Jakarta, October 24: India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar will be aiming to continue his winning run as he seeks back-to-back titles and a successful title defence at the Indonesia Open which starts on Thursday.
Coming off the back of an eight Asian Tour victory in Macao, Bhullar will be riding high on confidence when he takes on the talented 140-man field gathered for the US$300,000 full-field event at the Pondok Indah Golf Course.
Bhullar will headline the Indonesia Open with young Thai Jazz Janewattananond, highest-ranked player in the field, as well as former Order of Merit champions Jeev Milkha Singh, Jyoti Randhawa of India and Thai veteran Thaworn Wiratchant.
American Johannes Veerman aims to maintain his rich vein of form as he continues his chase for a maiden Asian Tour title. The 25-year-old Texan is also looking to go one better at the Indonesia Open, where he came in tied-second last year.
Indonesia’s number one Rory Hie will spearhead the local charge alongside George Gandranata, Danny Masrin, Ian Andrew and Benita Y. Kasiadi, whose father remains as the only Indonesian player to win the National Open in 1989.
Also in the fray are one-time Asian Tour winners Danthai Boonma and Pavit Tangkamolprasert, who have enjoyed top-10 finishes in the last edition, in-form Ajeetesh Sandhu of India, Miguel Tabuena of the Philippines and Lin Wen-tang of Chinese Taipei.
The storied Indonesia Open will be backed by Indonesian state-owned enterprises company, namely Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI), Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI), Bank Mandiri, Bank Tabungan Negara (BTN) and Telkom Indonesia.
Did you know?
- At the age of 29, Bhullar became the youngest player to win eight titles on the Asian Tour following his victory at the Macao Open last week.
- Bhullar is now tied on Asian Tour victories alongside Arjun Atwal and Jyoti Randhawa. He only trails Scott Hend of Australia (nine), Prayad Marksaeng (10), Thongchai Jaidee (13) and Thaworn Wiratchant (18).
- When Randhawa and Atwal won their eighth Asian Tour title, they were aged 36 and 41 respectively while Hend was 42 and Prayad was 48. Thai stars Thongchai and Thaworn were 37 and 38 when they reached eight wins on the region’s premier Tour.
- Veerman won his first Asian Development Tour (ADT) title in Chinese Taipei last year. He was also crowned the 2016 ADT Order of Merit champion following a successful rookie season.
- Veerman finished tied-second at the Indonesia Open last year. He finished inside top-60 on the 2016 Asian Tour Order of Merit to earn his playing rights for the 2017 season.
- Veerman won as an amateur on the Pontok Indah Golf Course when he was 11.
- Veerman has some Asian heritage as his mother is from Indonesia.
- Veerman came close to winning in Chinese Taipei before settling for a runner-up finish earlier this month. He also enjoyed a tied-fifth finish in Macao last week.
- Hie is the highest ranked Indonesian in the field this week. He sits in 85th place on the current Asian Tour Order of Merit and 945th position on the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR).
- The 29-year-old Hie marked his best result on the Asian Tour when he finished tied-fourth at the TAKE Solutions Masters in India in August.
- Hie last played the Pontok Indah Golf Course 20 years ago.
- Hie is the first Indonesian to earn playing rights on the Asian Tour when he came through the Qualifying School in 2009.
“I am in a great frame of mind right now. Last week, I played well and coming into a tournament which I have won twice feels good this week. It’s great to be back on this beautiful track and the conditions are beautiful.” – Gaganjeet Bhullar, 29
Gaganjeet BHULLAR (IND)
I am in a great frame of mind right now. Last week, I played well and coming into a tournament which I have won twice feels good this week. It’s great to be back on this beautiful track and the conditions are beautiful, exactly what we got to play last year. The greens are rolling around 10.5 to 11 and greens are true so I’m looking forward to playing well this week.
I remember a good start last year on Sunday where I was five-under-par through seven holes and that gave me a lot of momentum on the back nine. I was trailing by one or two shots, then tied with the leaders, and then I just grabbed all opportunities I got and made a lot of putts.
I came straight here from Macao yesterday. I have recovered from the traveling but the victory has not really sunk in yet. I think that’s how it is. After you hole your last putt it’s all over and in the history books so you start your day from Monday and prepare for the incoming week.
I got a lot of calls from friends and family after my win but I have not got a chance to celebrate. I will go back home after Manila and hopefully by then I would have played even better and have more reasons to celebrate with my friends and family.
I always love coming to Jakarta. I won three of my eight Asian Tour titles here. This tournament is so close to my heart. I try my best to come here every year. I am hitting the ball good and striking the ball well. If I can continue to stick to my routine and go according to my plan, I will definitely be up there on the leaderboard again.
Johannes VEERMAN (USA)
My mother isn’t here but I do have some family members coming here to watch me this week. I am feeling good and excited because it’s in Indonesia and it’s just much more special to me.
I’m excited because I am playing well right now and this course is in a fantastic shape so it will be a good test. I hope I’ll be in contention but it will be a fun week regardless.
I played well at the start of the season and then I decided to change my swing a little bit, since we are always on the pursuit of trying to improve and that hurt me a little bit.
I am just going on my own tempo and feel now and I’m playing better so hopefully I can finish the year on a high note.
I finished tied-second here last year and I have had some top-five results coming here. The game’s feeling good. It’s very exciting to be playing here this week in good form.
Rory HIE (INA)
I haven’t played a tournament here since I was nine years old. This is my first time playing on this course as a professional. I claimed my best result on the Asian Tour in India two months ago so I am hoping to replicate their good result here this week.
I have been playing a lot, week in week out, so it has become pretty much like a routine to me. Every week, it’s just the same goal for me. I try to do my best every week and see where that takes me. Hopefully I can cap a good result this week.
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About Bank Rakyat Indonesia
Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI) is one of the largest state-owned banks in Indonesia. BRI was established in Purwokerto, Central Java, by Raden Bei Aria Wirjaatmadja as De Poerwokertosche Hulp en Spaarbank der Inlandsche Hoofden or “Help and Savings Bank of the Aristocrats of Purwokerto”, a financial institution that served people of Indonesian nationality (native Indonesians). The institution was incorporated on December 16, 1895, and the date is now commemorated as the anniversary of BRI.
Established on 5 July 1946, BNI was Indonesia’s first national bank after Indonesia’s independence. With over 1,800 branches in Indonesia, along with overseas branches in over 18 million customers. BNI constantly strives towards being a financial institution with excellence in service and performance, while believing in a strong corporate culture. With over 27,000 employees, BNI believes that its employees are the most valuable asset of the company, and actively aims to create the best conditions and work experience for its employees. For more information, visit www.bni.co.id
About Bank Mandiri
Bank Mandiri was established on 2 October 1998, as part of the bank restructuring program of the Government of Indonesia. In July 1999, four state-owned banks – Bank Bumi Daya, Bank Dagang Negara, Bank Exim and Bapindo – were amalgamated into Bank Mandiri. The history of these four banks can be traced back to over 140 years, and together they had contributed to thebeginning of the Indonesian banking sector.
About Bank Tabungan Negara
PT Bank Tabungan Negara (Persero) Tbk is an Indonesia-based company primarily engaged in banking sector. It operates its bank under the name Bank BTN. Its products include saving accounts, current accounts and fixed deposits. It also offers various loans, such as home loan, investment loan and working capital loan. Besides conventional banking, it also offers Shariah-compliant banking services. Its office network is comprised of branches and sub-branches that are located across Indonesia.
About Telkom Group
In order to advance to digital telco company, Telkom is transforming its organization from four segments TIMES (Telecommunication, Information, Media, Edutainment and Services) based on digital business adjacent portfolio to Customer Facing Unit and Functional Unit model, or CFU and FU. The transformation will make Telkom’s organization more lean and agile in adapting to changes in the fast-changing telecommunications industry. The new organization is also expected to increase its efficiency and effectiveness to create a quality customers experience.