Jakarta, November 29: The popular BNI Indonesian Masters supported by Bank BRI and MedcoEnergi is poised to serve another exciting week of world-class golf when it returns to the Asian Tour for its ninth edition from December 12 to 15, 2019.
The highly rated US$750,000 event will feature more than 50 Tour champions, including seven Asian Tour Order of Merit winners, when it gets underway at its traditional home, the Royale Jakarta Golf Club, next month.
Defending champion Poom Saksansin of Thailand is set to return to his winning ground and take aim at completing a hat trick to match Lee Westwood’s record in the tournament, which was incepted in 2011.
American John Catlin will also be making his fifth appearance in the BNI Indonesian Masters alongside Order of Merit leader Jazz Janewattananond and Pavit Tangkamolprasert of Thailand, as well as Korean youngster Joohyung Kim, all winners on Tour this season.
Rory Hie, who became the first Indonesian to win on the Asian Tour in September, will spearhead the local charge when he tees up against the elite field, which also features Miguel Carballo of Argentina, Yosuke Asaji of Japan and Miguel Tabuena of the Philippines.
The BNI Indonesian Masters will form the third leg of the 2019/20 Panasonic Swing and the winner of the event will again receive a coveted spot in the World Golf Championships – FedEx St. Jude Invitational in 2020.
“Indonesian Masters is the only event I have played every year since I came to Asia in 2015. I love the course. It’s such a great test of golf. I am looking forward to playing it again,” said the 29-year-old Catlin, who clinched his fourth Asian Tour title in Thailand three weeks ago.
“The year has been amazing. Playing against the best players in the world and traveling all over the world has been great for my game. I have been tested and realised certain areas of my game that need to be improved. Very excited for what the future has in store,” added Catlin.
By being the flagship event of the Asian Tour, the BNI Indonesian Masters will award the winner with no less than 20 Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points, ensuring more players benefit from the points breakdown in what will be the penultimate event of the 2019 season.
Other notable players set to tee up for the 2019 BNI Indonesian Masters include American Julian Suri, Australian Scott Hend, who sits in second place on the Merit rankings, as well as Taehee Lee of Korea and Thai veteran Prayad Marksaeng.
Poom fended off the challenges from his more illustrious rivals to win the Indonesian Masters by three shots for his third Asian Tour victory last year. He had won by five shots for his first Asian Tour win at the same event in 2016.
Poom is the second player following Lee Westwood to win the event more than once. Lee had won the event for a record three times in 2011, 2012 and 2015. Austrian Bernd Wiesberger triumphed in 2013 while Anirban Lahiri of India emerged victorious in 2014.
Justin Rose of England claimed his third win in seven weeks at the 2017 Indonesian Masters after he recorded a commanding eight-shot victory with an impressive four-day total of 29-under-par 259.
Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, November 24: Thailand’s Pavit Tangkamolprasert defeated compatriot Phachara Khongwatmai and Australian David Gleeson with an incredible chip-in birdie on the second play-off hole to clinch his second Asian Tour title in style at the Sabah Masters on Sunday.
The 30-year-old Pavit, who suffered a play-off defeat at the Thailand Open two weeks ago, redeemed himself by emerging victorious in a four-way play-off against Phachara, Gleeson and Aman Raj of India at the Sutera Harbour Golf and Country Club.
Pavit marked his week’s best efforts with a closing six-under-par 65 to force extra time with Phachara (67), Gleeson (68) and Raj (63) after the quartet ended regulation play with matching totals of 13-under-par 271s at the US$300,000 full-field Asian Tour event.
The first play-off hole, which was held on the par-four 18, saw Raj bow out with a bogey while the others made pars. The remaining trio found the center fairway on the second extra hole but their second shots were all short of the green.
It was Pavit who sealed the deal with his 15-yard chip-in birdie from the fringe while Phachara and Gleeson missed their chips to settle for pars. Pavit’s birdie on the 74th hole is only the second one recorded in the final round of the Sabah Masters.
The inaugural Sabah Masters is proudly supported by the Tourism Malaysia with an aim to boost tourism in Sabah.
Did you know?
Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, November 24: Australian David Gleeson edged closer to his fourth Asian Tour victory after rolling in a clutch par putt from 12 feet on the last to seize the outright lead following the penultimate round of the Sabah Masters on Sunday morning.
The 41-year-old Gleeson, who was one-under-par through eight holes and three shots off the lead when play was suspended on Saturday, returned to par the ninth hole before firing three birdies against a bogey on his back nine for a three-under-par 68.
Gleeson compiled a three-day total of 10-under-par 203 to lead by one shot over Phachara Khongwatmai of Thailand, who stumbled with a closing double-bogey to sign for a 71 which saw him fall off the lead for the first time at the Sutera Harbour Golf and Country Club.
Chinese Taipei’s Wang Wei-lun battled to a 70 to share third place with India’s Udayan Mane and Jakraphan Premsirigorn of Thailand on matching 205s in the US$300,000 event, which is supported by the Tourism Malaysia with an aim to boost tourism in Sabah.
With more than seven hours of play lost due to inclement weather over the last three days and expected rain in the afternoon, Tour officials have earlier made a decision for the tournament to spill into Monday if the final group managed to complete 13 holes when play is suspended on Sunday.
Should the final group, featuring Phachara, Dongha Lee and Sungho Lee, fail to get in at least 13 holes on Sunday, the fourth round will be cancelled and the tournament results will be based on the 54-hole scores.
Round 4 is in progress. For live scores, please click here.
Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, November 23: Young Thai talent Phachara Khongwatmai returned on Saturday morning to complete the remaining four holes of his second round and sign for a four-under-par 67 to grab a two-shot halfway lead at the Sabah Masters.
The 20-year-old Phachara, who emerged as one of the four co-leaders following the opening round, moved into the outright lead after carding five birdies against a bogey for a two-day total of nine-under-par 133 at the Sutera Harbour Golf and Country Club.
Chinese Taipei’s Wang Wei-lun, Australian stalwart David Gleeson, as well as the Korean duo of Sungho Lee and Dongha Lee, shared second place after posting rounds of 68, 69, 68 and 67 respectively at the US$300,000 event.
Sweden’s Malcolm Kokocinski settles three shots off the pace in sixth with India’s Udayan Mane while newly crowned Asian Tour champion Jooohyung Kim of Korea is amongst those bunched in eighth place on 137.
A total of 69 players survived the halfway cut set at one-over-par 143. The second round of the Sabah Masters was halted by inclement weather on Friday and a total of 52 players returned to complete their rounds at 7.00am local time on Saturday.
The third and penultimate round of the Sabah Masters has commenced at 10.00am. For live scores and tee times, please click here.
The US$300,000 Sabah Masters, supported by the Tourism Malaysia with an aim to boost tourism in Sabah, is the ninth full-field event on the 2019 Asian Tour schedule.
Did you know?
Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, November 22: Read what players have to say following the second round of the Sabah Masters on Friday.
Dongha Lee (Kor) – Second round 67 (-4), Total 135 (-7)
I putted really today, especially on my back nine which is the front nine of the course. Putting was key for me. I was able to drop some putts today and that was what made the difference, as compared to the first round yesterday.
I left myself with a lot of seven to 10 footers and I was able to make most of them today. I remember playing this course a few years ago. It’s nice to be back. The course is in a good shape.
Malcolm Kokocinski (Swe) – Second round 67 (-4), Total 136 (-6)
It was a good day. I am playing good for awhile now so it’s nice to be able to execute it well in the tournaments. I played very well, hitting the ball good, hitting a lot of greens, hitting a lot of fairways which is kind of boring golf but I gave myself chances and I was being more patient.
I have just been making some putts and it was rolling well. It’s just good all around. It was nice to finish strong. I played well all day, just missed some putts which got into my head a little bit but overall, it’s a nice feeling. I will try to be patient again for the weekend, let it go and see what happens. I’m looking forward to playing well so just keep doing my thing for sure.
I would say this course suits my game. It’s fun. I like Sabah too. Love the good atmosphere here. The people are really friendly like in the hotel too. I enjoy it here.
I was working on my swing before coming here. Actually, I have worked on my swing for quite a while. It looks good on video and feels good but I just haven’t been able to do it on a golf course so it’s been like a few big misses and some high numbers.
So I told myself this week to just let it go, no swing thoughts, just take it easy and focus on my tempo. Snow as well myself this week just to like, let it go you know no swing thoughts, which is easy just focus on my tempo and rhythm and make some putts.
Joohyung Kim (Kor) – Second round 70 (-1), Total 137 (-5)
It was really hot. I definitely left a lot out there. But I was hanging in there, I made a lot of good pars. And I fought back on the back nine. I made two birdies to shoot under-par.
I think the players in the afternoon session might play better but I am not in a bad position to strike for the weekend. I was hitting a lot of fairways and a lot of greens. Whenever I had the chances, I couldn’t make it.
I got a bit unlucky on the par-five seventh so I was frustrated going up the tee on eighth. I hit a bad shot there but I was fortunate for it to hit the rock and go into the bunker. It’s tough there but I just blasted it out and it went it. The chip was about 12 yards. That was probably the reason why I shot under-par today.