Takanari leads with Nachimuthu ready to pounce at PGM Labuan Championship


Labuan, Malaysia, August 15: Japan’s Takanari Iwama enjoyed the opening honours by firing a five-under-par 67 to grab the first round lead at the PGM Labuan Championship on Wednesday. 

The Japanese took a two-shot lead over Thailand’s Nitithorn Thippng, Malaysia’s R. Nachimuthu and Tarik Can of the United States after the trio ended the day with matching 69s at the Labuan International Golf Club.

Malaysia’s Brandon Lau had a round to remember as he enjoyed a bogey-free round of 70 to take outright fifth place at the RM225,000 (approximately US$58,000) event on the Asian Development Tour (ADT).

Nachimuthu, who is still searching for his first win on the ADT, emerged as as the highest placed Malaysian by marking his card with four birdies and one bogey.

After finishing ninth at his last ADT event in Kuala Lumpur last month, the Malaysian believes that result, which is also his best one this season, has given him the confidence to do well.

“I’m hitting the ball much better and I feel good around the golf course today. This course is a very narrow one and I cannot attack the par-fives. So I need to plan my approach and strategy well. It’s still early days and I don’t want to look too far ahead just yet. But for today, I’m happy,” said Nachimuthu.

The PGM Labuan Championship takes place concurrently with the Taifong Open which will tee off at the Taifong Golf Course in Chinese Taipei this week.

All ADT events are afforded Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) status. The winner of each tournament receives a minimum of six OWGR points while the top-six players and ties earn points on a sliding scale.

The leading seven players on the ADT Order of Merit at the end of the season will earn playing rights on the premier Asian Tour for the 2019 season.

Ends.


Sabah, Malaysia, August 11: Malaysia’s Ben Leong completed a wire-to-wire victory on home soil after closing with a three-under-par 69 to win by three shots for his second Asian Development Tour (ADT) title at the PGM Sabah Championship on Saturday.

The 32-year-old Sabahan, who started the round with a two-shot edge, dropped a shot on the par-five second hole but recovered brilliantly with four birdies on his way home to cap a winning total of 11-under-par 277 at the Sabah Golf and Country Club.

American rookie Sam Gillis returned with a 69 to take second place on his own, marking his best finish so far in his first season on the region’s secondary circuit at the RM225,000 (approximately US$58,000) ADT event.

Japan’s Shinichi Mizuno closed with three straight birdies for a 72 to grab a share of third place on 283 alongside American Greg Moss, who posted a 67. Finland’s Janne Kaske settled a further two shots back in fifth following a 67.

Leong, who could have played at the Asian Tour’s TAKE Solutions Masters in Bengaluru this week, chose to play at home as he wants to spend more time with his new-born son Zac. It has proven to be a wise decision for Leong, who had his dad N.C. on his bag.

“I didn’t feel much pressure at all. I was just focused on my game and wasn’t even concerned about what was happening on the leaderboard. It’s definitely sweeter to have a win on home ground with my wife watching me and my father supporting me on the bag,” said Leong, whose first ADT win came at the 2017 PGM Northport Glenmarie Championship.

“I played some solid golf today and made no mistakes. I’m just glad to have found something in my game as I start preparing to play in the Shinhan Donghae Open on the Asian Tour next month. I’m feeling more confident now and I can’t wait to bring this confidence over to the rest of the season.” added Leong.

Leong would take home a winner’s prize purse of US$10,096 and receive six Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points, thanks to his victory. The top-six players and ties will also earn OWGR points based on a sliding scale.

Gillis, playing in his first season on the ADT after missing the grade at the Qualifying School in January, was disappointed to have missed out on the victory but took pride in his runner-up finish, which was his best finish this season since moving to Asia in January.

“I’m happy that my game has been progressing and that I’m shooting scores I know I am capable of. I just didn’t quite have it today. Ben played solid today after a slow start and I would have had to go really low if I wanted to beat him,” said Gillis, who mixed his card with four birdies and two bogeys.

The PGM Sabah Championship is the 12th leg on the ADT’s 2018 schedule. The leading seven players on the ADT Order of Merit at the end of the season will earn playing rights on the premier Asian Tour for the 2019 season.

Ends.

Leading round four scores:

277 – Ben LEONG (MAS) 69 69 70 69

280 – Sam GILLIS (USA) 72 71 67 70

283 – Greg MOSS (USA) 72 72 72 67, Shinichi MIZUNO (JPN) 71 70 70 72

285 – Janne KASKE (FIN) 73 70 75 67

287 – Johnson POH (SGP) 74 68 74 71, Brett MUNSON (USA) 73 73 70 71

288 – Jeremy WENDELKEN (USA) 72 70 73 73

289 – Donlaphatchai NIYOMCHON (THA) 73 74 73 69, Nitithorn THIPPONG (THA) 77 70 73 69

290 – Jesse SCHUTTE (USA) 74 72 71 73, Oskar ARVIDSSON (SWE) 78 68 69 75

About Asian Development Tour

The Asian Development Tour was launched in 2010 with the aim of creating a career pathway for professional golfers in Asia. Sanctioned by the Asian Tour, the Asian Development Tour will ultimately create a new playing platform for emerging stars from across Asia and around the world. Through the Asian Tour Qualifying School, players will qualify for the Asian Development Tour and enjoy the opportunity to hone their games and talent through a secondary circuit in Asia. Designed in the same structure as the Web.com Tour in America and European Challenge Tour, the Asian Development Tour is a stepping stone to the Asian Tour and the exciting world of international golf. The Asian Development Tour has been structured to ensure the best opportunities for its members. The leading five players on the Asian Development Tour will earn coveted Asian Tour cards for the following season, ensuring a proper career pathway for aspiring professionals. All ADT events receive Official World Golf Ranking points.


Labuan, Malaysia, August 17: Malaysia’s Rizal Amin is ready to end his four-year title drought on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) after he posted a one-under-par 70 to snatch the outright third round lead at the PGM Labuan Championship on Friday.

The Malaysian’s three-day total of six-under-par 210 gave him a one-shot cushion over compatriot R. Nachimuthu who is chasing for his ADT breakthrough at the Labuan International Golf Club this week.

Malaysia’s Shahriffuddin Ariffin returned with a 72 to take third place while Nicholas Fung, a one-time Asian Tour winner also signed for a 72 to stay four shots back of Rizal in fourth place at the RM225,000 (approximately US$58,000) ADT event.

Rizal, who shared the overnight lead with Nachimuthu, birdied holes three and nine for an outward 34.

The 35-year-old dropped two shots after making bogeys on 10 and 12 but regained his composure by sinking another birdie at the last to give himself a slim advantage over the rest of the chasing pack.

“It has been a while since I’ve been on top of the leaderboard. I was able to put everything together today although it has not been easy on this golf course,” said Rizal.

Rizal’s last win on the ADT came in 2014 in Kuala Lumpur and he hopes he can continue to stay focus as he seeks his return to the winner’s circle for the first time in four years.

“I want to win again and to do that, I’ve to stay patient and keep to my game plan. You got to have good course management here as one big swing can cause you a big number,”said the Malaysian.

The PGM Labuan Championship takes place concurrently with the Taifong Open which will tee off at the Taifong Golf Course in Chinese Taipei this week.

All ADT events are afforded Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) status. The winner of each tournament receives a minimum of six OWGR points while the top-six players and ties earn points on a sliding scale.

The leading seven players on the ADT Order of Merit at the end of the season will earn playing rights on the premier Asian Tour for the 2019 season.

Ends.


Jakarta, August 17: Danny Masrin is hoping marital bliss will guide him to success at the US$110,000 Ciputra Golfpreneur Tournament Presented by Panasonic next week. 

The 25-year-old Masrin, who tied the knot with sweetheart Tiffany Priosoetanto last month, hopes to win his first Asian Development Tour (ADT) title at the BSD Course by Damai Indah Golf when the event gets underway from August 22 to 25. 

Masrin, the highest-ranked Indonesian on the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR), will spearhead the local charge alongside Rory Hie and George Gandranata, who is the only Indonesian to win on the ADT in 2016.

Masrin capped his best result on the Asian Tour at the season-opening SMBC Singapore Open where he finished tied 12th before going on to finish tied fourth at the Richard Mille Brunei Championships on the ADT in March.

“The season feels pretty good so far. I haven’t played too many ADT events this year. I had that one good finish in Brunei where I came in tied-fourth. I played six events on the Asian Tour and the best finish I had was in Singapore. Since then, it has been alright.

“I have a good stretch of events coming up so I hope I can play some good golf and build some momentum as I continue to chase for my Asian Tour card either through getting into top-60 on the Asian Tour’s money list or top-seven on the ADT Merit rankings,” said Masrin.

Currently ranked 25th on the ADT Order of Merit, Masrin hopes to improve on his rankings and will draw confidence from his familiarity at the BSD course.

“I have played at the BSD Course many times. I am very comfortable there. I know I can play well there so my expectations are pretty high. I am just going to go out there and hopefully make more putts than I usually do.

“Obviously, everyone hopes to see an Indonesian win an ADT event in Indonesia because it hasn’t happened before. I am pretty comfortable with that course and I know what the winning scores usually is so we’ll see how it goes,” added Masrin, who turned professional in 2015.

The Ciputra Golfpreneur Tournament, which will be celebrating its fifth consecutive edition on the ADT next week, is the 15th leg of the 2018 season and the second to be played in Indonesia this year.

A total of 144 players will compete in the event, with the field being split between the ADT and the PGA Tour of Indonesia.

Past champions of the tournament are Masaru Takahashi (2017) of Japan, Sweden’s Oscar Zetterwal (2016), Michael Tran (2015) of Vietnam and Scotland’s James Byrne (2014).

As one of the richest events on the ADT schedule this season, the Ciputra Golfpreneur Tournament will play a pivotal role in determining the Order of Merit rankings, where the top seven players on the final 2018 Order of Merit will earn a coveted Asian Tour card for 2019.

By featuring on the ADT schedule, the Ciputra Golfpreneur Tournament will also offer Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points. The winner will receive six OWGR points while the top six players and ties will also earn points based on a sliding scale.

For more information on the ADT, please visit www.asiandevelopmenttour.com.

Ends.

About Panasonic

Panasonic Corporation is a worldwide leader in the development of diverse electronics technologies and solutions for customers in the consumer electronics, housing, automotive, and B2B businesses. Celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2018, the company has expanded globally and now operates 495 subsidiaries and 91 associated companies worldwide, recording consolidated net sales of 7.343 trillion yen for the year ended March 31, 2017. Committed to pursuing new value through innovation across divisional lines, the company uses its technologies to create a better life and a better world for its customers. To learn more about Panasonic: http://www.panasonic.com/global

About Damai Indah Golf, BSD Course

Recognized as one of the finest courses which Jack Nicklaus ever designed, Bumi Serpong Damai (BSD) Course. This award-winning course features the “Spirit of the Hills” with lush tropical landscaping, green rolling hills and many enormous and yet challenging bunkers.

Operated since 1992, The BSD Course was designed to offer an enjoyable mental challenge within a visually appearing setting with every hole positioned within beautifully landscape settings and it’s playable for every type of golfers, whether a high or low handicapper. As Jack Nicklaus’ maiden project in Indonesia, he ensured this remarkable 6,545 meter, par 72 course incorporated many of his personal favorite features from some of the world’s top courses. The BSD Course is undisputable one of the best the world has to offer.

Found alongside the Cisadane River and within the Serpong Valley, the course is located in the outskirt of Jakarta, around 32 km or 45 minutes from the SCBD part of down-town, and can be accessed from Jakarta–Meraktoll road and outer ring road.

Damai Indah Golf, Bumi Serpong Damai (BSD) Course is the home of many international tournament, such as Indonesia President Invitational 2007 and 2009, Indonesia PGA Championship 2014.

About Asian Development Tour

The Asian Development Tour was launched in 2010 with the aim of creating a career pathway for professional golfers in Asia. Sanctioned by the Asian Tour, the Asian Development Tour will ultimately create a new playing platform for emerging stars from across Asia and around the world. Through the Asian Tour Qualifying School, players will qualify for the Asian Development Tour and enjoy the opportunity to hone their games and talent through a secondary circuit in Asia. Designed in the same structure as the Web.com Tour in America and European Challenge Tour, the Asian Development Tour is a stepping stone to the Asian Tour and the exciting world of international golf. The Asian Development Tour has been structured to ensure the best opportunities for its members. The leading seven players on the Asian Development Tour will earn coveted Asian Tour cards for the following season, ensuring a proper career pathway for aspiring professionals. All ADT events receive Official World Golf Ranking points.


Changhwa, Chinese Taipei, August 16: Local veteran Tsai Chi-huang fired a bogey-free six-under-par 66 to grab the opening round lead by one shot at the US$160,000 Taifong Open on Thursday.

The 49-year-old Tsai, a two-time Asian Tour winner, highlighted his flawless card with six birdies to sit atop the leaderboard at the event, which is celebrating its fifth straight edition as the richest tournament on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) this week.

Thai hotshot Pavit Tangkamolprasert nailed a birdie and an eagle on his closing three holes to grab a share of second place with countryman Nirun Sae-Ueng, Tour rookie Shohei Hasegawa of Japan and local hope Wang Tsung-chieh at the Taifong Golf Course.

Tsai, who resides in Shanghai, made a fast start with three birdies in his opening five holes for an outward 33 before adding three more birdies on his way home on holes 10, 13 and 17.

“I was hitting it really well today and making a lot of key putts. I managed to hit it inside 10-feet on a lot of holes and I kept a steady tempo all day. On the second hole, I made a putt from off the green for birdie.”

“I was playing solid golf and it was nice to finish strong with a birdie on hole 17 after making the green in two shots on the par-five and left myself with a 30-footer for eagle,” said Tsai, who only missed three greens today.

Hasegawa, who currently sits in third-place on the ADT Order of Merit, rode on a hot putter en-route to a bogey-free round highlighted with five birdies.

“My putting was very good today which was a huge confidence booster. I have been struggling with my swing the past couple of months and but this week I feel like I am hitting my irons solidly and giving myself a lot of opportunities,” said Hasegawa, who claimed his maiden ADT victory at the OB Golf Invitational in March, two months after coming through the Asian Tour Qualifying School

Pavit, a record six-time winner on the ADT and a one-time Asian Tour winner, was pleased to shoot his first round in the 60s after missing two cuts in his last three starts on the region’s premier Tour.

The 29-year-old Pavit, who claimed two of his ADT titles in Chinese Taipei, rolled in three birdies before sinking a downhill 15-footer for eagle on the par-five 17th hole.  

“I haven’t been playing well leading up to this event. I went to see my coach and get my swing sorted last week and it was good. I missed only two greens today and was hitting everything close.

“It was a slow start for me. I was missing a lot of birdie putts. The eight-footer birdie putt on hole eight was the turning point for me.” said Pavit, the 2014 ADT Order of Merit champion.

Defending champion and reigning ADT Order of Merit champion Pannakorn Uthaipas of Thailand signed for a 71 to tie in 28th-place.

The leading seven players on the ADT Order of Merit at the end of the season will earn playing rights on the premier Asian Tour for the 2019 season. Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points are offered for all ADT events. The winner will earn a total of six OWGR points while the top-six players and ties earn points on a sliding scale.

Ends.

Leading first round scores:

66 – TSAI Chi-huang (TWN) 

67 – Nirun SAE-UENG (THA) , Shohei HASEGAWA (JPN) , WANG Tsung-chieh (TWN) , Pavit TANGKAMOLPRASERT (THA)

 68 – HUNG Chun-kang (TWN) , WANG Wei-lun (TWN) 69 – HUANG Chi (TWN) , Natipong SRITHONG (THA) , Piya SWANGARUNPORN (THA) , WENG Young-tien (TWN) , Hyukchul SHIN (KOR) , Kazuki HIGA (JPN) , Kasidit LEPKURTE (THA) 

70 – Jakraphan PREMSIRIGORN (THA) , Sydney CHUNG (USA) , Brett MUNSON (USA) , HUANG Hsiang-hao (TWN) , Michael TRAN (VIE) , HUNG Chien-yao (TWN) , LEE Chieh-po (TWN) , KOH Deng Shan (SGP) , Josh SALAH (USA) , LIN Wen-tang (TWN) , Jesse YAP (SGP) 

About Asian Development Tour

The Asian Development Tour was launched in 2010 with the aim of creating a career pathway for professional golfers in Asia. Sanctioned by the Asian Tour, the Asian Development Tour will ultimately create a new playing platform for emerging stars from across Asia and around the world. Through the Asian Tour Qualifying School, players will qualify for the Asian Development Tour and enjoy the opportunity to hone their games and talent through a secondary circuit in Asia. Designed in the same structure as the Web.com Tour in America and European Challenge Tour, the Asian Development Tour is a stepping stone to the Asian Tour and the exciting world of international golf. The Asian Development Tour has been structured to ensure the best opportunities for its members. The leading seven players on the Asian Development Tour will earn coveted Asian Tour cards for the following season, ensuring a proper career pathway for aspiring professionals. All ADT events receive Official World Golf Ranking points.


Changhwa, Chinese Taipei, August 15: Thailand’s Pannakorn Uthaipas will be looking to shake off his injury woes as he bids for a successful title defence at the popular Taifong Open, which gets underway on Thursday.

Pannakorn, the reigning Asian Development Tour (ADT) Order of Merit champion, was forced to withdraw from the Asian Tour’s Royal Cup on home soil last month due to a hip injury but has since recovered after undergoing treatment that week.

The 28-year-old Pannakorn will headline the US$160,000 ADT event alongside countryman Pavit Tangkamolprasert, a record six-time winner on the region’s secondary circuit, as well as Japan’s Shohei Hasegawa, the highest-ranked player in third place on the Order of Merit.

A host of ADT winners, including American Josh Salah, Thailand’s Varanyu Rattanaphiboonkij and Japan’s Kazuki Higa, placed fifth, seventh and eighth respectively on the money list, will also be vying for honours at the highly-rated Taifong Golf Course.   

“I tried to change my swing before the Royal Cup. I practiced a lot and I hurt my hip the weekend before the Royal Cup. At first, I thought it was just a muscle ache but then it turned out to be more serious so I had to withdraw from the tournament. I had to go to the hospital for six days that week to get treatment but I have fully recovered now,” said Pannakorn.

Pannakorn became the second Thai after Pavit to lift the ADT Order of Merit crown last year, thanks largely to his victory at the Taifong Open, which hails as the richest tournament on the ADT schedule since its inception in 2014.

The amiable Thai, however, has struggled to replicate his success since making his ascent onto the region’s premier Tour this season. Despite missing just four cuts in 11 starts, Pannakorn’s best finish was only a tied-38th place at both the Asia-Pacific Classic and the Thailand Open.

After recovering from his hip injury, Pannakorn went on to cap a top-10 finish on his local circuit two weeks ago. He hopes to draw motivation from that result to launch a successful title defence this week.

 “That was my first win on the ADT and first professional win outside of Thailand so this event is very special for me.  I feel very good coming back here because I have a lot of good memories. I just hope to do my best as I have been playing well leading up to this event,” added Pannakorn, who won the Taifong Open, just three days before his 27th birthday.

American rookie Sam Gillis, who missed out on a breakthrough win in Sabah last week, hopes to redeem himself by going one better for a maiden win, which will boost his rankings on the Order of Merit, where he currently sits in 10th position.

“The first half of my season wasn’t that great because I was struggling with the transition, but it was still a good learning experience. Starting the second half of the season, I think I’ve improved a lot and I’m starting to play true to my potential.

“I just found something in my game and I just kept the momentum going. I’ll just have to be really careful off the tee on this course. I hope to get some good rounds going,” said Gillis, who marked his best result on the ADT this season with a runner-up finish last week.

ADT graduate Wang Wei-lun will be banking on his home advantage when he chases for a second ADT title at the event, where he had lost to American Johannes Veerman in a play-off two years ago.  

“This season on the Asian Tour hasn’t been that great for me. I have been struggling to perform and I have not figured out what is wrong yet. I know it’s all mental because I do well in practices but I struggle in the actual rounds,” said Wang, who made only four cuts in 10 starts on the Asian Tour this season.

“I feel comfortable coming back to a course that I know I can play well on and it’s good to see familiar faces here. I just want to give it my best this week. I don’t have any expectations for myself because I know I still have a lot to improve so I will take it easy this week.” said Wang, who turns 25 in three days’ time.

The leading seven players on the ADT Order of Merit at the end of the season will earn playing rights on the premier Asian Tour for the 2019 season. Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points are offered for all ADT events. The winner will earn a total of six OWGR points while the top-six players and ties earn points on a sliding scale.

About Asian Development Tour

The Asian Development Tour was launched in 2010 with the aim of creating a career pathway for professional golfers in Asia. Sanctioned by the Asian Tour, the Asian Development Tour will ultimately create a new playing platform for emerging stars from across Asia and around the world. Through the Asian Tour Qualifying School, players will qualify for the Asian Development Tour and enjoy the opportunity to hone their games and talent through a secondary circuit in Asia. Designed in the same structure as the Web.com Tour in America and European Challenge Tour, the Asian Development Tour is a stepping stone to the Asian Tour and the exciting world of international golf. The Asian Development Tour has been structured to ensure the best opportunities for its members. The leading seven players on the Asian Development Tour will earn coveted Asian Tour cards for the following season, ensuring a proper career pathway for aspiring professionals. All ADT events receive Official World Golf Ranking points.


Changhwa, Chinese Taipei, August 14: American Josh Salah, currently fifth on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) Order of Merit, looks to shrug off his jetlag and put up a good showing at the Taifong Open which gets underway on Thursday.

The 27-year-old American just landed from Boston, where he was the best man at his brother’s wedding, to compete in the US$160,000 event at Taifong Golf Course.

Defending Champion Pannakorn Uthaipas will also be part of the stellar field featuring more than 28 ADT champions including Japan’s Shohei Hasegawa and Kazuki Higa, ranked third and eighth on the ADT Order of Merit respectively.

“I left the morning after the wedding and flew from Boston to Japan, and Japan to Chinese Taipei, which was 17 hours in the air in total. I’m a little jetlagged but I’m sure I’ll shake it off in the next couple of days,” said Salah who claimed his maiden ADT victory at the PGM CCM Rahman Putra Championship 2016.

He enjoyed a top-10 finish in April this year at the BTI Open in Bangladesh before finally breaking a two-year winning drought last month at the PGM Northport Championship.

“I think I started my year pretty solidly with a good finish in Bangladesh and I was juggling between playing on the Philippines circuit and the ADT to try and gain some momentum. It’s been a long few years but winning my second ADT title just validated all my hard work and patience. It’s my fourth year in Asia and my goal is to finish in the top-seven because I am ready to move onto the bigger stage,” added Salah.

Chinese Taipei’s Chan Shih-Chang, a five-time ADT winner, will spearhead the local challenge along with Lin Wen-tang, Lu Wei-chih and Hung Chien-yao.

Chan hopes to overcome the pressure of playing in front of the home crowd and replicate the winning memories from his success at the Taifong Open in 2010 when it was on the local circuit. He also claimed victory in a five-way play-off in 2014 when the event was featured on the ADT schedule for the first time.

“It’s more pressure playing in front of home crowds because I don’t want to let everyone rooting for me down. I’m just trying to find the same feeling I had when I won. I have not been very satisfied with how I’ve been playing this year. I changed my swing at the start of this year and have been struggling with all the swing changes.

I’m excited to be playing in my first tournament on home ground this year. It’s been a while since I came here to play and I like the layout of this course. I’ve won here twice so I know I can do well,” said Chan, who resides in Taichung.

The 23-year old Higa, playing in his first year in Asia, will be carrying over the momentum from winning three events since joining the play-for-pay ranks at the end of 2017. He will be one of the most in-form players at the richest event on the ADT schedule.

“I won twice in Japan after my victory in Bangladesh early this year. I gained a lot of confidence from winning my first ADT event and that has really boosted my season,” said Higa who claimed his maiden ADT victory in May at the BTI Open.

“I hope to win a couple more events and stay in the top-seven (of the ADT Order of Merit). I am playing well now as I am getting used to competing outside Japan,” said Higa.

The leading seven players on the ADT Order of Merit at the end of the season will earn playing rights on the premier Asian Tour for the 2019 season. Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points are offered on all ADT events with the winner earning a total of six OWGR points while the top-six players and ties earn points on a sliding scale.

About Asian Development Tour

The Asian Development Tour was launched in 2010 with the aim of creating a career pathway for professional golfers in Asia. Sanctioned by the Asian Tour, the Asian Development Tour will ultimately create a new playing platform for emerging stars from across Asia and around the world. Through the Asian Tour Qualifying School, players will qualify for the Asian Development Tour and enjoy the opportunity to hone their games and talent through a secondary circuit in Asia. Designed in the same structure as the Web.com Tour in America and European Challenge Tour, the Asian Development Tour is a stepping stone to the Asian Tour and the exciting world of international golf. The Asian Development Tour has been structured to ensure the best opportunities for its members. The leading five players on the Asian Development Tour will earn coveted Asian Tour cards for the following season, ensuring a proper career pathway for aspiring professionals. All ADT events receive Official World Golf Ranking points.


Jakarta, Indonesia, August 22:  Local hotshot George Gandranata closed with three straight birdies to sign for an opening seven-under-par 65, sharing a one-shot lead with Thailand’s Namchok Tantipokhakul at the Ciputra Golfpreneur Tournament presented by Panasonic on Wednesday.

Gandranata, the first Indonesian to win on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) in 2016, fired one eagle and six birdies against a bogey to match the efforts of Namchok, who returned with a bogey-free round highlighted by eight birdies, at the par-72 BSD Course by Damai Indah Golf.

Australian David Gleeson, a three-time Asian Tour winner, took third place with young Thai Phanuvich Onchu while Japan’s Shohei Hasegawa, placed fourth on the current Order of Merit, was tied in fifth place following a 67 at the US$110,000 ADT event.

Starting from the first, Gandranata nailed two birdies to turn in 34 before dropping a shot on the 10th hole. The 32-year-old, however, bounced back with an eagle on the par-four 12th hole before storming home with four more birdies in his closing five holes.

“My putting was good. I trusted my line and my caddy was good too. I read the lines well and got the speed right. I had some good par saves as well. It was a good bogey on the 10th actually. I eagled the 12th after holing out my second shot with a seven-iron from 151 yards. That got my momentum going,” said Gandranata, who needed only 25 putts around the greens.

“It’s good to be playing at home. I feel pretty relaxed. This course is not too long. I think it’s going to be a putting contest this week. If you can putt well, you should stand a good chance,” added Gandranata, who had enjoyed a fourth-place finish in an ADT event on home soil earlier in March.

The 31-year-old Namchok, a two-time winner on the region’s secondary circuit, is playing in his first event after taking a four-week break from golf to recover from a shoulder injury.

“I hit the ball good today. This is my first tournament in a month. I took four weeks off to recover from a shoulder injury. I am feeling much better now and it’s great to shoot a good score after taking the break!” said Namchok.

“This is my first time playing in this event. The course condition is really good. I holed a good birdie on the par-four sixth hole after making the putt from about nine feet. That’s probably my best birdie today,” he added.

The Ciputra Golfpreneur Tournament, which is celebrating its fifth consecutive edition on the ADT this week, is the 15th leg of the 2018 season and the second to be played in Indonesia this year.

As one of the richest events on the ADT schedule this season, the Ciputra Golfpreneur Tournament will play a pivotal role in determining the Order of Merit rankings, where the top seven players on the final 2018 Order of Merit will earn a coveted Asian Tour card for 2019.

By featuring on the ADT schedule, the Ciputra Golfpreneur Tournament will also offer Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points. The winner will receive six OWGR points while the top six players and ties will also earn points based on a sliding scale.

For more information on the ADT, please visit www.asiandevelopmenttour.com.

Leading first round scores:

65 – George GANDRANATA (INA) , Namchok TANTIPOKHAKUL (THA) 

66 – Phanuvich ONCHU (THA) , David GLEESON (AUS) 

67 – Peradol PANYATHANASEDH (THA) , Jakraphan PREMSIRIGORN (THA) , Shohei HASEGAWA (JPN) , Sattaya SUPUPRAMAI (THA) 

68 – Ye Htet AUNG (MYN) , Quincy QUEK (SGP) , Varanyu RATTANAPHIBOONKIJ (THA) , Udayan MANE (IND) , Kasidit LEPKURTE (THA) , Miguel CARBALLO (ARG) , Nirun SAE-UENG (THA) 

69 – Sam GILLIS (USA) , Samarth DWIVEDI (IND) , Nitithorn THIPPONG (THA) , Indra HERMAWAN (INA) 

70 – Kentaro NANAYAMA (A) (INA) , Blake SNYDER (USA) , William HARROLD (ENG) , Jordan IRAWAN (INA) , Brett MUNSON (USA) , Steve LEWTON (ENG) , Mitchell SLORACH (SGP) , Erwan VIEILLEDENT (FRA) , Elki KOW (INA) , WANG Wei-lun (TWN) , Nattawat SUVAJANAKORN (THA) , Arie Irawan (MAS) , Han LEE (USA) , Dominikus GLENN (A) (INA) 

71 – Syed Saqib AHMED (IND) , Martin DIVE (AUS) , Suttijet KOORATANAPISAN (THA) , Matt KILLEN (ENG) , Kevin TECHAKANOKBOON (THA) , Sorachut HANSAPIBAN (THA) , Annop TANGKAMOLPRASERT (THA) , Oskar ARVIDSSON (SWE) , Hanbo LEE (RSA) , Deepinder Singh KULLAR (IND) 

Ends.

About Panasonic

Panasonic Corporation is a worldwide leader in the development of diverse electronics technologies and solutions for customers in the consumer electronics, housing, automotive, and B2B businesses. Celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2018, the company has expanded globally and now operates 495 subsidiaries and 91 associated companies worldwide, recording consolidated net sales of 7.343 trillion yen for the year ended March 31, 2017. Committed to pursuing new value through innovation across divisional lines, the company uses its technologies to create a better life and a better world for its customers. To learn more about Panasonic: http://www.panasonic.com/global

About Damai Indah Golf, BSD Course

Recognized as one of the finest courses which Jack Nicklaus ever designed, Bumi Serpong Damai (BSD) Course. This award-winning course features the “Spirit of the Hills” with lush tropical landscaping, green rolling hills and many enormous and yet challenging bunkers.

Operated since 1992, The BSD Course was designed to offer an enjoyable mental challenge within a visually appearing setting with every hole positioned within beautifully landscape settings and it’s playable for every type of golfers, whether a high or low handicapper. As Jack Nicklaus’ maiden project in Indonesia, he ensured this remarkable 6,545 meter, par 72 course incorporated many of his personal favorite features from some of the world’s top courses. The BSD Course is undisputable one of the best the world has to offer.

Found alongside the Cisadane River and within the Serpong Valley, the course is located in the outskirt of Jakarta, around 32 km or 45 minutes from the SCBD part of down-town, and can be accessed from Jakarta–Meraktoll road and outer ring road.

Damai Indah Golf, Bumi Serpong Damai (BSD) Course is the home of many international tournament, such as Indonesia President Invitational 2007 and 2009, Indonesia PGA Championship 2014.

About Asian Development Tour

The Asian Development Tour was launched in 2010 with the aim of creating a career pathway for professional golfers in Asia. Sanctioned by the Asian Tour, the Asian Development Tour will ultimately create a new playing platform for emerging stars from across Asia and around the world. Through the Asian Tour Qualifying School, players will qualify for the Asian Development Tour and enjoy the opportunity to hone their games and talent through a secondary circuit in Asia. Designed in the same structure as the Web.com Tour in America and European Challenge Tour, the Asian Development Tour is a stepping stone to the Asian Tour and the exciting world of international golf. The Asian Development Tour has been structured to ensure the best opportunities for its members. The leading seven players on the Asian Development Tour will earn coveted Asian Tour cards for the following season, ensuring a proper career pathway for aspiring professionals. All ADT events receive Official World Golf Ranking points.


Labuan, Malaysia, August 16: Malaysia’s R.Nachimuthu and Rizal Amin surged to the top of the leaderboard when they signed for a two-under-par 70 and 68 respectively after the second round of the PGM Labuan Championship on Thursday. 

Malaysia’s Shariffuddin Ariffin stayed close to his compatriots by returning with a 68 to take third place while Thailand’s Kevin Techakanokboon and Sukree Othman of Malaysia shared fourth place with their matching totals of three-under-par 141 at the Labuan International Golf Club.

Nachimuthu, who started the day tied for second, stormed off the blocks in his front-nine 10 by firing three birdies in his first five holes. He double-bogeyed the par-three 16 to turn in 35.

The Malaysian then made four straight pars starting from the first hole before another birdie on five brought him back to two-under for the day.

Another four consecutive pars from the sixth hole would see him sign for a 139 total at the RM225,000 (approximately US$58,000) Asian Development Tour (ADT) event.

 “I’m playing well and hopefully this could be my week as I have not won an ADT title yet. I really want to win one and I know I have a chance this week.

“But I also know that the key is to be very focused for the last 36 holes as anything can happen in golf. I just want to play my own game, shot by shot and hopefully I’ll be rewarded,” said Nachimuthu.

The PGM Labuan Championship takes place concurrently with the Taifong Open which will tee off at the Taifong Golf Course in Chinese Taipei this week.

All ADT events are afforded Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) status. The winner of each tournament receives a minimum of six OWGR points while the top-six players and ties earn points on a sliding scale.

The leading seven players on the ADT Order of Merit at the end of the season will earn playing rights on the premier Asian Tour for the 2019 season.

Ends.


Changhwa, Chinese Taipei, August 17: Chinese Taipei’s Chan Shih-chang fired a sparkling seven-under-par 65 to storm to the top of the leaderboard with countryman Tsai Chih-huang and Japan’s Shohei Hasegawa at the halfway stage of the Taifong Open on Friday.

Chan, a five-time Asian Development Tour (ADT) winner, kept local hopes alive when he traded nine birdies against two bogeys to shoot his best round for the year at the US$160,000 event held at Taifong Golf Course.

First-round leader Tsai maintained his position atop the leaderboard following a 70 to share the lead with Chan and Hasegawa (69) on an eight-under-par 136 total. Local veteran Lin Wen-tang (68) was among the three players tied in fourth-place, a further two shots behind.

The 32-year-old Chan, notched four birdies to turn in 32. He posted another birdie before dropping his first shot on hole two due to a three-putt.

The 2010 and 2014 Taifong Open champion, recovered brilliantly with two consecutive birdies before dropping another shot on hole six and grabbing two more birdies on his way home.

“I three-putted on hole two because I misread the line and didn’t take enough of a break. But I wasn’t too affected by it and birdied the two holes after. On hole six the wind was swirling and I just misjudged the direction so I didn’t take enough club and I missed the green on my approach.

“I played really well today and made a lot of putts. This is my best score I’ve played all year. It was windy today but I was striking my irons well and I hitting my driver straight so it put me in a good position on the fairway,” said Chan, who only missed three greens.

Compatriot Tsai stayed bogey-free in his first 14 holes before making a triple-bogey on hole six where he hit his tee shot out-of-bounds.

“I felt a little rushed in the second nine because we were playing a little slow. On hole six I made a triple-bogey because I rushed my swing and hit my drive out-of-bounds on the right side. But I had a strong finish with two birdies on holes eight and nine,” said Tsai, who holds two Asian Tour wins.

The 25-year-old Hasegawa, who currently sits in third place on the Merit rankings, hopes to ride on his good form into the weekend rounds as he chases his second ADT win of the season.

“Today was another solid round, nothing too special, just hitting fairways and making greens. It was a slow start in my first nine and I wasn’t hitting it close enough to make birdies. I dropped a shot on hole 16 because I pushed my tee shot right and had a difficult approach to the green. But I knew the two holes (17 and 18) were easy holes so I took advantage of that.

“It’s exciting being on top of the leaderboard and playing well again. Tomorrow’s going to be an important day and I just want to keep the momentum going into the weekend,” added Hasegawa who won his maiden ADT victory at the OB Golf Invitational in March.

Defending champion and reigning ADT Order of Merit champion Pannakorn Uthaipas of Thailand, battled to a 74 to take tied-49th.

The halfway cut was set at one-over-par 145 with 56 players advancing to the final two rounds.

The leading seven players on the ADT Order of Merit at the end of the season will earn playing rights on the premier Asian Tour for the 2019 season. Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points are offered for all ADT events. The winner will earn a total of six OWGR points while the top-six players and ties earn points on a sliding scale.

Ends.

Leading second round scores:

136 – TSAI Chi-huang (TPE) 66 70, Shohei HASEGAWA (JPN) 67 69, CHAN Shih-chang (TPE) 71 65

138 – WANG Tsung-chieh (TPE) 67 71, HUNG Chien-yao (TPE) 70 68, LIN Wen-tang (TPE) 70 68

139 – Pavit TANGKAMOLPRASERT (THA) 67 72, Jesse YAP (SGP) 70 69, WANG Wei-lun (TPE) 68 71, Han LEE (USA) 70 69, HUNG Chun-kang (TWN) 68 71, Piya SWANGARUNPORN (THA) 69 70

140 – Sangpil YOON (KOR) 71 69, LU Wei-chih (TPE) 71 69, Wisut ARTJANAWAT (THA) 71 69, HUANG Chi (TWN) 69 71

141 – LIN Wen-hong (TPE) 71 70, Masaru TAKAHASHI (JPN) 71 70, YEH Yu-chen (TPE) 71 70, Kazuki HIGA (JPN) 69 72, KOH Deng Shan (SGP) 70 71, Justin DE LOS SANTOS (USA) 71 70, Sam CHIEN (USA) 71 70, Marcus BOTH (AUS) 71 70, Jakraphan PREMSIRIGORN (THA) 70 71, Natipong SRITHONG (THA) 69 72, Chaiphat KOONMARK (THA) 71 70

About Asian Development Tour

The Asian Development Tour was launched in 2010 with the aim of creating a career pathway for professional golfers in Asia. Sanctioned by the Asian Tour, the Asian Development Tour will ultimately create a new playing platform for emerging stars from across Asia and around the world. Through the Asian Tour Qualifying School, players will qualify for the Asian Development Tour and enjoy the opportunity to hone their games and talent through a secondary circuit in Asia. Designed in the same structure as the Web.com Tour in America and European Challenge Tour, the Asian Development Tour is a stepping stone to the Asian Tour and the exciting world of international golf. The Asian Development Tour has been structured to ensure the best opportunities for its members. The leading seven players on the Asian Development Tour will earn coveted Asian Tour cards for the following season, ensuring a proper career pathway for aspiring professionals. All ADT events receive Official World Golf Ranking points.

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