Chan and Bjorn steal early thunder #IM15

Thu 23 Apr 2015

Chan and Bjorn steal early thunder #IM15

  • SHARE
Jakarta, April 23: Chinese Taipei’s Chan Shih-chang showed his mettle as he opened his account with a six-under-par 66 to share the first round lead with Denmark’s Thomas Bjorn at the US$750,000 CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters presented by Enjoy Jakarta Golf on Thursday.
Bjorn, who is seeking his first win on the Asian Tour, overcame the hot and humid conditions at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club by trading seven birdies against one bogey to tie for the lead in his debut appearance in the Asian Tour event.
Singapore-based Australian Unho Park rediscovered his putting touch by posting a 67 to share third place with India’s Abhijit Chadha, who had the honour of holing the first hole-in-one at the par-three 15 this week.
Thomas Bjorn of Denmark Thomas Bjorn of Denmark
Former world number one Lee Westwood of England returned with a 69 to share seventh place with six other players that also featured Thailand’s Thaworn Wiratchant, India’s Rashid Khan and Philippines’ Miguel Tabuena.
One of the most successful players on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) with four wins, Chan showed his class and composure in his first start on the Asian Tour this year.
Chan came off the blocks quickly by reaching the turn in 32 after four birdies in the morning.
The 28-year-old continued his birdie sprint on 12 and 14 before dropping his only shot of the day on 16. However, he redeemed himself quickly with a closing birdie.
“I’ve won four times on the ADT and I’m really serious about winning on the Asian Tour now,” said Chan.
“I hope to bring my wealth of experience, playing and winning on the ADT to the Asian Tour. It’s definitely a big step up for me and I’m looking forward to my breakthrough,” he added.
Bjorn, who boasts 21 professional victories worldwide including 15 on the European Tour, is also upbeat of landing his first win in Asia after overcoming the early morning humidity.
“I played pretty solid and I got onto a nice run in my back-nine which kind of brought the round to a really good score.
Unho Park of Australia Unho Park of Australia
“It was humid but nice in the morning especially the first 10 to 11 holes. You’ve got to focus really hard and not let your guard down here,” said the big Dane.
Having missed the cut in all of his previous three starts on the Asian Tour this season, Park’s superb round brought back that vital self-belief required to jumpstart his season.
“I always surprise myself when I play this well. It was really tough out there in the afternoon as it was extremely windy. But I managed to hit my irons well and hole the putts when I needed to for a change.
“I actually played well in my first two events where I just missed the cut by one as my putting was really bad. But I worked on it and the big difference today came down to my putting,” said Park, who is chasing his first win on the Asian Tour this week.
Chadha, who secured his Tour card at Qualifying School earlier this year in Thailand, also received a timely confidence boost when he aced the 15th hole with his six-iron.
The hole-in-one set the Indian on his way to a promising start when he would go on to mark his card with four birdies and one bogey.
“It was good today. I started off well by getting a hole-in-one on the 15th and that really kept myself in it. I hit a six-iron, aimed straight at the flag and it went right into the hole.
"I’ve made a hole-in-one in my career but this is really special as I’ve made it on the Asian Tour. That gave me lots of confidence not only for the rest of the round but the entire week ahead,” said Chadha.
Lee Westwood of England Lee Westwood of England
Sanctioned by the Asian Tour and the PGA Tour of Indonesia, the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters Presented by Enjoy Jakarta Golf will feature 24 Indonesian golfers, 20 professionals from the PGA Tour of Indonesia and four of Indonesia’s top amateurs who will compete in the 150 player field over 72 holes of individual stroke play.
For more information on the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters Presented by Enjoy Jakarta Golf visit http://www.indonesianmasters.co.id/ and https://www.facebook.com/indonesianmasters.
Leading scores after round 1 of the CIMB NIAGA Indonesian Masters being played at the par 72, 7340 Yards Royale Jakarta GC course (am - denotes amateur):
66 - CHAN Shih-chang (TPE), Thomas BJORN (DEN).
67 - Abhijit CHADHA (IND), Unho PARK (AUS).
68 - Simon GRIFFITHS (ENG), Chapchai NIRAT (THA).
69 - Rashid KHAN (IND), Thaworn WIRATCHANT (THA), Shaun NORRIS (RSA), Kalle SAMOOJA (FIN), Namchok TANTIPOKHAKUL (THA), Lee WESTWOOD (ENG), Miguel TABUENA (PHI).
70 - Anthony KANG (USA), Paul SPARGO (AUS).
71 - Ryosuke KINOSHITA (JPN), Seukhyun BAEK (KOR), Khalin JOSHI (IND), Yosuke TSUKADA (JPN), LEE Chieh-po (TPE), Paul PETERSON (USA), Jazz JANEWATTANANOND (THA), Thitiphun CHUAYPRAKONG (THA).
72 - Jacobo PASTOR (ESP), Mardan MAMAT (SIN), Rikard KARLBERG (SWE), Himmat RAI (IND), Angelo QUE (PHI), Chinnarat
Abhijit Chadha of India Abhijit Chadha of India
PHADUNGSIL (THA), Hyungjoon LEE (KOR), Niclas JOHANSSON (SWE), Raphael DE SOUSA (SUI), Ian ANDREW (INA), LAM Chih Bing (SIN), Sam CYR (USA), Antonio LASCUNA (PHI), Lindsay RENOLDS (CAN).
73 - Sutijet KOORATANAPISAN (THA), Zaw MOE (MYN), Chiragh KUMAR (IND), Brett MUNSON (USA), Ben CAMPBELL (NZL), Daniel CHOPRA (SWE), Prayad MARKSAENG (THA), Poom SAKSANSIN (THA), Bryce EASTON (RSA), Sattaya SUPUPRAMAI (THA), Niall KEARNEY (IRL), Sam BRAZEL (AUS), Lionel WEBER (FRA), Masahiro KAWAMURA (JPN), Steve LEWTON (ENG), Y.E. YANG (KOR), Adilson DA SILVA (BRA).
Ends.
About CIMB Niaga
CIMB Niaga was established as Bank Niaga in 1955. CIMB Group holds around 97.9% of the stakes in CIMB Niaga (including PT Commerce Kapital 1.02%). The Bank offers a comprehensive suite of both conventional and Islamic banking products and services, through an expanding delivery channel network of 968 offices all over Indonesia as at 30 September 2014, including 573 branches, 329 Mikro Laju units (including 20 outlets attached to a branch), 66 cash/payment points and 20 mobile branches. CIMB Niaga has 14,853 employees.
CIMB Niaga encourages people to share high growth and take advantage of all the potential that the South-East Asia regions bring – in line with CIMB Group’s brand positioning: “ASEAN for You”.
CIMB Group is Malaysia’s second largest financial services provider and one of ASEAN’s leading universal banking groups. It offers consumer banking, investment banking, Islamic banking, asset management and insurance products and services. Headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, the Group is now present in 9 out of 10 ASEAN nations (Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Cambodia, Brunei, Vietnam, Myanmar and Laos). Beyond ASEAN, the Group has market presence in China, Hong Kong, Bahrain, India, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Australia, the US, UK and Korea. CIMB Group is listed on the Malaysian stock exchange via CIMB Group Holdings Berhad. It had a market capitalisation of USD17.9 billion as at 30 September 2014. The Group has over 40,000 employees located in 18 countries.
About the Asian Tour
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 FENIX Golf (Official Apparel Supplier), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Sponsor), Oakley (Official Eyewear and Footwear Sponsor), PRG (Official Accessories Supplier), Srixon (Official Ball), Titleist (Official Web Partner) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). Sentosa, Singapore is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf, www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf, www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf