Kataoka confident of first Asian Tour victory

Mon 06 May 2013

Kataoka confident of first Asian Tour victory

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Singapore, May 6: Unheralded Daisuke Kataoka of Japan believes his first victory on the Asian Tour will come very soon after an outstanding showing at the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters over the weekend.
The 24-year-old produced his best performance since turning professional in 2007 after securing a third place finish with a total score of 13-under-par 275, two shots behind winner Bernd Wiesberger of Austria and one back of multiple Major winner, Ernie Els of South Africa.
Kataoka became the subject of fanfare when he signed for a six-under par 66 on Saturday to lead an Asian Tour event for the first time in the US$750,000 Asian Tour event staged at the majestic Royale Jakarta Golf Club.
“I had a good experience this week. I led for the first time in a tournament and it was fantastic to play with Bernd Wiesberger and Ernie Els. If I can continue to keep up with this consistency, I think my first win will come very soon,” said the slightly built Japanese, who had played baseball before reverting to golf.
“I’m not disappointed with how I’ve played this week. I did my best. I was hoping that all my hard work will pay off. The results did show but unfortunately I didn’t win. I think it was a very important week for me. It showed that I can play with the top players,” added Kataoka, who earned US$47,250 which took him to 32nd position on the latest Asian Tour Order of Merit.
“It was a great performance by Daisuke (Kataoka). He is a good and neat player. He hits the ball really straight with a good putter. He has everything. He is a good player,” commented Ernie Els, the reigning Open Championship winner.
Another man who displayed good form at the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters was Thailand’s evergreen Thongchai Jaidee, who signed for a 278 to clinch fourth place on Sunday.
“I played very well this week. It was only my putting which let me down. I’ve been hitting it very solid with 15 greens in regulation every day. The greens look easy but they are not. The wind made it very challenging for many of us,” said the Thai veteran, whose goal is to get into the top-50 of the Official World Golf Ranking at the end of the year.
Thongchai moved up one position to fifth on the Order of Merit as he added another $37,500 to his total earnings of $160,172. His fellow compatriot, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, still tops the list with US$662,375.
CIMB Niaga also committed to support the Indonesian Masters for another three years until 2016 which is a massive boost for the region's premier Tour.
Following the conclusion of its ninth leg of the 2013 season, the Asian Tour, which is celebrating its milestone 10th season this year, will head to Koh Samui, Thailand, for the prestigious Queen’s Cup from June 13 to 16.

ASIAN TOUR ORDER OF MERIT - TOP-20
Pos       Player                                                       Earnings (US$)
1          Kiradech APHIBARNRAT (THA)              $662,375.27
2          Gaganjeet BHULLAR (IND)                       $269,066.43
3          Scott HEND (AUS)                                       $235,848.89
4          LIANG Wen-chong (CHN)                         $185,383.29
5          Thongchai JAIDEE (THA)                         $160,172.53
6          BAEK Seuk-hyun (KOR)                            $149,554.50
7          Wade ORMSBY (AUS)                                $128,597.26
8          KIM Gi-whan (KOR)                                  $108,467.77
9          Shiv KAPUR (IND)                                     $94,841.75
10        Anirban LAHIRI (IND)                              $91,541.60
11        SIDDIKUR (BAN)                                        $90,065.10
12        Berry HENSON (USA)                                $86,870.98
13        Joonas GRANBERG (FIN)                         $86,437.83
14        Bryce EASTON (RSA)                                 $85,005.00
15        Chawalit PLAPHOL (THA)                        $76,446.00
16        KIM Hyung-sung (KOR)                            $76,024.03
17        Jason KNUTZON (USA)                             $67,112.76
18        Rikard KARLBERG (SWE)                        $65,228.23
19        Boonchu RUANGKIT (THA)                     $64,016.00
20        Jbe KRUGER (RSA)                                    $63,969.69
 
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), BlackBerry (Official Communications Partner), Cityneon (Official Event Overlay Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Srixon (Official Ball), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.