Powerful cast of champions set for the BNI Indonesian Masters


Published on November 29, 2019

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.

Ends.


Published on November 27, 2019

Here is what the Sabah Masters winner Pavit Tangkamolprasert had in the bag last week:

Driver: Callaway Epic Flash Sub Zero 8.5* Shaft: Mitsubishi-Chemical Tensei CK Pro Orange 60 TX

Fairway: Callaway Epic Flash 15* Shaft: Mitsubishi-Chemical Tensei CK Pro Blue 70 TX

Hybrid: Callaway Epic Flash 21* Shaft: Mitsubishi-Chemical Tensei CK Pro Blue 90 TX

Irons: Callaway MB1 (4-P) Shaft: Nippon Shaft Modus 3 125 X

Wedge1: Callaway MD5 Jaws 52*

Wedge2: Callaway MD5 Jaws 56*

Wedge3: Titleist Vokey Design PROTO T-Grind 60*

Putter: Odyssey W/H #5 CS

Ball: Titleist Pro V1 x (2019)

Shoe: FootJoy

Glove: Callaway

Cap: Callaway

Bag: Callaway

Note: No 3 Iron


Published on November 24, 2019

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.

Pavit Tangkamolprasert of Thailand

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.

David Gleeson of Australia

Did you know?

  • Pavit Tangkamolprasert marked his week’s lowest round with a closing 65. Starting the final round with a three-shot deficit, Pavit dropped a shot on his third hole but bounced back brilliantly with seven birdies on his way home to force the play-off.
  • Pavit’s stats this week were very strong across the board, he led the field in birdies with 24, Driving Distance 316 yards (1st), Putts/GIR 1.591 (3rd),  Putts/Round 1.44 (5th), GIR 68.06% (T10th) , Driving Accuracy 85.71% (T10th).
  • Pavit is a six-time champion on the Asian Development Tour (ADT), where he was crowned the Order of Merit champion in 2014. He shares the record of the most wins on the ADT with Chan Shih-chang of Chinese Taipei.
  • He claimed his first Asian Tour victory at the 2016 Macao Open, also in a play-off where he defeated India’s Anirban Lahiri.
  • He had also defeated Chinese Taipei’s Lin Wen-tang in a play-off at the 2016 Charming Yeandger ADT, which was his biggest victory yet on the region’s secondary circuit.
  • Enjoyed his career-best season yet on the Asian Tour in 2016 where he finished 12th on the Order of Merit.
  • Pavit lost in a playoff at the Thailand Open two weeks ago and had another top-10 on this year’s Asian Tour at the Bank BRI Indonesia Open where he finished tied-sixth.
  • On the All Thailand Golf Tour (ATGT), Pavit has racked up eight top-10s in 10 outings this season and in the last two of those in the weeks leading up to Thailand Open, he finished tied-third and tied-second.
  • Pavit moved up from 35th place to 18th place on the Order of Merit following his victory.
  • Pavit comes from a golfing family. His dad brought him into the game and his younger brother and sister are professional golfers too.
  • Phachara Khongwatmai marked his fourth top-10 result this season with his tied-second place finish at the Sabah Masters.
  • The 20-year-old Phachara had led the first two rounds but a double-bogey on the last hole in the third round saw him slip out of the lead for the first time this week. The young Thai, however, fought back brilliantly in the final round with four straight birdies from the 11th hole to secure his berth in the play-off.
  • Phachara came into prominence when he won the 2015 PGM CCM Rahman Putra Championship to become the youngest ADT winner at the age of 15.
  • Phachara enjoyed his career-best season yet on the Asian Tour in 2017, where he came in third.
  • David Gleeson, who hails from Queensland, was left to wait longer for his comeback victory after missing out on his fourth title and first since 2011 at the Sabah Masters.
  • The 41-year-old Gleeson had agonisingly missed a 12-footer on the last hole in regulation play to seal the victory.
  • Gleeson’s last victory came at the 2011 Hero Indian Open. He claimed his first victory at the 2002 Volvo China Open and his second title at the 2008 Macau Open.
  • Gleeson’s joint runner-up finish at the Sabah Masters came after missing four cuts in as many starts on Tour this year.  
  • Gleeson turned professional in 1998 and reached a career high of 154th on the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) in January of 2009.
  • Aman Raj of India secured his 2019 Asian Tour card after coming through the Qualifying School last December. He has enjoyed a consistent season so far, missing only three cuts in 11 starts.
  • The 24-year-old Indian would mark his best result ever on the Asian Tour with his joint runner-up finish at the Sabah Masters this week.
  • After turning professional in 2016, Raj travelled to Thailand for Asian Tour Qualifying School but was forced to return home after fracturing his jaw following a fall in the bathroom. He was out of action for two months after that.
Aman Raj of India

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Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, November 24: Read what players have to say following the final round of the Sabah Masters on Sunday.

Pavit Tangkamolprasert (Tha) – Final round 65 (-6), Total 271 (-13)

It’s incredible. I really didn’t expect this. I didn’t even expect to get into a play-off. I finished my round early and I already changed out of my golfing attire and getting ready to go to the airport! Had to change back again when I know I’m in the play-off. It’s really incredible.

But this is golf. You never know what will happen till the last minute. I came close to winning the Thailand Open two weeks ago. I felt more pressure that week since it’s my National Open. But this week, I am more relaxed and I think that helped me a lot.

I hit my irons really well today. Putted well too. Didn’t get off to a good start. I dropped a shot on the third but made a lot of birdies after that to make the play-off. I have been working very hard on my game lately. It’s great to finally win.

Since my first win in Macao, I have had some setbacks, battling with a wrist injury. But it’s all in the past now. In golf, you just got to keep trying. You don’t know when it will come so you need to keep trying.

Pavit Tangkamolprasert of Thailand

David Gleeson (Aus) – Final round 68 (-3), Total 271 (-13)

I feel good about the last round, I did everything that I wanted to do. I don’t think I really made any sort of, you know, like a crazy sort of errors it was just all very patient which is just a really good feeling.

I made some good birdies; I missed a few more birdies. You know I’m still not driving the ball great, but this course suits me because I can hit some three-woods and irons.

I just really felt quite good today actually, just within myself, and what shots I was trying to hit I was actually almost getting close to matching what I was seeing and feeling without sort of worrying about nerves. So you know that’s a good sign.

I think my game is better than it was back in the past. It’s more complete than back then. I played at a very high sort of emotional level back then. That’s what I have been working on, just to relax and enjoy the game.

Better pre-shot routines are in place and more routines for the whole week are in place. That’s the goal coming to next year, so let’s keep doing this for, well, until seniors, I guess!

David Gleeson of Australia

Aman Raj (Ind) – Final round 63 (-8), Total 271 (-13)

Everything felt like was working in my way. Especially the putting part, because you know I’ve been hitting it decent saving my pars, but today was all about everything going in. I started with a chip in on the second hole.

Then again made birdie on the fifth hole and missed on the sixth, made a good par on the sixth actually, then seventh and eighth long putts for birdie. On 10th hole I made birdie from like 10 feet so that was good.

On the 11th I again had a chance from eight feet, but missed that, so I’m like that was a chance to like “go”. On the 13th I made birdie, that’s a good hole to make birdie It is kind of tough. I would say the toughest hole on this golf course. And I’ve been bogeying it like two days I believe. So yeah, there, that was the game changer.

I birdied the 15th and 16th and the 17th was a good two-putt from like 30 feet. On the 18th was again a good chip but for par, I tried for the chip-in but at the same time I had to keep my par safe. So, all in all I’m happy with today’s round.

I have been in an amateur play-off once or twice and, like, to be honest I haven’t won a play-off. It feels good to be in an Asian Tour play-off, I’ve never been in a play-off as a professional, so this is the first time.

Coming to the last I knew that I’m close, but at the same time, you know, I was just like, you know, there are a lot of a lot of people playing right now a lot of holes left, anything can happen. So just try your best, whatever you perform and look for it afterwards.

Aman Raj of India

Phachara Khongwatmai (Tha) – Final round 67 (-4), Total 271 (-13)

I quite work hard today because I had a bad start on the front nine and then good to come back with four birdies in a row. I tried to make a couple more birdies more, but I can’t make it. But it’s okay I’m happy in this position right now.

This morning I’m just thinking like I thought maybe, like three rounds, just play my game. This afternoon, the rain came too late and I have to play 18. Still a good finish. I am happy for my friend Pavit. He deserves the win.

Phachara Khongwatmai of Thailand

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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.

David Gleeson of Australia

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.

Phachara Khongwatmai of Thailand

Ends.


Published on November 23, 2019

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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.

Ends.

Malcolm Kokocinski of Sweden

Did you know?

  • Dongha Lee of Korea has not yet won on Tour, but he has two tied-second place finishes on the Korean Tour in 2017 and 2018.
  • His best result on the Asian Tour is a tied-ninth at the 37th GS Caltex Maekyung Open Golf Championship in 2018, and he also finished tied-eight at the same event in 2019.
  • After narrowly missing his Asian Tour card by one shot at Q-School last December, Lee is playing on a country exemption this season and has made just over US$18,000 in his only three events.
  • Lee’s first love was actually football. However, upon the encouragement of his parents to play golf at the age of 12, he got hooked to the sport and subsequently led him to turn professional in 1996.
  • Malcolm Kokocinski claimed his breakthrough win at the 2018 AB Bank Bangladesh Open.
  • Kokocinski first came to Asia in 2013 where he played on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) after failing to make the mark at the Asian Tour Qualifying School. He came through the Qualifying School for the first time after finishing fifth in 2016 but failed to retain his card for the following season after ending the season in 71st place on the Order of Merit.
  • The 28-year-old Swede turned professional in 2012 and is based in Hua Hin, Thailand.  
  • Sitting in 81st place on the Asian Tour Order of Merit, Kokocinski needs a strong showing this week to boost his ranking and break inside top-60 at the end of the season to retain his playing rights for 2020.
  • At a young age of 17 years and 149 days, Joohyung Kim became the second youngest professional to win on the Asian Tour when he claimed his maiden win on the region’s premier Tour at the Panasonic Open India last week. It was only his third start on the Asian Tour this season.
  • Kim had posted a third-place finish at the Bank BRI Indonesia Open and a tied-sixth place result at the Thailand Open prior to his Asian Tour breakthrough.
  • The Korean talent had earned his playing rights for the remainder of the 2019 Asian Tour season after clinching his third title on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) this season in Pakistan last month.
Joohyung Kim of Korea

Published on November 22, 2019

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Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, November 22: Read what players have to say following the second round of the Sabah Masters on Friday.

Dongha Lee of Korea

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 of Korea

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.