Bleumink aims for winning return in Johor

Tue 09 Apr 2013

Bleumink aims for winning return in Johor

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Johor Bahru, Malaysia, April 9: Australian Luke Bleumink is looking forward to a successful title defence at the PGM-Maybank Johor Masters which starts on Wednesday despite being short of tournament sharpness.
The 27-year-old Bleumink headlines the RM200,000 (approximately US$65,000) Asian Development Tour (ADT) event at the challenging Johor Country Club which includes current Order of Merit leader James Bowen of the United States, local favourite Nicholas Fung, Chinese Taipei’s Hsieh Chi-hsien, who was fourth on the Merit list last season, and ADT winner Ryan Bulloch of Australia.
Last year, Bleumink secured his maiden professional victory in Johor by two shots, winning with a seven-under-par 281 aggregate after a closing round of 71.
After missing out on an Asian Tour card at Qualifying School in Hua Hin, Thailand earlier in January, Bleumink, who turned professional in 2010, has played in only two domestic events in Melbourne.
He has been working outside the ropes in between his golf to ensure he has enough funds to play regularly on the ADT, which is the feeder circuit to the established Asian Tour.
“It’s a weird feeling coming back to defend. I haven’t played too much golf this year but the game is feeling good,” said Bleumink today. “The golf course is in good condition and I think it is playing a bit easier this year as it was very fast and firm when I won here. I expect scores to be better this week.”
After seeing countrymen Scott Hend and Wade Ormsby triumph on the Asian Tour over the past few weeks, Bleumink believes the ADT is the best route to the region’s premier Tour which is celebrating its milestone 10th season in 2013.
“I have been doing some labouring work back home to earn some money for my travels and I will take it as it comes.  I missed out at the Asian Tour Qualifying School but I’m going to try to play as much as I can on the ADT which provides a good chance for players like me to get onto the main (Asian) Tour,” he said.
This year, the ADT, which was launched in 2010, will offer Official World Golf Ranking points for the first time. This is seen as a major boost for the development of the game in Asia.
Malaysia’s Fung will lead the local assault where he is eager to launch a title charge after coming close on several occasions to a first ADT win. He finished runner-up in the last ADT stop at the PGM Northport Glenmarie Masters in Kuala Lumpur last month.
The top three players on the ADT Order of Merit at the end of the season will earn an Asian Tour card for 2014.
About the 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 Nationwide 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 three players on the Asian Development Tour will earn coveted Asian Tour cards for the following season, ensuring a proper career pathway for aspiring professionals. The ADT will also receive Official World Golf Ranking points from 2013.