Fung shines while Kang surprises in Indonesia

Thu 24 Apr 2014

Fung shines while Kang surprises in Indonesia

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Jakarta, April 24: Malaysia’s Nicholas Fung continued his dazzling form by taking a share of the first round lead with Korean-American Anthony Kang who surprised even himself with an opening five-under-par 67 at the US$750,000 CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters on Thursday.
Anthony Kang of USA Anthony Kang of USA
Thailand’s Chapchai Nirat, a three-time Asian Tour winner, signed for a 68 to take a share of third place with defending champion Bernd Wiesberger of Austria, Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond, India’s Sujjan Singh as well as Australia’s Jake Higginbottom and  Cameron Smith who graduated from Qualifying School earlier this year.
Still riding high on the EurAsia Cup euphoria where Team Asia battled to an epic draw with Team Europe last month, Fung is putting his experience of playing against the world’s best players to good use at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club.
“It’s nice to see my name on the leaderboard. I made the cut in Malaysia for the first time last week and that gave me a huge confidence boost. Of course, the experience from EurAsia Cup has helped me as well. Playing with Jamie Donaldson and Graeme McDowell and Miguel Angel Jimenez at the EurAsia Cup has taught me a lot. I’ve learned to be patient with my game, try to calm down and always stay positive,” said Fung.
The Malaysian held his own and emerged as the best player in the morning’s marquee group which included 2013 Asian Tour Order of Merit champion Kiradech Aphibarnrat (71) of Thailand and Major winner Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa (72).
“It’s great playing with Asian Tour Order of Merit winner, Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Louis Oosthuizen. I started very well today when I was three-under after five holes. It was all good for me out there today and I’m feeling very confident,” said Fung.
Evergreen Kang, who does not look a day older than his 41 years of age, sprung a big surprise when he made his presence felt atop the leaderboard.
Kang’s last victory on the region’s premier Tour dates back to 2009 when he won his third title in Malaysia.
While he may not be at the peak of his career today, Kang is happy he can still put up a good showing at the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters.
“I surprised even myself with such a good score. You know, I’m getting old and I’m just enjoying my time on the golf course nowadays.
But today’s score shows that I still have the talent to play good golf. It’s a positive start and hopefully I can continue to play that way I did today,” said Kang.
Bernd Wiesberger of Austria Bernd Wiesberger of Austria
Meanwhile Wiesberger was largely out of the radar when he reached the turn with an outward 35.
However he showed never to be underestimated when he got his game back on track with another birdie on 13 before finishing with two birdies in his closing three holes.
“I didn’t take several chances early in the round but it was a good finish especially with my birdies on 16 and 17,” said Wiesberger.
The Austrian is determined to put up a strong defence of his title and he believes the weather conditions will be in his favour when he tees off early for his second round.
“I’ve been looking forward since Sunday last year to come back and defend my title. This is a golf course which I really like and can play well here.
There will be a little bit of advantage for me to play in the morning tomorrow as there will be less humidity and I hope to capitalise on that. The conditions in the morning are more favourable for scoring,” said Wiesberger.
Chapchai’s decision to change a new putter has paid off.
After missing the cut in his last two events in the Philippines and Malaysia, the Thai got back into the mix by firing six birdies against two bogeys to stay within sight of the leaders.
“I changed my putter recently and the results have paid off today. I haven’t been putting that well recently and I thought it’s time for a change. It showed today as I managed to hole several long putts and that has brought back lots of confidence,” said Chapchai.
Leading scores after round 1 of the CIMB NIAGA Indonesian Masters being played at the par 72, 7340 Yards Royale Jakarta GC course (a- denotes amateur):
67 - Nicholas FUNG (MAS), Anthony KANG (USA).
68 - Chapchai NIRAT (THA), Cameron SMITH (AUS), Jazz JANEWATTANANOND (THA), Bernd WIESBERGER (AUT), Jake HIGGINBOTTOM (AUS), Sujjan SINGH (IND).
69 - WANG Jeung-hun (KOR), Richard T. LEE (CAN), Marcus BOTH (AUS), Danny CHIA (MAS), LEE Tae-hee (KOR), Chan KIM (USA), Adilson DA SILVA (BRA), Wolmer MURILLO (VEN).
70 - KIM Tae-woo (KOR), Gunn CHAROENKUL (THA), Carlos PIGEM (ESP), Berry HENSON (USA), LU Wen-teh (TPE), Boonchu RUANGKIT (THA), Sutijet KOORATANAPISAN (THA), Miguel TABUENA (PHI), Wasin SRIPATTRANUSORN (THA), Poom SAKSANSIN (THA), LIN Wen-tang (TPE), Rashid KHAN (IND), Arnond VONGVANIJ (THA), Arjun ATWAL (IND), Anirban LAHIRI (IND), Jason KNUTZON (USA), Rahil GANGJEE (IND).
Selected scores
71 - Kiradech APHIBARNRAT (THA), Thongchai JAIDEE (THA), Mardan MAMAT (SIN)
74 - Victor DUBUISSON (FRA)
Ends.
About CIMB Niaga
CIMB Niaga was established as Bank Niaga in 1955. CIMB Group is the main shareholder of CIMB Niaga, with a 97.94% effective stake (include 1.02% of shares of PT Commerce Kapital). The Bank offers a comprehensive suite of both conventional and Islamic banking products and services, through an expanding delivery channel network of 969 offices all over Indonesia as at 31 December 2013, including 580 branches, 350 Mikro Laju units (including 21 outlets attached to a branch), and 60 cash/payment points. CIMB Niaga has more than 14,300 employees.
CIMB Niaga encourages people to share high growth and take advantage of all the potential that 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  8 out of 10 ASEAN nations (Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Cambodia, Brunei, Vietnam and Myanmar). 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 Bursa Malaysia via CIMB Group Holdings Berhad. It has a market capitalisation of USD17,6 billion as at 30 September 2013. The Group has over 41,000 employees located in 17 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 Abacus (Official Apparel Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Sponsor), Oakley (Official Eyewear and Footwear Sponsor), Saxo Capital Markets (Official Statistics Partner), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Srixon (Official Ball), Subway (Official Quick Service Restaurant) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf, www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf, www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf.