Thursday, November 28, 2013

Local Hero Hie Gets Off To Solid Start

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

64 - Gaganjeet BHULLAR (IND)

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

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


68 - Rory HIE (INA)

70 - Jordan IRAWAN (A) (INA)

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

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

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

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

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

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


79 - Ian ANDREW (INA)

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

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

86 - S Syukrizal (A) (INA)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thongchai Ready To Rumble In Indonesia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Goosen Eyes Good Showing In Indonesia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Indonesia Open 2013: Preview Interview With Rory Hie

Rory Hie Blog: Aiming For Home Glory

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vietnamese Billionaire Uses Jakarta Stage To Fund Asian Junior Golf Development

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 18, 2013

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

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

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

Team China will be named in coming days.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rory Hie Aiming For Success At Resorts World Manila Masters

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Retief Goosen Major Attraction At Indonesia Open 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Good Recovery For Rory Hie At Australian PGA Championship

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Rory Hie Stumbles In Third Round Of The Australian PGA Championship

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Friday, November 8, 2013

Rory Hie Aiming For Top Ten Finish In Australian PGA Championship

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

132 - Adam Scott (AUS) 65-67

134 - David McKenzie (AUS) 65-69

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

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

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


139 - Rory Hie (INA) 69-70

151 - George Gandranata (INA) 75-76