Hello Moto - Knutzon Finds Joy Again in Bintan

Sun 25 Mar 2007

Hello Moto - Knutzon Finds Joy Again in Bintan

Bintan, Indonesia, March 25: American Jason Knutzon fired a superb final round of six-under-par 66 to claim a one-shot victory over Australian Peter Fowler in the inaugural Motorola International Bintan on Sunday.

Knutzon, two shots off the lead going into the last day, put on a master-class performance with six birdies at the spectacular Ria Bintan Golf Club to triumph with a four-day total of 14-under-par 274 and earned US$55,475. It was his second victory on the Asian Tour since his maiden triumph in the Macau Open in 2004.

Fowler, who turns 48 this year, rolled back the years and produced a vintage performance, challenging for the Motorola International Bintan title with an equally impressive 67 on the holiday isle of Bintan, just off the coast of Singapore, as he came desperately close to ending his title drought since 1993.

Unho Park of Australia, grabbed third place after a 68 to finish two behind the winner while Chinese Taipei's Lu Wen-teh was fourth, a further stroke back after a 69. Overnight leader Rick Gibson of Canada shared fifth place with Australian Scott Barr on 278.


"The first time is always special. But today was unbelievable. I played pretty good, putted great and was real steady with no bogeys. It's just a great feeling to win again," said Knutzon, who moved up to 15th place on the Asian Tour's UBS Order of Merit.

"My start of the year hasn't been great, I missed four straight cuts by one stroke, and I said 'gosh' it just feels good to make the cut on Friday. I normally make a lot of cuts but to win is a great feeling."

The American tied for the lead with his second birdie of the day on the par five fourth hole with a 25-foot conversion. With his game in full flow, he went on to birdie all the par fives before enduring a nervy finish at the signature par three 18th hole when he led by one.

After nailing an eight iron tee shot to 12 feet above the pin, the 31-year-old misjudged the first putt which rolled three feet past the hole before safely knocking home his comeback par putt. "I was trying to snuggle it up there but I rolled it three feet past. It was nice to see that putt go in. There were nerves on the last putt but I stuck to my routine and got it.

"I hit a lot of fairways and greens and gave myself a lot of chances for birdies. I putted the best that I have putted all year."

Fowler, a former Australian Open champion, had a sniff at victory with a strong performance. But at the end, he came up just short, lamenting a missed drive on the 16th hole. "I was happy with my performance, shooting a 67. I thought that was what I needed to do. But unfortunately, 66 got me. It's one of those things," said Fowler, whose last triumph was the 1993 BMW International in Germany.

"I knew I probably needed two birdies in the last three holes to have a chance. I just pushed the drive on 16 and it caught a tree and came down. If I had missed the tree, it would have been really good. But I made a great birdie on 17 and on the 18, I hit it to 23 feet under the flag. I hit a good putt that broke left ? I thought it would break to the right," he said.

Without full playing rights on any of the major Tours, the Aussie was eyeing a win at the Motorola International Bintan and launched a brave charge up the leaderboard on the back nine with four birdies. "My focus was to win this tournament. I've got no ranking on the Asian Tour, I don't know when I'm playing next. It was all about winning this week.

"This performance is probably the best in 13 years. The last two weeks, I've shot seven out of eight rounds in the 60s. That's a long time since I've done that. I am happy," said Fowler, who was tied ninth in last week's TCL Classic in China.

Lu, a two-time winner in Asia, was tied for the lead on the front nine before costly bogeys on the 10th and 14th holes derailed his title hopes. "Those dropped shots were costly. I made some mistakes and fell out of contention from then on," said the veteran.

Leading final round scores
274 - Jason Knutzon (USA) 69-71-68-66
275 - Peter Fowler (AUS) 68-69-71-67
276 - Unho Park (AUS) 71-68-69-68
277 - Lu Wen-teh (TPE) 71-73-64-69
278 - Scott Barr (AUS) 71-69-70-68, Rick Gibson (CAN) 68-69-69-72
279 - Artemio Murakami (PHI) 72-68-71-68, Airil Rizman Zahari (MAS) 69-69-71-70
280 - Gareth Paddison (NZL) 70-68-73-69, Panuwat Muenlek (THA) 69-69-72-70, Mo Joong-kyung (KOR) 70-71-66-73, Adam Blyth (AUS) 70-65-72-73
281 - Chapchai Nirat (THA) 69-72-71-69, Steven Jeffress (AUS) 71-72-68-70, Scott Strange (AUS) 69-67-73-72, Clay Devers (USA) 68-70-70-73
282 - David Gleeson (AUS) 71-68-73-70, Ted Oh (KOR) 67-69-75-71, Adam Groom (AUS) 70-70-71-71, Tatsuhiko Takahashi (JPN) 70-69-72-71, Mike Cunning (USA) 66-69-75-72, Park Jun-won (KOR) 68-71-69-74


About Motorola

Motorola is known around the world for innovation and leadership in wireless and broadband communications. Inspired by our vision of seamless mobility, the people of Motorola are committed to helping you connect simply and seamlessly to the people, information, and entertainment that you want and need. We do this by designing and delivering "must have" products, "must do" experiences and powerful networks -- along with a full complement of support services. A Fortune 100 company with global presence and impact, Motorola had sales of US $42.9 billion in 2006. For more information about our company, our people and our innovations, please visit http://www.motorola.com

About Bintan Resorts

Bintan Resorts is a multi-award winning, integrated tropical beach resort destination with world-class facilities featuring :


  • Extensive land-bank of prime tropical resort real estate within close proximity to Singapore

  • Indonesian beach resort offering international standards of products and services such as golf, spa, watersports, nature/culture tours and a wide range of accommodation

  • Easy accessibility via fast and comfortable ferries (55 minutes away from Singapore and 35 minutes away from Batam, Indonesia)

  • Ideal getaway for active individuals and couples, families, golfers, corporate and incentive groups, spa lovers and honeymooners

  • Superb twin destination with Singapore (city & beach resort appeal), providing tourists with ?two destinations in one holiday!?


About the Motorola International Bintan
The inaugural Motorola International Bintan is promoted and organised by Global Premier Sports and the event is sanctioned by the Asian Tour. Motorola, which is known around the world for innovation and leadership in wireless and broadband communications, is the title sponsor of the event. Other main sponsors of the Motorola International Bintan include Bintan Resorts Crakawala, Ria Bintan Golf Club (Host Venue), Nirwana Gardens Resorts (Official Hotel), Srixon (Official Ball), Cross Creek (Official Apparel), Carlsberg (Official Beer), Sanqua (Official Water Sponsor) and Golf Malaysia (Official Media Partner). The Motorola International Bintan is the ninth leg of the 2007 Asian Tour season.