Jakarta, November 15 - Local talents George Gandranata and Danny Masrin hope to secure a home victory at the BANK BRI-JCB Indonesia Open which starts on Thursday, and raise the exposure of golf in the country.
Sis Apik Wijayanto, Director of BRI says: “Indonesia Open is one of the most prestigious national tournament in Asia and BRI is honoured to be the main sponsor for this tournament."
“We hope this national tournament will influence Indonesian golfers to play and show their best skill to win BRI-JCB Indonesia open next month. This will be a fantastic achievement in the area of golf development in our country.”
Gandranata, the leading golfer in Indonesia, the highly rated Masrin, Ian Andrew and Jordan Irawan are among 20 local hopefuls contending at the US$300,000 event which returns on the Asian Tour schedule after a one-year hiatus.
They will be joined by former Indonesia Open champion Gaganjeet Bhullar of India and new Asian Tour winners Pavit Tangkamolprasert of Thailand, Thitiphun Chuayprakong and Carlos Pigem of Spain at the Pondok Indah Golf Course.
India’s Jeev Milkha Singh, a two-time Asian Tour number one, Akinori Tani of Japan, Thai rising star Phachara Khongwatmai, Casey O’Toole of the United States and Siddikur Rahman of Bangladesh will also feature in the showpiece.
Gandranata, a winner on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) which is the secondary circuit of the Asian Tour, is determined to wear his heart on his sleeve as he aims to become the second Indonesian to win his National Open after Kasiadi’s triumph in 1989.
“I’m proud to play in the BANK BRI-JCB Indonesia Open. It is every golfers dream to play in their National Open and try to win it. It is different when you play in your country, there’s pressure but I like having the pressure. It motivates me to do better,” said Gandranata.
Gandranata, who won the silver and bronze medals in the team and individual category respectively at the 2011 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, has his eye on claiming the Golden Trophy which is awarded to the winner of the BANK BRI-JCB Indonesia Open.
“I play to win but it won’t be easy,” said the 30-year-old, who finished tied 15th in the 2014 edition. “I have high hopes in this event and like everybody, I want to win it for my country.
Golf is slowly growing but a local winner will increase the popularity of the sport by a few notches.
The 24-year-old Masrin hopes to use his experience of playing on the ADT to good use. He was among four local golfers to make the halfway cut at the Indonesian Masters in October which was a record in the event.
“The standard of golf in the country is growing. We have more local events now and the players are gaining experience by playing in Asian Tour events. The BANK BRI-JCB Indonesia Open will be another great addition for golfers to be exposed to an international golf tournament,” said Masrin.
“I’ve been playing well lately and I hope to continue the momentum. It gives me great pride to play in the Indonesia Open. It will be a challenging week with so many great Asian Tour players but I will focus on my own game and hopefully have a chance at the weekend,” he added.
Andrew, a regular on the ADT, believes the BANK BRI-JCB Indonesia Open is a great tournament for him to learn from the best golfers in Asia.
“I’ve learnt a lot playing on the ADT but it is an entirely different level when you play on the Asian Tour. It is challenging on the ADT so the experience will help me when I play in my National Open. I’m really looking forward to the experience this week,” said the 24-year-old.
The BANK BRI-JCB Indonesia Open is one of the finest golf championships in Asia where top stars such as Thaworn Wiratchant, Thongchai Jaidee and Padraig Harrington have won the tournament in the past.