Jakarta, October 25: Sweden’s Daniel Chopra will be driven by his past memories of playing at the Pondok Indah Golf Course when the Indonesia Open starts on Thursday.
The 43-year-old Chopra returns to the venue where he practised and played tournaments as a junior golfer.
Chopra, a two-time PGA Tour winner and a one-time Asian Tour champion, will make his third appearance in the storied event alongside young Thai Jazz Janewattananond and Indian veteran Jeev Milkha Singh, who came in joint runner-up last year.
George Gandranata will be looking to fly his country’s flag high when he spearheads the local charge with Rory Hie and Danny Masrin at the US$300,000 Asian Tour event which features a talented 140-man field from 18 different countries.
They will be amongst the 30 local players, including eight amateurs, vying to become the first Indonesian to win their National Open since Kasiadi won in 1989.
The storied Indonesia Open will be backed by Indonesian state-owned enterprises, namely Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI), Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI), Bank Mandiri, Bank Tabungan Negara (BTN) and Telkom Indonesia.
Did you know?
Born to a Swedish mother and Indian father, Chopra moved to India at the age of seven where he was raised by his grandparents.
- As a junior golfer, Chopra used to spend a couple of months for about five to six years practicing and playing tournaments at the Pondok Indah Golf Course.
- As a professional, Chopra would occasionally spend time at the Pondok Indah Golf Course, practicing and preparing for Asian Tour tournaments.
- The 43-year-old Chopra enjoyed a tied-ninth place finish in Myanmar earlier in January.
- Chopra made his first Major appearance since 2012 at the U.S. Open in June after topping the field at the Qualifier in New Jersey.
- This year, Chopra is also plying his trade on the Web.Com Tour, where he had previously won a title in 2011.
- Jazz is the highest ranked Asian Tour player in the field. He sits in eighth place on the Order of Merit.
- Jazz claimed his maiden Asian Tour victory by four shots at the 2017 Bashundhara Bangladesh Open. That victory turned his career around as he had lost his 2017 Tour card after finishing outside of top-60 on the 2016 Order of Merit.
- Jazz had notched five other top-10s since he won in Bangladesh.
- Singh is one of Asia’s most decorated and global players, having won six times on the Asian Tour and multiple times in Japan and Europe. The 45-year-old Indian is also a two-time Order of Merit winner on the region’s premier Tour.
- Singh took the 54-hole lead by one shot last year before settling for a joint runner-up finish.
- Gandranata is the second highest-ranked Indonesian this week. He also became the first Indonesian to win on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) last March.
- The 31-year-old Gandranata has won twice on his local circuit this season. Also enjoyed a top-10 result on the ADT in Bali two weeks ago.
“I am really excited to be back here. I woke up very early this morning and came out here very early. It has been a long time since I came here. I used to spend a couple of months here for about five to six years when I was still a junior golfer.” – Daniel Chopra, 43
Daniel Chopra (Swe)
I am really excited to be back here. I woke up very early this morning and came out here very early. It has been a long time since I came here. I used to spend a couple of months here for about five to six years when I was still a junior golfer.
I will come here in the winter and play some junior tournaments. After I turned professional, I used to come here to prepare for my tournaments on the Asian Tour too. I have great memories of this course. This golf course has obviously changed over the years but the layout is still the same.
The grasses are like completely different from what I used to play. But I remember the range, the clubhouse and the practice areas. I spent so many hours chipping and putting out there. It’s always exciting to be playing the Indonesia Open, given that I have spent part of my junior days here.
It’s a little bit like a home game for me as well. The game’s feeling good for this week so we’ll see what happens.
Jazz Janewattananond (Tha)
This is my eighth week in a row. I am just happy to be here. I like this course. I played here last year although I didn’t play quite well. I felt like I played really good last year but I didn’t score well in my last two rounds. I hope I can play well for all four rounds this week.
I am not working on anything at the moment. I am just sticking to the basics. I am happy with how I am playing right now so I hope I can continue to do that this week. It has been a great season for me. Things have turned to my favour after I won my first Asian Tour title in Bangladesh earlier this year.
Jeev Milkha Singh (Ind)
Good thoughts coming back here obviously, having finished joint runner-up last year. It’s always good to come back to tournaments where you have played well before. Definitely feeling positive coming back and the golf course is in top condition.
It is better than last year. The greens are in good shape. The rough is up and the only thing we need to worry about now is the weather. It’s a traditional golf course. I remember playing here when I was still an amateur some 25 years ago.
A lot of changes have taken place but it’s a traditional golf course where distance control is required. You need to be accurate off the tee.
It’s great to see Ajeetesh (Sandhu) and Gaganjeet (Bhullar) winning recently. We have got a very good Tour at home and these kids have a lot knowledge. They always want to know more and learn more and getting to know how the other players are winning on the bigger Tours and all.
With the internet easily accessible these days, the younger generation has the advantage of getting the knowledge easily. They also have the desire and the will to do well. I think that’s what helping them to win. It’s good to see them come out here and do well.
George Gandranata (Ina)
I am hoping to play my own game this week. I played well on the Asian Development Tour event in Bali two weeks ago. I hit the ball really good that week but last week in Macao, I wasn’t hitting it as well. We will see about this week. It’s a course that we played last year as well so I am quite familiar with it.
I haven’t played this course too much but the conditions are really good this week. It’s really pristine and beautiful. I have the strategy to playing this course so hopefully I can execute it better this week. It’s awesome to be playing my National Open this week.
There’s nothing better than playing well in your National Open and fly your country’s flag high on the leaderboard. It’s very exciting. I am glad the tournament is back again this year. You got to hit it really well to score on this course.
The fairways are forgiving and the greens are really soft. The scores are going to be really low this week but that’s dependent on the wind of course. Hopefully I made it through to the weekends, if I can do that, my family is going to come and support me.
As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Rolex (Official Timekeeper), Panasonic (Official Consumer Electronics), ECCO (Official Footwear Sponsor), FENIX XCell (Official Apparel Supplier), Titleist (Official Web Partner), Bloomberg TV (Official International Media Partner), Bloomberg Businessweek Chinese (Official International Media Partner), Wall Street Journal (Official International Media Partner) and Sentosa in Singapore which is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur.
Please visit us at: www.asiantour.com
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.
About Bank Negara Indonesia
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.