Flawless Younger seizes halfway lead at the BNI Indonesian Masters – Asian Tour

Flawless Younger seizes halfway lead at the BNI Indonesian Masters


Jakarta, December 13: Australian Josh Younger maintained his hot streak to sign for a blemish-free seven-under-par 65 and grab the halfway lead by one at the US$750,000 BNI Indonesian Masters supported by Bank BRI and MedcoEnergi on Friday.

Younger, who claimed his first victory in his 10 years as a professional two weeks ago, returned with another flawless round highlighted by seven birdies to cap a two-day total of 13-under-par 131 at the highly acclaimed Royale Jakarta Golf Club.

Josh Younger of Australia

Overnight co-leader Keith Horne of South Africa signed for a 67 to take second place while Thai hotshot Gunn Charoenkul, who just rounded off a commendable season on the Japan Golf Tour last week, carded a bogey-free 65 to take third place on 133.

Alex Cejka of Germany registered a 66 to settle three shots off the pace in fourth while American Sihwan Kim, Thai star Prom Meesawat and India’s Shiv Kapur shared fifth place on matching 135s following rounds of 66, 68 and 65 in the popular event, which forms the third leg of the 2019/20 Panasonic Swing.

Joshua Andrew Wirawan emerged as the highest-ranked Indonesian after he signed for a 66 to tie in 12th place on 137. Wirawan is one of the five local prospects, including amateur Naraajie Emerald Ramadhanputra, to make the halfway cut set at one-under-par 143.

After opening his title defence with a 73, Thailand’s Poom Saksansin bounced back with a 68 to move to tied-39th place while countryman and 2019 Order of Merit champion Jazz Janewattananond settled seven shots off the lead in tied-14th place following a 70.

A total of 68 players, ranked into top-65 and ties after 36 holes, progressed into the weekend rounds of the BNI Indonesian Masters, which is celebrating its ninth straight edition on the Asian Tour.

Keith Horne of South Africa

By being the flagship event of the Asian Tour, the BNI Indonesian Masters will award the winner with 20 Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points, ensuring more players benefit from the points breakdown.

The winner of the 2019 BNI Indonesian Masters will again receive a coveted spot in the World Golf Championships – FedEx St. Jude Invitational in 2020.

Did you know?

  • Josh Younger won his first professional title at the AVJennings NSW Open held on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia two weeks ago. He joined the play-for-pay ranks a decade ago.
  • The 35-year-old Younger, who is based in Victoria, moved up more than 600 spots on the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) following his victory. He sits in a current 357th place on the world ranking.
  • Younger made four cuts in only seven starts on the Asian Tour this season. He is playing in his third Indonesian Masters this week and his best result was a tied-27th place finish in 2015.
  • Younger missed only one fairway and three greens in his solid round of 65 today. He needed only 26 putts.
  • Keith Horne of South Africa locked up his Asian Tour card for 2020 earlier in the season, thanks to two top-10 finishes in India and Chinese Taipei. He sits in 38th place on the current Order of Merit.
  • Horne got off to a flying start with two opening birdies from the first. He made another birdie on the fourth but dropped a shot on the eighth before recovering swiftly with a birdie on ninth to turn in 33. He added two more birdies on his way home for a 67.
  • Horne has won nine tournaments on the Sunshine Tour, the latest of those wins came in 2017 at the Vodacom Origins – Arabella.
  • That same year, he also had his best result in an Asian Tour event finishing tied-second at the Mercuries Taiwan Masters, improving on his previous best of three tied-third finishes.
  • The 48-year-old South African turned pro in 1996 and has been a regular figure on the Asian Tour since 2003. His best season to date was in 2010 when he finished 14th on the Order of Merit.
  • Gunn Charoenkul of Thailand secured his 2019 Asian Tour card at the Qualifying School last December where he came in runner-up. He quickly posted a top-10 finish at the SMBC Singapore Open, the first event of the season.
  • By finishing tied-seventh at this event, Gunn missed qualifying for The Open by the narrowest of margins, only one shot. He would redeem himself a few months later when a tied-third place finish at the Gate Way To The Open Mizuno Open on the Japan Golf Tour secured his place at Royal Portrush, his first appearance in a Major.
  • Gunn has spent most of this season playing on the Japan Golf Tour where he has racked up 10 top-10 finishes, including a tied-fourth at last week’s season ending Golf Nippon Series JT Cup, finishing 21st in the Money Rankings for the year.
  • The Thai’s best career result on the Asian Tour is a second-place finish in the 2016 Queen’s Cup when he finished one shot back of winner Scott Hend of Australia.
  • Gunn hit all 18 greens in regulation for his round of 65 today. He had topped the Greens in regulation category on the Japan Golf Tour this season too.
Gunn Charoenkul of Thailand
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