogey on nine halted his momentum. “It was very frustrating. I started off nicely again and then made a soft bogey on nine. I couldn’t afford any mistakes. I needed to keep the pedal on the metal but I made that mistake and I didn’t play the back nine all that well either. Tough weekend but I think Scott was very strong,” said Els, who was making his debut at the Venetian Macau Open.

“I had four shots to make up and four shots is a lot to make up especially with the caliber of Scott. He deserved to win.”

The 26-year-old Lahiri charged up the leaderboard to finish second, thanks to one eagle and eight birdies as he tied countryman Amandeep Johl’s course mark set in 2004. The Indian star, who has three wins on the Asian Tour, got to within two shots of Hend during the final round but was still delighted with his strong finish.

“I got off to a great start, holed a 30-footer on the first hole. I played really good right from the start. Yesterday was a similar story but I ran into some trouble on the back nine. I’m glad I kept my cool and played solid in the end,” said Lahiri.

“I changed my driver from yesterday. I’ve had major issues controlling the golf ball but I changed my driver and it gave me confidence having a club that I could control better. Hit it close on two to make eagle and kept hitting it close.”

Salvador was delighted to tie Els for third place for his best outing of the year, with a cheque of US$45,200 securing his Tour card for 2014 after starting the week in 73rd place on the Order of Merit.

“I saved many pars and had a good putting day. My driving was a little wild but my irons helped me save a lot of pars. I’m happy that I’ve saved my card for next year. It feels good to be tied with Ernie. He’s a superstar,” said the Filipino.

Scores after round 4 of the Venetian Macau Open 2013 being played at the par 71, 6606 Yards Macau GCC course:

268 – Scott HEND (AUS) 74-64-63-67

271 – Anirban LAHIRI (IND) 73-68-68-62

272 – Elmer SALVADOR (PHI) 70-66-70-66, Ernie ELS (RSA) 71-65-69-67

275 – Antonio LASCUNA (PHI) 71-68-71-65, Daisuke KATAOKA (JPN) 71-66-69-69

276 – Adam GROOM (AUS) 70-69-71-66, SIDDIKUR (BAN) 69-66-70-71


283 - George GANDRANATA (INA) 76-66-69-72

289 - Rory HIE (INA) 71-73-74-71

Saturday, October 19, 2013

George Gandranata Moves Further Up The Leaderboard At Venetian Macao Open

Macau, October 19 - Australian Scott Hend put on a masterclass with a blistering eight-under-par 63 to open up a four-shot lead over Ernie Els of South Africa and Bangladeshi Siddikur after the third round of the Venetian Macau Open on Saturday.

Big-hitting Hend, who has won twice already this season, charged up the leaderboard with an eagle, seven birdies against a lone bogey for a three-day total of 12-under-par 201 in the US$800,000 Asian Tour event.

Four-time Major winner Els battled to a 69 despite a hot start when he birdied two of his opening three holes while overnight leader Siddikur got his wish of playing with the Big Easy after a 70 for a 205 aggregate.

India’s Rahil Gangjee (66), Filipino Elmer Salvador (70), Daisuke Kataoka of Japan (69) and Baek Seuk-hyun of Korea (70 all share fourth place, a further stroke back going into the final 18 holes on Sunday.

George Gandranata put in another solid round of 69, which meant he moved further up the leaderboard and is now in a tie for 21nd, while fellow Indonesian Rory Hie moved further downwards after another disappointing round of 74 puts him in 62nd place at 5-over.

Since opening his campaign with a 74, Hend, who won the Chiangmai Golf Classic presented by PTT and Mercuries Taiwan Masters this year, has been irrepressible, shooting a 64 in the second round and improving by another shot today.

He turned in 29 with an eagle from five feet on the second hole and four birdies before settling for three more birdies against a lone dropped shot at the treacherous par three 17th hole. “Just an extra birdie. Just played a little bit better today. That’s all I can do,” said Hend, who is currently second on the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit.

“I’ve set my goals I want to achieve. If hit my targets, that’s all I can ask. If somebody else goes out and shoots 61 tomorrow, and I don’t shoot a good enough round, then well done to them. I can only control myself and what I do and that’s all I can ask of myself.

“I over engineered a few shots and a few putts. The old adage is ‘Keep It Simple, Stupid’ and that’s pretty much what you’ve got to do out there. Just fairways, greens, and read the putts. Don’t over complicate it.”

Els, who is making his debut at the Venetian Macau Open, started strongly with birdies on two and three but failed to ride on the early momentum, with dropped shots on 14 and 16 preventing him from getting closer to Hend.

But a birdie on 18, which he missed a short birdie putt on Friday, ensured him a spot in the final match with Hend and Siddikur. “I wish I could have done that yesterday. But yeah, that was important … great to play in the last threeball, see what the leader does firsthand,” said Els.

“You just hope you get off to a good start and he doesn’t, and you’re in the game. Or, you’ve got to have a hot finish. So there’s a lot of golf left.

“I felt I was a bit off here and there. I’ve got to go low tomorrow. It seems like Scott is playing really good. I played with him the first two rounds, and he had a tough start the first day, but since then, he’s been on fire. I feel good for the challenge tomorrow. For some reason, I feel I’ve got a good chance.”

Pint-sized Siddikur is relishing a dream final day pairing with his idol, Els. “I’m so excited,” said Siddikur, who turned in 32 but stuttered coming home with a double bogey, bogey and birdie on the card.

“I’m not going to put pressure on myself. I’ve got the experience of playing many times in the leader group. I’m just going to play my own game and that’s probably the best for me. If I can hold the putts, then I may have a chance. I need the putter to get hot. Today, it wasn’t good. Yesterday, it was excellent.”

Scores after round 3 of the Venetian Macau Open 2013 being played at the par 71, 6606 Yards Macau GCC course:

201 – Scott HEND (AUS) 74-64-63

205 – Ernie ELS (RSA) 71-65-69, SIDDIKUR (BAN) 69-66-70

206 – Rahil GANGJEE (IND) 73-67-66, Daisuke KATAOKA (JPN) 71-66-69, Elmer SALVADOR (PHI) 70-66-70, BAEK Seuk-hyun (KOR) 71-65-70

207 – Scott BARR (AUS) 68-69-70

208 – Jason KNUTZON (USA) 69-71-68, Kalle SAMOOJA (FIN) 68-71-69, Jay BAYRON (PHI) 70-67-71


211 - George GANDRANATA (INA) 76-66-69

218 - Rory HIE (INA) 71-73-74

Friday, October 18, 2013

Gearge Gandranata Makes Big Move At Venetian Macao Open

Macau, October 18 - South African Ernie Els charged into contention with a brilliant six-under-par 65 to trail halfway leader Siddikur of Bangladesh by one shot at the US$800,000 Venetian Macau Open on Friday.

The four-time Major champion, who is also an Asian Tour honorary member and international ambassador, sank nine birdies against three bogeys at the Macau Golf and Country Club for a two-day total of six-under-par 136.

Siddikur was equally impressive in his round of 66 which included three birdies over his closing four holes as he edged ahead of the chasing pack with his 135 total as he continued to search for a second Asian Tour victory.

The in-form Baek Seuk-hyun, who has four top-10s in his last five starts, fired a 65 to tie Els while Filipino Elmer Salvador and Ben Campbell of New Zealand will also enter the weekend rounds in tied second place after a 66 and 68 respectively.

George Gandranata from Indonesia had a stellar round of 66 as well, propelling him up the leaderboard from a tie of 100th to a tie of 36th, surpassing countryman Rory Hie, who carded a somewhat disappointing 73 and slipped to a tie of 57th.

Els showed why he is nicknamed “The Big Easy” as he effortlessly moved up the leaderboard but he was disappointed to miss a two-foot birdie chance at the last hole which would have tied Siddikur for the lead.

“The one little putt I missed at the last will sting a little bit. I was looking at the board and it would have been perfect if I could have been seven under to be in the last group. But it’s fine. I played really nice. I actually made some good putts and hit the ball nicely,” said Els.

“The wind was still up a bit. But this evening, it died down and it was a pleasure being out there. It was fun. I think I’ve found my lines off the tees and the greens as well. Not too comfortable with the short putts, that’s the only thing. That’s why I missed the last one.”

After dropping a shot on his opening hole, Els, who celebrated his 44th birthday on Thursday, launched his charge with four birdies before the turn. He looked to be in cruise control with five more birdies against two bogeys coming home.

“When I got here on Wednesday evening, I would have taken where I am right now after two rounds. I’m one shot behind and I’m in the thick of it. I’ve been here for two days and I feel my body is getting in the time zone. My rhythm is good. I brought my trainer over and he’s been stretching (me) and everything we can do to get my body going. So it’s actually feeling good,” said Els.

Siddikur, the first Bangladeshi to win on the Asian Tour in 2010, produced a strong finish to snatch the halfway lead in the Venetian Macau Open as he eyed a dream showdown with his idol, Els.

“It was a great round. I felt good. My ball striking was perfect, especially my putting as it all went in,” said Siddikur, who took only 25 putts and is currently 10th on the Order of Merit. “This is a placing course which I like very much. I finished third here last year and I had good thoughts coming back. I’m hitting it good. I’m in good shape.”

He hopes to get a chance to tee up alongside Els. “Ernie is my idol. I’ve been waiting for a long time to play with him. Last few years, I’ve missed by a few groups playing with him so hopefully this week,” he said.

The burly Baek continued to ride on his rich vein of form as he charged up the leaderboard with a seven-birdie round which included three chip-ins. “It’s my best (score) on this course. I got really lucky on so many holes. I chipped in on three holes and made some long putts, 20 feet or so. Today, my putting and chipping was very good,” said the 23-year-old, who is fifth on the Order of Merit.

The Korean is determined to land his first Asian Tour victory after contending on numerous occasions but reckons he has put too much pressure on himself to enjoy a career breakthrough.

“Every time, I’m getting nearer. I’m trying my best. I’m just going to enjoy my game and play my game. Every time I try to go for it, I didn’t do it. This time, I just want to enjoy my game,” said Baek.

Filipino Salvador credited his straight driving play for pushing up him the leaderboard. “I drove the ball good which is important on this golf course. I think I only missed three fairways. Had a fair share of good putts that went in, the one on two was probably the longest from 25 feet. This is a very difficult golf course and you can’t make big mistakes. My swing feels good this week, so we’ll see how it holds up.”

The halfway cut was set at two-over-par 144 with 69 players progressing into the weekend rounds.

Scores after round 2 of the Venetian Macau Open 2013 being played at the par 71, 6606 Yards Macau GCC course:

135 - Mohd. Siddikur (BAN) 69 66

136 - BAEK Seuk-hyun (KOR) 71 65, Elmer SALVADOR (PHI) 70 66, Ben CAMPBELL (NZL) 68 68, Ernie ELS (RSA) 71 65

137 - Jay BAYRON (PHI) 70 67, Scott BARR (AUS) 68 69, Daisuke KATAOKA (JPN) 71 66

138 - Scott HEND (AUS) 74 64


142 - George GANDRANATA (INA) 76 66

144 - Rory HIE (INA) 71 73

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Even First Round For Rory Hie At Venetian Macau Open

Macau, October 17 - Australian Scott Barr battled to a three-under-par 68 for the joint first round lead at a wind-swept Venetian Macau Open on Thursday as he renewed his love affair with the US$800,000 Asian Tour tournament.

Barr, 41, produced a measured performance at the par-71 Macau Golf and Country Club, shooting four birdies against a lone bogey to set the early pace with rookie Ben Campbell of New Zealand, who shot the tournament’s first hole-in-one, and Finland’s Kalle Samooja.

Birthday boy Ernie Els of South Africa salvaged a 71 after fighting back from being four-over-par through his opening seven holes to lie three shots behind the leaders.

Two-time champion Zhang Lian-wei rolled back the years with a 69 for a share of fourth place with Thai teenager Jazz Janewattananond and Prom Meesawat, Australian Marcus Both and Bangladeshi Siddikur, who led on four-under before bogeying his closing two holes.

Singapore-based Barr broke onto the Asian scene some 10 years ago in Macau when he lost in a play-off to Colin Montgomerie after agonizingly lipping out a birdie putt for victory on the 72nd hole.

“It’s a long time ago. I thought about it this week. I horse-shoed the last hole then and the pin was about the same spot today and I know what that does,” said Barr, whose four birdies included a birdie on the 18th hole.

“It’s history, this week is the priority. I hit the ball good enough and made some up and downs early in the round and kept it going. The ball wasn’t flying early this morning. It was very windy, very dark and murky. I knew it was going to be tough. I have played here a lot and I get the idea of the wind and what to hit.

“It’s a long way to go. I’m not sure what the forecast is going to be but if it stays like this, I’m actually looking forward to it,” added Barr, who is still seeking the elusive first Asian Tour victory.

Less than 24 hours after arriving at the Venetian Macau Open, four-time Major champion Els, who turned 44 today, looked to be in trouble after playing his first seven holes in four over. However, the Big Easy, as Els is known around the world, birdied four of his last 10 holes to make his birthday cake taste sweeter.

“I have to be happy with that. It was a tough start. It’s still blowing now,:” said Els, who is seeking his 71st professional victory this week. “I started hitting some nice shots, made a little adjustment with my putter and made some three or four footers. All in all, it’s not a bad day. It’s a demanding course. When you’re off, you’re going to make big numbers.

“I always love coming here. It’s a wonderful place in the world to come play golf. I’ve seen the (Asian) Tour grow nicely and there’re so many great players now. Golf is such an exciting sport in Asia and you just want to be part of it,” added the South African, who will spend the next three weeks playing in the region.

Samooja, who has made only one cut all season which he attributed to his swing change, charged home in 30 thanks to an eagle on the second hole. The 25-year-old is hoping his new swing will hold out in the wind in Macau.

“I’m in the middle of a swing change. You will never know what happens the next day. You can have a good round and stay in the game but in the next round, it can be whatever,” he said.

Campbell aced the challenging par three 17th hole, which drops 140 feet from the tee box on the cliff to the green, with a six iron. “I was rapped about it and couldn’t take the smile off my face. I lost track what I was shooting and it was good,” said the 22-year-old.

The evergreen Zhang, who won here in 2001 and 2002, thrilled his fans with four birdies against two bogeys to trail the leaders. “The wind made it difficult. You have to control your distance and try to keep the ball on the fairway. Sometimes, the ball goes this way but after you hit the ball, it goes another way,” said Zhang, China’s pioneer in professional golf.

“I’ll try to win the tournament. But it’s only one round. I’m not too old … 48 already.”

Indonesia's Rory Hie carded an even par 71, while George Gandranata will have to work hard tomorrow if he wants to play in the weekend after a round of 76 puts him in a share of 100th on the leaderboard.

Three players failed to complete their opening rounds and will resume on Friday morning.

Scores after round 1 of the Venetian Macau Open 2013 being played at the par 71, 6606 Yards Macau GCC course:

68 – Scott BARR (AUS), Kalle SAMOOJA (FIN), Ben CAMPBELL (NZL)


70 – Sujjan SINGH (IND), HUNG Chien-yao (TPE), Jeev Milkha SINGH (IND), LU Wei-chih (TPE), Elmer SALVADOR (PHI), CHAN Yih-shin (TPE), Chawalit PLAPHOL (THA), Adam GROOM (AUS), Jay BAYRON (PHI), LU Wen-teh (TPE), James BYRNE (SCO), Simon GRIFFITHS (ENG)


71 – Rory HIE (INA)

76 - George GANDRANATA (INA)

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Rory Hie Just Misses Out On Podium At Nanshan China Masters

NANSHAN, China, October 13 - South African Charl Schwartzel dug deep for a four-under-par 68 on Sunday to claim the Nanshan China Masters title by a stroke from fellow Major winner Darren Clarke (72) and defending champion Liang Wenchong (72).

Two behind Clarke and Liang overnight, Schwartzel birdied the 15th and 16th to draw level with the Northern Irishman, who saw the OneAsia title slip from his grasp with a loose tee shot on the par-three 17th that lead to a bogey.

Schwartzel finished nine under for the U.S. $1 million tournament around the 6,784-metre (7,419-yard) Montgomerie Course at Nanshan International Golf Club despite complaining that he hadn't struck the ball well all week.

"It's always very satisfying to win," said the 2011 U.S. Masters champion. "I've played a lot of golf tournaments and done a lot of traveling in the past few months and it felt like I've been playing really good golf with no results, so it's nice to have something finally go your way."

Clarke, seeking his first victory since claiming the Open Championship at Royal St George's in 2011, seemed to be cruising until missing a three footer on the 13th.

"I'm obviously disappointed with the day -- it was another one of those days on the greens again where I couldn't buy a putt from anywhere," he said.

He still had a share of the lead on the 17th until finding the thick fringe of a greenside bunker.

"It was horrible. It couldn't have got any worse," he said, after hacking it out and missing the par putt. "Still, that's golf and they've got a very good winner here, a fantastic winner, and that's the way it is. It's like that sometimes, unfortunately."

Both Liang and Clarke had the chance to force a playoff on the 18th, but the hole had yielded only one birdie all day and the pair saw their attempts come up short.

"I knew I had to a make a birdie on the last but it was a delicate putt," said Liang, a four-time winner on OneAsia who ended a two-year title drought with victory here last year.

"Still, the Nanshan China Masters is my Major -- one of the most important wins in my career -- and a good platform for younger China players."

Australian Rhein Gibson, a graduate of OneAsia's Q-School in California earlier this year, shot an excellent 69 to share fourth place at six under with countryman Scott Strange (72), New Zealander Mark Brown (70), Kwon Sung-yeol (72) of Korea and Indonesia's Rory Hie (70).

Fellow Indonesian George Gandranata (80) had a disastrous round with a string of bogeys and 2 double bogeys on the second and the last hole, which cost him to drop out of the top 50.

The round of the day belonged to Australian Ryan Haller who sank a monster 60-foot putt for an eagle on the par-five 15th en-route to a 67 and a share of ninth.

Schwartzel said he drew on memories of his 2011 Major victory during the final round.

"I won the U.S. Masters from four shots behind and I won by two shots," he said.

"I never thought I was out of it, for any second. It's a matter of staying in there, hitting good golf shots and controlling your own destiny."

He had some words of comfort for International Sports Management stablemate Clarke.

"Darren has been one of my idols. I've always looked up to him and he has been fantastic to me. I regard him as one of the best wind players when conditions are bad, and he has taught me so many of those shots. I hope it didn't work against him this week.

"Darren also hasn't played very well this year, so it's nice to see him compete this week. It's never nice to lose -- I know the feeling -- but I know he can take a lot of positives from his performance this week."

OneAsia heads to Seoul next week for the Kolon Korea Open from October 17 -20, with world number four Rory McIlroy the star attraction.

Scores after the final round of the Nanshan China Masters being played at the 6,784-metre par-72 Montgomerie Course at the Nanshan International Golf Club:

279 - Charl SCHWARTZEL (RSA) 71-72-68-68

280 - LIANG Wen-chong (CHN) 74-64-70-72, Darren CLARKE (NIR) 72-68-68-72

282 - Rhein GIBSON (AUS) 74-69-70-69, Rory HIE (INA) 75-65-72-70, Mark BROWN (NZL) 71-72-69-70, Scott STRANGE (AUS) 72-69-69-72, KWON Sung-yeol (KOR) 73-70-67-72


298 - George GANDRANATA (INA) 75-71-72-80

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Rory Hie Still In Top Ten After Third Round Of Nanshan China Masters

NANSHAN, China, October 12 - Former Open champion Darren Clarke, seeking his first tournament victory since lifting the Claret Jug at Royal St George's in 2011, fired a four-under-par 68 on Saturday to grab a share of the lead with home favorite and defending champion Liang Wenchong (70) after three rounds of OneAsia's U.S. $1 million Nanshan China Masters.

The pair are eight under around the 6,784-metre (7,419-yard) Montgomerie Course at Nanshan International Golf Club, two clear of Australian Scott Strange (69), Korean newcomer Kwon Sung-yeol (67) and up-and-coming China star Zhang Xinjun (72).

South African Charl Schwartzel, the 2011 U.S. Masters champion, is a shot further back after going four under on Saturday, alongside Australian Terry Pilkadaris (70) and New Zealander Gareth Paddison (73).

Rounding out the top ten are New Zealander Mark Brown (69), Australian Scott Laycock (69) and Indonesia's Rory Hie (72) who are one shot further back.

Clarke, 45, has not won since beating Americans Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson by a stroke to claim his first Major, but he remains as hungry as ever for titles.

"There is pressure in any event -- it doesn't matter whether it's the Open Championship or here at the Nanshan China Masters," he said after starting the day two shots behind overnight leaders Liang, Zhang and Paddison.

"I've practised really hard these last couple of years since I've won the Open and just not been able to get the scores. Obviously I'd be delighted to win tomorrow, but there's 18 holes of golf to go and a lot of talent there or thereabouts at the top of the leader board."

Liang ended a two-year-victory drought of his own in claiming last year's tournament -- beating Major winner Y.E. Yang in a thrilling sudden-death play-off that went to five holes -- and the four-time OneAsia champion will not give up his title without a fight.

"He is a very respected player and as the local I'm ready to face his challenge and will try my best to play well," said Liang.

The surprise package of the third round came in the form of Kwon, playing in his first OneAsia event after finishing 20th at Q-School in January.

The 27-year-old, a close friend of his more illustrious countrymen Bae Sang-moon and Kim Kyung-tae, has not yet seen his amateur talent transfer to the professional ranks, a journey interrupted by nearly two years of national service that only ended in December.

"It's my first time to visit China and also my first OneAsia event, but I am calm and stable," he said. "When I was doing my national service, I was really thirsty for golf. That is what has motivated me in Korea this year."

Schwartzel continues to be frustrated by his ball striking despite his best round of the tournament and says he will dig deep for inspiration.

"To have these sort of weeks frustrates me a lot because I know I can play a lot better -- especially on a golf course like this where you should be a lot more under par," he said.

"On the brighter side, at least I'm not far behind. We all know the game and sometimes it changes overnight so hopefully I can find something that will get me through tomorrow and let me hit the ball the way I know I can and at least give Darren a run."

Korean Kim Bi-o, winner of the inaugural Nanshan China Masters in 2011 and the reigning Order of Merit champion, is four over for the tournament after shooting a 74, while first-round leader Eric Mina (75), top of the class at OneAsia's Q-School in California in January, and Indonesia's George Gandranata (72) are two strokes better off.

Scores after round three of the Nanshan China Masters being played at the 6,784-metre (7,419 -yard) par-72 Montgomerie Course at the Nanshan International Golf Club:

208 - Darren CLARKE (NIR) 72-68-68, LIANG Wen-chong (CHN) 74-64-70

210 - KWON Sung-yeol (KOR) 73-70-67, Scott STRANGE (AUS) 72-69-69, ZHANG Xin-jun (CHN) 71-67-72

211 - Charl SCHWARTZEL (RSA) 71-72-68, Terry PILKADARIS (AUS) 71-70-70, Gareth PADDISON (NZL) 69-69-73

212 - Mark BROWN (NZL) 71-72-69, Scott LAYCOCK (AUS) 70-73-69, Rory HIE (INA) 75-65-72


218 - George GANDRANATA (INA) 75-71-72

Final Round Breakdown Causes Jordan Irawan To Miss Out On Thailand Amateur Open Crown

Bangkok, 11 October - Suradit Yongcharoenchai, 15, came from 10 strokes behind to stun the pacesetters in the men's category of the Singha Thailand Amateur Open at Panya Indra Golf Club.

Suradit shot a seven-under-par 65 with eight birdies and one bogey to finish on 281 alongside Poom Saksansin (70) and Jorome Ng (71) of Singapore after 72 holes in Thailand's oldest golf tournament.

The teenager then went on to win the title by making a birdie at the first play-off hole, winning the King Rama VII trophy.

"I am really proud to be successful at this prestigious tournament," said Suradit from Nakhon Pathom. "It is a great present for my birthday on Oct 28."

Jordan Surya Irawan of Indonesia, who had led in the previous two rounds, had a day to forget when he closed with a disastrous 79 for 285 and finished tied for 10th.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Rory Hie Puts Himself In Contention For Win At Nanshan China Masters

NANSHAN, China, October 11 - Defending champion Liang Wenchong fired an extraordinary eight-under-par 64 on Friday to share the lead with countryman Zhang Xinjun (67) and New Zealander Gareth Paddison (69) after two rounds of OneAsia's U.S. $1 million Nanshan China Masters.

The trio are six under around the 6,784-metre (7,419-yard) Montgomerie Course at Nanshan International Golf Club, two shots ahead of former Open champion Darren Clarke (68) and Indonesian Rory Hie, who holed 8 birdies on his way to a fantastic 65.

Liang started with an eagle and added ten birdies to his scorecard, finishing with five-in-a-row after earlier bogeying four holes. Playing the course back-to-front, he needed just 22 putts for his round.

Alongside Liang, South African Charl Schwartzel -- the 2011 U.S. Masters champion -- shot 71 to stand at one under, tied for 12th.

"I was putting very well, but my driving was also really good today," said Liang, a four-time winner on OneAsia and also the tour's 2010 Order of Merit champion.

The only time Liang has scored more birdies was in the first round of the 2008 Indian Open when he made a dozen for a course-record 60. He went on to win the tournament by a stroke.

Liang ended a two-year winless streak with victory at last year's Nanshan China Masters, and five recent top-ten finishes suggest he is coming back into form at the right time.

"I will try my best this weekend, but there are still two days left and anything can happen."

After playing in perfect conditions in the afternoon, left-handed Paddison said he felt he left a few shots on the course, but was looking forward to playing in the final group on Saturday after a lean spell.

"It's funny, I've never been in this position in a OneAsia event before, tied for the lead after two days, and I sort of feel as if I left a few shots out there," he said.

"It was a bit of a sombre feeling walking off the course, but at the same time being tied for the lead is fantastic."

Zhang, 26, a former security guard who only took up the game in his late teens after being posted to work at a golf club, was also looking forward to playing with his hero Liang.

"Since the 2011 World Cup I haven't played a tournament with him, just a couple of practice rounds. I'm pleased to play with him again and hope to learn from the experience."

Winless since claiming the Claret Jug at Royal St. Georges in 2011, Clarke was delighted to be in contention again despite some issues on the greens.

"Same as yesterday, I left a lot of putts short," he said. "I had 33 putts yesterday and I think I had 33 today. I'm hitting good putts, but I just can't get the speed. I'll just keep doing what I'm doing. Obviously I'm playing nicely and this is one of the times I need to be patient and wait for the putts to drop.

"You always feel pressure if you're in position on the back nine on Sunday, but I've got to get myself in that position first. There's a long way to go before we get there, but I feel as may game is getting back to where I want it."

Schwartzel, fatigued by a hectic schedule that saw him jet in from last weekend's Presidents Cup in Ohio, was full of admiration for Liang's round.

"He one-putted just about every single green. He had a stretch from the fifth to the twelfth where he went nine under in eight holes. I haven't seen that before. Very impressive."

He was less than impressed with his own game, however, although he refused to rule himself out.

"My ball striking has been off for the last two days. I haven't hit it very good and on top of that I putted badly. That's the reason I haven't moved forward.

"The body has taken quite a hammering. I've been on the go since the British Open non-stop, so it's a lot of golf and a lot of traveling, but I don't want to make any excuses. I still fancy my chances. The game is there, but I've just got to click in."

Rookie American Eric Mina, who led by one overnight after opening with a 68, dropped three shots on Friday but was delighted with making his first cut since winning Q-School in California in January.

Korean Kim Bi-o, winner of the inaugural Nanshan China Masters in 2011 and the reigning Order of Merit champion, is two over for the tournament after shooting 71, exactly the same score as Indonesia's seccond player George Gandranata.

The cut was made at six over, meaning 16-year-old amateur Dou Zecheng will play the weekend in his second OneAsia tournament having also achieved the feat at the Volvo China Open in May.

Scores after round two of the Nanshan China Masters being played at the par 72, 6,784-metre Montgomerie Course at the Nanshan International Golf Club:

138 - LIANG Wen-chong (CHN) 74-64, ZHANG Xin-jun (CHN) 71-67, Gareth PADDISON (NZL) 69-69

140 - Rory HIE (INA) 75-65, Darren CLARKE (NIR) 72-68

141 - Scott STRANGE (AUS) 72-69, Terry PILKADARIS (AUS) 71-70, Michael WRIGHT (AUS) 75-66

142 - Brad SHILTON (NZL) 73-69, Garrett SAPP (USA) 71-71, Thanyakon KHRONGPHA (THA) 72-70


146 - George GANDRANATA (INA) 75-71

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Slow Starts For Rory Hie And George Gandranata At Nanshan China Masters

NANSHAN, China, Oct 10 - American rookie Eric Mina, winner of OneAsia's California Q-School in January, fired a brilliant four-under-par 68 on Thursday to grab a one-shot clubhouse lead in the first round of the U.S. $1 million Nanshan China Masters.

Play was suspended because of bad light with 14 golfers still to finish, but strong winds around the links-style Montgomerie Course at Nanshan International Golf Club played havoc with the scoring and only 14 players were under par.

Brazil's Lucas Lee, New Zealander Gareth Paddison and U.S.-based Korean Ted Oh shared second place after shooting 69, while Major winners Charl Schwartzel (71) and Darren Clarke (72) remain well in the hunt.

"I'm really happy. I controlled the ball very well," said Mina, who romped to a five-stroke victory at Q-School in January after turning professional just six months earlier.

That win gave him a start in all OneAsia's events, but the 25-year-old -- who had never previously traveled outside the United States -- struggled to find his feet and he has missed every cut so far.

"The first four tournaments were just a learning experience for me," said Mina, whose mother hails from the Philippines and father is an American-born Filipino.

"The season break motivated me to work harder. I was kind of down, so I took a little break and was able to get my game back. I feel my game is in a lot better shape now than what it was in March. I just wasn't experienced, but I had a really good three months with my coach."

The only blemish on Mina's scorecard was a double-bogey on the 16th -- he played the course back-to-front -- but he more than made up for it with six birdies including one made with a monster 60-foot putt on the sixth.

"This is going to be a learn-on-the-job experience. I'm really excited for the next few days," he said.

Lee, 26, a product of OneAsia's 2012 Q-School, also credited a hot putter for his excellent round.

"I've been playing pretty decent all summer. Nothing too crazy, but nothing too bad," he said of a recent stint on the Canada Tour.

"I was really excited to be coming back to Asia and play these next few tournaments."

Paddison too has been happy with his form despite missing the cut a fortnight ago at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland.

"I played really good … lots of really good iron shots," the left-hander said.

"I had numerous chances out there and it could have been a few better. Holing the putts when it mattered was also a key."

Clarke, the 2011 Open Champion, said he was very impressed with the leaders.

"They've obviously played well and rolled the ball well," the Northern Irishman said. "I was surprised coming up the last to see those scores. That's a great effort. Fair play to them.

"It was tricky out there today … the wind was pumping on a few holes. Some of the par fours played exceptionally long due to the wind and there's not much run out there, so I'm pretty pleased with level par."

Defending champion Liang Wenchong shot a 74 while Kim Bi-o, winner of the inaugural Nanshan China Masters in 2011 and last year's Order of Merit, was a shot further back, together with Indonesia's Rory Hie and George Gandranata.

The leading Chinese player is Li Haotong who has a share of fifth place after going two under for the day.

Scores after round one, with 14 players still to finish round one as it was suspended due to bad light, at the Nanshan China Masters being played at the par 72, 6,784-metre Montgomerie Course at the Nanshan International Golf Club:

68 - Eric MINA (USA)

69 - Lucas LEE (BRA), Gareth PADDISON (NZL), Ted OH (KOR)

70 - PARK Bae-jong (KOR), LI Hao-tong (CHN), Scott LAYCOCK (AUS)

71 - ZHANG Xin-jun (CHN), Terry PILKADARIS (AUS), Garrett SAPP (USA), Charl SCHWARTZEL (RSA), Mark BROWN (NZL)


75 - Rory HIE (INA), George GANDRANATA (INA)