Oiwa clinches Combiphar Players Championship in dramatic fashion after playoff victory


Bandung, Indonesia, September 27: Japan’s Ryuichi Oiwa captured his first Asian Development Tour (ADT) title after he beat American Trevor Simsby in a dramatic second hole playoff victory to claim the Combiphar Players Championship on Friday.

Simsby had led by two shots coming into the final round, but Oiwa who started the day in second, posted the lowest score of the day with a six-under-par 66 to tie Simsby for a four-day total of 12-under-par 276.

It was all square after 18-holes, and playoffs beckoned to decide the winner. After both golfers made par on the first playoff hole, Simsby bogeyed the second hole, leaving Oiwa to make par and clinch a momentous triumph.

Englishman Steve Lewton finished in third courtesy of a 67, while Chinese Taipei’s Wang Wei-lun was in fourth after he posted a 70.

Korea’s Joohyung Kim was among a trio of golfers who finished in tied-fifth thanks to a solid round of 67, along with Thai duo Chonlatit Chuenboonngam (69) and Jakraphan Premsirigorn (73).

Oiwa admitted he felt immense pressure heading into the playoffs, but kept his focus when it mattered most.

“It was a pressure situation for sure. But I knew it was all about the putting, and I needed to concentrate. Overall, I missed only one fairway and made six birdies. I was confident with my tee shots and second shots,” said Oiwa, who pocketed US$17,500 for the victory.

The world number 1233 also said he did not change his approach for this tournament, except for the use of  a new putter.

Oiwa, who began on the last flight with Simsby, found two consecutive birdies on the third and fourth before claiming another on the sixth hole.

He began the back-nine with two consecutive birdies, and sank a crucial one in the final hole to force the playoffs.

Victory also puts the Japanese seventh on the Order of Merit (OOM) list, which offers a final spot to the Asian Tour next year.

“I hope to play in another two more tournaments this year to secure my Asian Tour card. I will be playing in the Taifong Open in December, and possibly another event in Malaysia.”

Simsby, who led the second and third round, said his putting let him down.

“Overall my putting wasn’t the greatest, and there were a lot of missed opportunities. But it was a good battle with him out there, and I had a lot of fun,” said Simsby, who was seeking his first win in Asia.

The OOM standings has also changed, with Kim replacing Japan’s Naoki Sekito at the top after his solid finish.

The Korean leads the money list with his accumulated earnings of US$45,444 so far.


Bandung, Indonesia, September 26: American Trevor Simsby increased his lead at the Combiphar Players Championship by two shots, after carding a two-under-par 70 at the penultimate stage on Thursday.

Simsby managed four birdies against two bogeys for a three-day total of eight-under-par 208 on a day where the gusty winds at the  Parahyangan Golf proved to be another real test for the field.

Japan’s Ryuichi Oiwa tailed Simsby by two shots in second place while Thailand’s Jakraphan Premsirigorn and Chinese Taipei’s Wang Wei-lun are a further three shots back are in the tied-third, after  the trioshot matching 71s.

Malaysia’s promising youngster Shahrifuddin Ariffin (70) meanwhile shared fifth place with American Sam Gillis (71).

The 26-year-old Simsby, who led by one shot coming into Thursday’s round, reckons patience is a key virtue as he aims for his first title in Asia.

“It’s very tricky with the winds here, and you have to be really patient with your approach on this course. The aim is to get the ball as close to the par-fives as much as possible,” said Simsby, who posted matching 69s in the opening two rounds.

“I was looking at birdies on the front nine, but it was a tough test on the back to finish.”

Simsby has come close to a maiden victory on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) circuit, with two tied-fourth finishes at the PGM ADT Penang Championship and PGM Northport ADT Championship.

Englishman Steve Lewton, who posted 68 for the lowest score of the day, said the wind is a barrier as only 26 golfers made par in the US$100,000 ADT event on Thursday.

“It’s a tough course with the winds. You have to hit it really close to the greens to have a chance. But I’m hoping for the wind tomorrow as it suits my game,” said Lewton, who was tied for seventh with Malaysia’s Amir Nazrin.

Lewton will be hoping for another low round as he aims to make it to the Asian Tour next year.

He is currently in seventh place on the Order of Merit (OOM), which is the last position to offer a spot on the Asian Tour.

Korea’s Joohyung Kim, the highest ranked player in second place on the OOM, carded a 71 to sit tied-16.


Bandung, Indonesia, September 25: American Trevor Simsby posted a second straight three-under-par 69 to grab a one-shot lead at the halfway stage of the Combiphar Players Championship on Wednesday.

The 26-year-old Simsby carded seven birdies against four bogeys to move atop the leaderboard with a two-day total of six-under-par 138 at the wind-swept Parahyangan Golf.

Japan’s Ryuichi Oiwa marked the day’s best score with a 68 to take second place on a tough scoring day where only nine players broke par in the US$100,000 Asian Development Tour (ADT) event.  

Thailand’s Jakraphan Premsirigorn and Wang Wei-lun of Chinese Taipei settled four shots off the pace in  tied-third place following  respective scores of 71 and 73.

Malaysian Amir Nazrin battled to a 70 to sit in fifth place alongside  Sam Gillis (73) of United States, Englishman Matt Killen (71) and Singapore’s Jesse Yap (73) on matching 143s.

“I was feeling confident out there today. I was also fortunate because there wasn’t much wind when I teed off, compared to the opening round when it was really windy in the afternoon,” said Simsby, who started the day trailing by two.

“I didn’t get off to the greatest of starts, but I’m glad to have bounced back nicely. You need to be patient on a new course like this, it can be tricky and not the way you look at it. The fairways and bunker were perfect though,” added the 26-year-old Qualifying School graduate.

Simsby, playing in his first season in Asia, is thrilled to put himself on course to win his first victory on the secondary circuit.

He has come close on several occasions, finishing tied-fourth at the PGM ADT Penang Championship and PGM Northport ADT Championship.

Overnight leader Brandon Lau of Malaysia posted a disappointing 83 to slip to tied-40th place which Korea’s Joohyung Kim, highest-ranked player in second place on the Order of Merit, carded a 75 to tie in 27th position.

The halfway cut was set at eight-over-par 152 with a total of 54 players progressing to the weekend rounds.

Ends.


Photo credit: OB Golf

Bandung, Indonesia, September 24: Malaysia’s Brandon Lau set the early pace by carding an opening five-under-par 67 at the Combiphar Players Championship on Tuesday.

The 26-year-old, still winless after playing four seasons on the Asian Development Tour (ADT), mixed his card with seven birdies and two bogeys to lead by one shot from local hope Joshua Andrew Wirawan at the US$100,000 event.

Chinese Taipei’s Wang Wei-lun and American Trevor Simsby carded identical 69s to take third place while Sam Gillis of the United States, Jesse Yap of Singapore and Udayan Mane of India are tied for fifth at a further shot back at the Parahyangan Golf.

Lau, who started on the back-nine 10, dropped a bogey on 13 but quickly recovered with three birdies over the next four holes to turn in 34.

The Malaysian continued his solid display after crossing over, picking up four more shots including a hat-trick of birdies on holes six, seven and eight to offset his second blemish of the day on five.

“I’m very pleased with a 67 today as this golf course could play pretty tough in the wind.

“I played simple golf today and I stuck to my game plan. Hit fairways and greens and fortunately made quite a few putts within eight feet and in which helped a lot.

“But other than that I just minimised mistakes today and put the ball in play that was basically it,” said Lau.

Lau insists the good start would count for nothing if he cannot replicate the same consistency over the next three rounds.

At the PGM Northport ADT Championship last month, Lau also fired 67 to be just one shot off the pace after the opening round, but failed to build on it and settled for tied 25th.

“Consistency will happen through experience. So, I won’t try to put four good rounds together.

“I’ll just play my game and let it happen. Not going to think about it and take it one round at a time,” he said.

Wirawan credited his strong iron play after he impressed with a round of seven birdies, with five coming from the opening eight holesand three bogeys.

“In the first-nine, my iron play was really good. I hit a lot of greens and most of them landed on within 10 feet, and I made the most of my putts.

“I could not do as well in the back-nine though as the wind started to pick up. I was struggling to figure out on my club selection, especially on par-three. But overall I’m happy with my game today,” said Wirawan, who has one domestic title won in 2017 under his belt.

Wirawan hopes to take advantage of the solid start and try turn it into a possible victory.

Inspired by compatriot Rory Hie’s recent Asian Tour triumph, Wirawan hopes to bring further glory to Indonesia in golf.

“I had a chat with Rory after his win in India. He was trying to lift my confidence by saying ‘you have to play to win, not just to make cut. If I can do it, so can you’. That was truly inspiring and hopefully I can do the same too!” said Wirawan.

George Gandranata remainsthe only Indonesian golfer to have emerged ADT winner when he clinched the PGM LADA Langkawi Championship in 2016.

By featuring on the ADT schedule, the Combiphar Players Championship will 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.


Bandung, Indonesia, September 23: Joohyung Kim of Korea will be on a mission to seize the number one spot on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) Order of Merit when he tees up at the Combiphar Players Championship which starts on Tuesday.

Kim trails current Merit leader Naoki Sekito of Japan in second place by slightly over US$3,700, but with the latter not in the field this week, he hopes to make the most of the opportunity at the US$100,000 ADT tournament.

Kim, who has won two ADT titles this season and finished runner-up once, will challenge against the likes of defending champion Varanyu Rattanaphiboonkij of Thailand, Malaysia’s Leunkwang Kim, Sweden’s Oscar Zetterwall and Singapore’s Quincy Quek — the winners of the last three stops.

Thailand’s Pannakorn Uthaipas, the 2017 ADT Order of Merit champion, and former winner Wolmer Murillo of Venezuela will also be part of the 116-man field at the Parahyangan Golf.

With the Merit title at stake, Kim needs to finish fifth or better result to dislodge Sekito from the top of the ADT Order of Merit.

“I’m definitely aiming for that number one spot because it secures you a better exemption status for the new 2020 Asian Tour season.

“It has been my main goal since the start of the season (to become Order of Merit champion). I was kind of a bit far from it at the start but I was very fortunate to catch up mid way. 

“And now, I’m getting closer than ever, so I’m going to give it a shot at scaling the summit for the first time.

“While Sekito’s absence does serve as an extra motivation, I must also try not think too much about it.

“What I need to do is just to play the best that I can! If I can do that, the result will take care of itself,” said Kim.

Kim will be gunning for yet another memorable outing in Indonesia, after his previous two visits ended up well with him winning the Ciputra Golfpreneur Tournament and finishing a commendable third at the Asian Tour’s Indonesia Open.

“I guess it helps a little just knowing that I’ve had good results this year in Indonesia. But this is another week, anything can happen. I’m just gonna stick to my game plan and try my best.

“I think my game is okay. The course here in Bandung is pretty windy and it’s not the widest of fairways, so hopefully I can bring out my A game and hope for the best,” he added.

The Combiphar Players Championship is 15th stop on the 2019 ADT Schedule and players are resuming their battle for top-seven positions on the Order of Merit to earn Asian Tour cards for 2020.

With approximately US$17,500 going to the winner this week, Seung Park, Chinnarat Phadungsil, Mardan Mamat, Trevor Simsby, who are ranked ninth, 10th, 12th and 13th on the money list, also have a great opportunity to sneak into the top-seven.

George Gandranata, the only Indonesian to have won on ADT to date, will spearhead a 39-strong local contingent challenge in their backyard.

The Indonesian golfers have been going great guns of late with Rory Hie and promising amateur Naraajie Ramadhan Putra were among those who impressed.

Rory created history by becoming the first-ever Indonesian to win on Asian Tour with his victory at the Classic Golf and Country Club International Championship in India.

Naarajie, on the other hand, came up short of a stunning victory at the Indonesia Open. He led after the penultimate round before settling for fourth.

Ends.


Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia, September 21:  Malaysia’s Leunkwang Kim clinched his maiden Asian Development Tour (ADT) title at the PGM MNRB ADT Championship after closing with a four-under-par 68 to win by one shot over compatriot Daeng Abdul Rahman and American Samuel Cyr on Saturday.

Kim, who opened his campaign with a 69, marked his card with seven birdies against three bogeys to seal his victory with a winning total of seven-under-par 137 in the tournament, which has been reduced to 36 holes after two days of play was lost due to the haze conditions in Kuching on Thursday and Friday.

Thailand’s Chonlatit Chuenboonngam posted a closing 69 to finish two shots away from Kim in fourth, followed by Malaysia’s M. Sasidaran (69) in fifth.

Singaporean Gregory Foo, Low Khai Jei of Malaysia, Korea’s Hyukchul Shin and Australian Adam Blyth finished tied-sixth on matching 141s following respective rounds of 69,71,71 and 70 at the Kelab Golf Sarawak.

The 24-year-old Kim was left finding for words after his victory.

“I never expected it to be honest, I’m still trying to take it in,” said Kim, who pockets RM39, 375 (US$9,397) for the win.

“I had fun out there. I hit the ball good, stayed patient and played my own game. I bogeyed 16 and 17, but birdied the last hole so it was nice. It was still hazy out there but I didn’t wear a mask because it would have affected my game.”

Kim also becomes the first Malaysian to win on the ADT circuit this year, and provide some saving grace for his countrymen.

Since the ADT inception in 2010, there has always been at least one Malaysian winner on the circuit every season

Kim did not have the best of starts, as he bogeyed the opening hole. But the Malaysian recovered with a birdie on the third, before sinking an eagle on the par-five fifth hole.

He kept going with another three birdies on the back nine and did not let the consecutive bogeys on 16 and 17 bother him as he bounced back with a closing birdie on 18.

Daeng, who opened up a four-shot on lead with a solid 65 on Wednesday, was distraught after battling to a 73 to let the title slip away.

“I have never won an ADT event and was really looking forward to winning this. But it is difficult when you made four bogeys out there,” said Daeng.

Ends.


Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia, September 20: The second round of the PGM MNRB ADT Championship has been postponed for a second consecutive day due to continuous haze.

The second round of the RM225,000 (approximately US$54,000) Asian Development Tour (ADT) event is now expected to tee off at 7.00am local time on Saturday.

“We had to call off the second round at around 1.00pm today (Thursday) because the high Air Pollution Index (API) reading was at 241. We needed it to come to 200 for it to go ahead.

“According to the ADT’s rules and regulations, there has to be a minimum of two rounds for a tournament to be counted. If not, we’ll have to abandon play without a result. But there is slight rain at this moment so we are hoping the skies will clear up,” said Asian Tour Tournament Director Fritz Katzengruber.

According to Fritz, 12.30pm is the latest the second round can tee off in order for play to finish before the sun sets. It will be a four-tee start for all players at the Kelab Golf Sarawak.

The first round of the tournament went ahead on Wednesday, which saw Malaysia’s Daeng Abdul Rahman Abdul Aziz open up a comfortable four-shot lead over Korean duo Seung Park and Leunkwang Kim, courtesy of his seven under par-65.

The PGM MNRB ADT Championship is the 14th leg of the ADT schedule this season. The winner will take home a prize purse of US$9,397 and receive six Official World Golf Ranking points. The top six players and ties will also earn points based on a sliding scale.

Ends.


Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia, September 19: The second round of the PGM MNRB ADT Championship has been rescheduled to Friday due to worsening haze situation in the local area, tournament officials announced today.

Play at the RM225,000 (approximately US$54,000) Asian Development Tour (ADT) event could not get underway at 7.30am (local time) as the high Air Pollution Index (API) was in the unhealthy range.

Officials decided to call off the day at 1.00pm, with the second round of the PGM MNRB ADT Championship now set to commence at 7.00am local time on Fridaymorning.

It will be a four-tee start for all players at the Kelab Golf Sarawak.

Asian Tour’s Tournament Director, Fritz Katzengruber said: “The API reading was 269 at 6.00am and it further worsened to 273 at 1.00pm. Those readings are very unhealthy and we have decided to reschedule the second round to Friday morning where it will be a four-tee start, should the situation permits.

“Kuching is surrounded by a number of hot spots and there’s no forecast of rain expected, so things don’t look too positive with the API predicted to be high over the next few days.

“But we will ensure that the conditions are acceptable before we allow the players out on the course. We hope to be able to complete at least two rounds (36 holes) in order to have a result. If we cannot do this by Saturday we will not be able to complete the tournament.”

The first round went ahead smoothly with local star Daeng Abdul Rahman Abdul Aziz firinga seven-under-par 65 to open up a commanding four-shot lead over Korea’s Seung Park and compatriot Leunkwang Kim.

The PGM MNRB ADT Championship is the 14th leg of the ADT schedule this season. The winner will take home a prize purse of US$9,397 and receive six Official World Golf Ranking points. The top six players and ties will also earn points based on a sliding scale.

Ends.


Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia, September 18: Local star Daeng Abdul Rahman Abdul Aziz launched his relentless bid for a maiden Asian Development Tour (ADT) victory when he fired a seven-under-par 65 to grab the opening round lead at the PGM MNRB ADT Championship on Wednesday.

The 19-year-old, who came in tied-fourth at the PGM Johor ADT Championship in March for his career-best ADT result, marked his card with nine birdies against two bogeys to lead by four shots from Seung Park of Korea and countryman Leungkwang Kim at the Kelab Golf Sarawak.

Thai trio Panuwat Muenlek, Namchok Tantipokhakul and Suttijet Kooratanapisan were among those bunched in fourth place after carding matching 70s at the RM225,000 (approximately US$54,000) event.

Starting the day from the 10th hole, Daeng got off to a flying start when he notched five birdies, including a four-hole stretch from the 12th to offset two bogeys to turn in 33.

He resumed his fine form on his return journey, picking up for more shots including a hat-trick of birdies from the fifth, to open up a comfortable four-shot cushion.

Daeng, who registered top-20 finishes in his last two ADT starts, credited his low round to a brilliant iron play.

“I’m hitting the ball good, especially my approach shots as I managed to hit it really close to the pins, mostly about 10 feet.

“I putted quite well too. I managed to roll in a birdie from more than 20 feet on 12, which was massive because it made up for the bogey on the previous hole.

“I didn’t think that was going in to be honest, so it kind of boosted my confidence and kickstart the day. I got four straight birdies after that, and although I bogeyed again on 17, it was still a very solid opening nine.

“Four more birdies and bogey-free after crossing over, I’m absolutely pleased,” said Daeng.

Daeng, who has won three times in the domestic scene with the last being at the PGM Perlis Championship in January, hopes to build on the early advantage to help him stamp his mark on the secondary circuit, which is the gateway to the Asian Tour.

“I have won three PGM Tour titles to date but those are closed events.

“So it’s certainly my ambition to win on ADT and I’m looking to make the most of this good start to get me there. I believe I have what it takes to win on ADT having finished fourth in Johor in April.

“But there are three more rounds to go, a lot of golf left to be played. I’m not going to get carried away with the opening round lead,” said Daeng, who created history by becoming the youngest winner on the PGM Tour, at 15, in April 2015.

The PGM MNRB ADT Championship, jointly sanctioned with the Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Tour, is the 14th leg of the 2019 ADT season and also the Tour’s seventh stop in Malaysia.

The ADT will continue to reward the top-seven finishers on the Order of Merit at the end of this season with Asian Tour cards for 2020.

Like all other ADT events, the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points are up for grabs this week, which will be key for players vying to qualify for the Olympic Games in Tokyo next year.

Ends.


Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia, September 14: Sweden’s Oscar Zetterwall of Sweden survived a nerve-racking finale before ending a three-year title drought with a third Asian Development Tour (ADT) victory at the PGM Sabah ADT Championship on Saturday.

The 31-year-old Swede was a bundle of nerves as he battled to a final round of five-over-par 77 to finish on eight-under-par 280 total at the Sabah Golf and Country Club on Saturday.

Zetterwallwon by just one shot from last year’s Malaysian champion Ben Leong, who closed with a 71, as Erwan Vieilledent of France settled for third place, a further shot back on 282 after matching Leong’s effort.

Zetterwall headed into the final round with a commanding seven-shot lead but made three bogeys and two double bogeys in the first 11 holes which almost denied him his first success since winning the 2016 Ciputra Golfpreneur Tournament in Jakarta.

A double bogey on 11 saw his lead trimmed to just one shot, but Zetterwall managed to regroup and steady the ship in the last seven holes to seal the long-awaited win.

“I started off missing some wild shots off the tee in the beginning but I recovered okay until I made the bogey on seven.

“As my playing partners Ben and Erwan were making lots of birdies, I was missing my par putts.

“In the back nine, I started to play a little bit better. I made a good putt (for par) on 16 which was absolutely important for me to reclaim the two shots lead there.

“Then on (par-five) 18, it was a big relief that I was able to hit my second shot onto the green and three putted it for a one-shot victory,” said Zetterwall, who picked up RM39,375 (US$9,397 )and an invaluable six Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points for his effort.

Zetterwall admitted there was one point, after double bogeying the 11, that he thought that the title could slip through his grasp.

“On 11, I had a terrible tee shot and missed the green. Hit my bunker shot to like five feet but it lipped out for a double bogey. Ben and Erwan both made good par saves.

“I didn’t feel really comfortable at that point. Nothing seemed to be working, I was hitting bad shots, missing short putts, while Ben and Erwan were playing solid.

“Eventhough I shot a five-over, I’m pleased that I manage to keep it together on my last five holes,” said Zetterwall.

The victory swiftly put Zetterwall’s bid to earn an Asian Tour card by finishing in top-seven on the Order of Merit back on track.

He is now ranked 15th on the money list with US$12,845 earned from seven starts.

“I didn’t play really good in the early season and went back home to play in the Nordic Golf League (a third-tier circuit in Europe) to regain my form. The plans worked great and I feel like I found the stability in my game which I hope to build on it on my return to Asia.

“Now I’m looking forward to playing in all the ADT tournaments left in the schedule because it has always been my goal to regain my Asian Tour card (which he lost in 2017 after playing just one season).

“I believe there is still every chance of me getting into the top-seven, now that my confidence has been restored,” said Zatterwall.

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