Luiten Leaps to Johor Victory

Sun 20 Nov 2011

Luiten Leaps to Johor Victory

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Johor Bahru, Malaysia, November 20: Rising star Joost Luiten of the Netherlands translated a run of good form to win the weather-shortened Iskandar Johor Open on Sunday.


Luiten overcame a four-shot deficit with a sizzling six-under-par 65 to defeat Daniel Chopra of Sweden by one shot in the US$2 million event sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour that was reduced to 54 holes due to adverse weather in the last three days.


Chopra narrowly missed his 20 foot eagle putt on the last hole to force a play-off and settled for second with a final round 70 at the Horizon Hills Golf and Country Club.


Former Asian Tour member Rhys Davies of Wales, title holder Padraig Harrington of Ireland and James Morrison of England finished in tied third, two shots from the champion.


Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand, a three-time Asian Tour number one, Charlie Wi of Korea, Shiv Kapur of India and Bangladeshi Siddikur ended their campaigns as the top Asians in tied 15th place.


Luiten, who has six top-10s this year, turned in 30 highlighted by a hat-trick of birdies from the second hole before adding another birdie on 11 to win his first European Tour title.


Playing on the second last flight, Luiten had an agonizing wait but revelled in delight when Chopra missed his eagle putt on the last which would have forced a play-off.


“Well it is always tough to get your first Tour win and you'll always believe that you'll get a good one. I've come close for a few times and I'm really relieved to finally win and looking for the next one,” said the 25-year-old, who won US$333,330 with a winning total of 15-under-par 198.


“I knew at the beginning of the week that it will be raining season here so it didn’t really bother me. You just need to relax when the delay comes and accept it. You can’t let it get to you or it will affect your round,” said Luiten, who wears two gloves for a better grip.


Chopra, who held a two-shot lead after play was suspended yesterday, was disappointed not to recapture the title he won way back in 1993.


His title hopes looked to have faded after a double bogey on seven but the two-time PGA Tour winner battled back with three birdies in his closing six holes to finish lone second.


“I was very disappointed because I hit the ball really nicely (the double bogey). It was really the only bad shot I made all day. I had a bad break there but I knew there was a long way to go and if I could get some birdies, I would still have a chance to win. I just tried to stay patient,” said Chopra, who grew up in India.


“It is a great way to finish the year. It has been a long hard working year and it is nice to have this good finish at the end of the year. It gives you some encouragement for the next year,” added the Swede, who earned his 2012 PGA Tour card through the Nationwide Tour this year.

 

Siddikur was delighted with his strong finish but rued the opportunity of sealing a better result when he missed a five feet birdie putt on the last.


“Overall, it was a good round and I’m happy with how I played especially since I missed the cut in Singapore. I have two more events before the end of the year and I’m quite confident of doing well there,” said Siddikur, the first Bangladeshi to play and win on the Asian Tour.


Scores after round 3 of the ISKANDAR JOHOR OPEN being played at the par 71, 6783 Yards Horizon Hills GCC course (a- denotes amateur):

198 - Joost LUITEN (NED) 63-70-65.

199 - Daniel CHOPRA (SWE) 64-65-70.

200 - Rhys DAVIES (WAL) 70-65-65, James MORRISON (ENG) 66-65-69, Padraig HARRINGTON (IRL) 64-67-69.

201 - Gregory BOURDY (FRA) 64-67-70.

202 - Soren KJELDSEN (DEN) 71-64-67.

203 - Louis OOSTHUIZEN (RSA) 69-67-67, Fredrik ANDERSSON HED (SWE) 68-67-68, Darren BECK (AUS) 70-65-68, Marcus FRASER (AUS) 64-70-69, Jose Manuel LARA (ESP) 67-67-69.

204 - Marcel SIEM (GER) 69-67-68, Soren HANSEN (DEN) 68-67-69.

205 - Shiv KAPUR (IND) 70-68-67, Charlie WI (KOR) 66-72-67, Thongchai JAIDEE (THA) 69-69-67, Brett RUMFORD (AUS) 71-64-70, Michael JONZON (SWE) 69-65-71, Christian NILSSON (SWE) 67-67-71, SIDDIKUR (BAN) 67-67-71, Ross FISHER (ENG) 71-69-65.


Ends.

 

For further information, please contact Doyle De Costa at the Iskandar Johor Open media centre at +607 2160191.

 

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.

 

It returns to Johor for the fifth 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. It reaches a new level on the international golf schedule with its elevation to a co-sanctioned tournament with the Asian and European Tours for 2011.

 

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 will grow to a minimum of US$2,000,000.

 

Past winners include Artemio Murakami of the Philippines, who won the inaugural event in 2007, and South African Retief Goosen, who took home the prestigious prize in 2008. KJ Choi lifted the coveted trophy in 2009, and Ireland’s Padraig Harrington ended a two-year winless run in 2010 with a very popular win.

 

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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), J.Lindeberg (Official Apparel Partner), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts), Cityneon (Official Event Overlay Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Royal Selangor (Official Trophy Supplier), Singha Beer (Official Beer), BlackBerry (Official Mobile) and Srixon (Official Ball). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.

 

About The European Tour

The PGA European Tour, a company limited by guarantee, operates a broad range of business initiatives essential to its primary mission of administering professional tournament golf. It is a unique business which generates profits for the benefit of its Members – the tournament players – who receive their dividends by way of competing and winning prize money.

 

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