Garcia Shows Credentials

Fri 14 Dec 2012

Garcia Shows Credentials

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Nusajaya, Johor, Malaysia, December 14: World number 20 Sergio Garcia of Spain reproduced his Ryder Cup winning form when he charged up the leaderboard to hold the second round lead at nine-under through 12 holes at the weather-interrupted US$2 million Iskandar Johor Open on Friday.


Inclement weather caused almost three hours of play to be lost due to two suspensions and with darkness falling on the Horizon Hills Golf and Country Club, play was eventually suspended, leaving 117 players to return at 7.30am on Saturday morning to resume their round.


Opening round leader David Lipsky of the United States, who has yet to start his second round shared the lead with Garcia after signing for a 63 in the morning.


Three-time Asian Tour Order of Merit winner Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand is six-under through 13 holes and is among the five players who are three shots back of Garcia and Lipsky at the Asian Tour season-ending event.


Singapore’s Lam Chih Bing returned with a four-under-par 68 and is among the only three players who managed to complete their round at the Iskandar Johor Open.


Garcia, who played a starring role in the Ryder Cup for Europe in September, could only play three holes on the opening day. The Spaniard then returned with a vengeance by snaring 10 birdies against one bogey over 33 holes.


“It was good. It has been a long day but it has been quite positive. I just hope I can keep going in the right direction and see what happens. Hopefully we will get lucky and can get all four rounds in,” said the week’s highest ranked player.


The weather disruptions did little to dampen the Spaniard’s charge as he was already bracing himself for such delays in his maiden appearance in Malaysia.

 

“I did well before and after the breaks so overall it is what it is. You got to realize that the weather is like this and you got to deal with it,” said Garcia.


Lipsky, who returned to complete two holes, did not get to start his round but will head into the weekend, perched atop the leaderboard with Garcia


“It wasn’t too hard as I came back with an easy two-foot birdie putt and pretty simple par-five to finish off my round. Hopefully the weather stays clear and we can get more golf in,” said Lipsky, who marked his bogey-free card with seven birdies and one eagle.


Meanwhile Thongchai will be hoping to shake off the effects of fatigue when he resumes his title charge on Saturday.


“I’m happy with the way I played but I felt tired because of the suspensions. It was quite difficult to play on the course because the fairways are a bit wet. The greens are okay. I played very solid. I think I played about 30 holes. I woke up at 5.15am and it will be the same tomorrow,” said Thongchai.


Lam, who is battling to save his Tour card for next season after lying in 76th place on the Order of Merit, was visibly relieved when he managed to return to the clubhouse under fading light.


“I’m more than happy to be able to finish the round as the group was trying to rush through the last few holes. I’m going to have an extra six hours of sleep which is good. The course is a little wet and the greens are still running nicely,” said Lam.


“My scores over the last two days have definitely eased some pressure for me as I’ve made the cut and I can take it easy tonight,” added the Singaporean.


With the weather conditions continuing to create delays, tournament draw card Ernie Els of South Africa, preferred to look on the lighter side of things.


“I pray to God that we should have more of this kind of weather as I’m from South Africa and we’ve a dry climate. I like this kind of weather especially when I’m sleeping but not when I’m playing golf!” laughed Els, who is four-under through 12 holes.


Meanwhile Malaysia’s amateur Gavin Kyle Green, who was paired with Els and Garcia is five –under through 12 holes.


The Iskandar Johor Open is presented by Iskandar Waterfront Holdings Sdn Bhd, which is a government-linked company specifically incorporated to take on the role of master developer of prime waterfront properties in Johor Bahru.


About Iskandar Waterfront Holdings SDN BHD (IWH):

IWH is a government-linked company that was specifically incorporated to serve as the master developer of over 3,000-acres of prime waterfront land in Johor Bahru. The crown in the jewel of this integrated development will be Danga Bay. The master plan envisages six other components – The Gateway comprising two identical 34-storey residential blocks linked at the top by a skywalk; a landscaped riverside development known as The Venice; Danga Heights, which is set become Johor Bahru’s newest uptown lifestyle address; a high-end mixed development called Tebrau Coast on the eastern corridor of Johor Bahru; and JB Tanjung Puteri Waterfront, a commercial mixed development straddling both sides of the Causeway to Singapore. IWH is also developing a Marina & Beach Resort @ Desaru.


About The Iskandar Johor Open

The Iskandar Johor Open is one of the fastest-growing tournaments on the Asian Tour, and has attracted some of the best golfers in the world. The event was successfully staged at the Royal Johor Country Club for the first three years, and at Horizon Hills Golf and Country Club in 2010 and 2011.

It returns to Johor for the sixth time at Horizon Hills, where once again golf fans will be able to witness yet another exciting golf tournament which is staking its claim as one of the top events on the Asian Tour calendar.

Iskandar Malaysia and Johor Golf Association are continuing with their support of this event, and have created the biggest international event in Johor. Since the inaugural event in 2007, the prize money for the tournament has increased by five-fold from US$300,000 in 2007 to US$1,250,000 in 2010. In 2011, the prize money grew to a minimum of US$2,000,000 and will remain for 2012.


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 Rolex (Official Timekeeper), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts), Cityneon (Official Event Overlay Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Singha Beer (Official Beer), BlackBerry (Official Smartphone and Tablet Partner) and Srixon (Official Ball). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.


About IMG Sports & Entertainment

Operating in 30 countries, IMG Sports & Entertainment’s diverse businesses include: consulting services; event ownership and management; fashion events and models representation; licensing; golf course design; and client representation in golf, tennis, broadcasting, speakers, European football, rugby, cricket, motor sports, coaching, Olympic and action sports. IMG Academies are the world’s largest, multi-sport training and educational facilities, delivering world-class training experiences to more than 12,000 junior, collegiate, adult, and professional athletes each year.

More information about IMG is available at www.imgworld.com