Global stars sign up for Indonesia Open

Thu 19 Sep 2013

Global stars sign up for Indonesia Open

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Jakarta, September 19: Two-time Major champion Retief Goosen and three-time Tour winner Pablo Larrazabal will headline this year’s Indonesia Open where they will be joined by Asian Tour hero Thongchai Jaidee and local talent Rory Hie at the Pantai Indah Kapuk course at Damai Indah Golf from November 28 to December 1.
South African Goosen has enjoyed a solid year after returning in January from a five-month layoff due a back surgery. A two-time winner at the US Open in 2001 and 2004, he has amassed over 40 professional titles since turning professional in 1990 and was in the top-10 in the Official World Golf Ranking for over 250 weeks between 2001 and 2007. Affectionately known as “The Iceman” due to his extremely calm demeanor, Goosen is no stranger to winning on the Asian Tour with four titles in the continent to his name.
“I have played in many tournaments in Asia over the years and always enjoyed my time in the region and playing in front of Asian fans who have always provided me with generous support. I haven’t played too much this year due to an injury but I am back on the course now and believe my game is in a good place, so I hope I will be amongst the leaders on the Sunday and perhaps have a chance of winning the title,” said Goosen.
The 43-year-old Thongchai, who won this prestigiuous tournament in 2009, is the highest ranked golfer from Southeast Asia on the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) and number two in Asia behind Japanese sensation, Hideki Matsuyama.
One of the most consistent Asian players on tour, Thongchai, the only man to win three Asian Tour Order of Merit crowns,made the cut in his last two Majors at the Open Championship and PGA Championship and recorded a top 10 finish recently in Switzerland at the Omega European Masters. He is looking forward to playing in Asia again, where he won the Indonesia Open four years ago.
“I am very much looking forward to playing in Indonesia, back in Asia, as the season comes to a close. It has been a long year, a pretty consistent one for me, but I haven’t quite managed to finish in the winner’s circle and would very much like to do it in Indonesia. I have won there before, the weather conditions suit me and I have been playing well, so I feel I definitely have a genuine chance,” said the Thai.
Spanish star Larrazabal is looking to finish his year on a high after impressive seasons in 2011 and 2012  when he recorded two European Tour wins and two runner-up finishes respectively. Turning professional in 2004, the Barcelonan’s three tour victories have all come on European soil, in Germany, France and Spain.
The local challenge will be spearheaded by Hie, who was ranked number one by the Indonesia PGA and was named Player of the Year for 2011 and 2012. Before turning professional in 2008, the Balikpapan-born player reached number six in the World Amateur Rankings and was the number one junior in the United States. He has posted impressive results this year, winning the 2013 Road to Panasonic Open Series and was runner up in the Asian Development Tour’s PGM-Terengganu Masters.
Indonesia’s national championship, the Persatuan Golf Indonesia (PGI), Asian Tour and IMPL signed a three-year agreement last December to hold the tournament from 2013 onwards with the main objectives to elevate the stature of the Indonesia Open, assist in the development of junior golf and promote Indonesia golf in view of the sport making a return to the Olympics in 2016.
Arifin Panigoro, Chairman of PGI said: “We are delighted to welcome world class players such as Retief Goosen, Thongchai Jaidee and Pablo Larrazabal to the 2013 Indonesia Open. Not only are they tremendous professional golfers who thrill the crowds with their skills on the fairway, they are true ambassadors of the sport, and I hope our young local talents will take this opportunity and learn from these three great individuals, on and off the course.”
The Indonesia Open, with a total prize fund of US$750,000 this year, was established in 1974 and boasts of a roll of honour that includes prominent names such as the late American Payne Stewart, Frank Nobilo of New Zealand, Filipino legend Frankie Minoza, Australia’s Craig Parry, Chinese Taipei’s Lu Chien-soon, Myanmar’s Mya Aye and Thai duo Thongchai Jaidee and Thaworn Wiratchant, who are both Asian Tour Order of Merit champions.
For more details on the 2013 Indonesia Open, please visit www.indonesiaopen.net
About Persatuan Golf Indonesia
Persatuan Golf Indonesia (PGI) is the National Golf Association which is the sole authority in charge of the national amateur golf in the country that was founded on April 8, 1966. In addition to shelter under the R&A Scotland, PGI is also a member of the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation (APGC) which consists of 28 similar associations in the Asia Pacific region.
About the Asian Tour
In 2013, the Asian Tour will celebrate a momentous milestone with its 10th season. 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), Canon (Official Imaging Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Saxo Capital Markets (Official Statistics Partner), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Srixon (Official Ball), Subway (Official Quick Service Restaurant), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts) 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