Steel Steals the Show in Jakarta

Fri 29 Aug 2008

Steel Steals the Show in Jakarta

Jakarta, August 29: Malaysia's Iain Steel fired a steady six-under-par 66 and grabbed the second round lead at the Pertamina Indonesia President Invitational with main sponsor Qatar Telecom on Friday.

Steel, with two top-10 finishes this season, tackled the tricky conditions at the Damai Indah Golf and Country Club for a nine-under-par 135 total.

Filipino Mars Pucay was a stroke off the pace when he carded the lowest round of the day with a 65 to lie in a tie for second place. Also in the mix in second spot was opening round leader Lin Wen-tang of Chinese Taipei who was even-par for the day alongside Thailand's Thaworn Wiratchant who recorded a 69.

Lin had previously led the opening round before play was suspended on Thursday due to lightning. A total of 15 players had returned on course early this morning to complete their opening rounds.

But it was Steel who took charge in the second round when he enjoyed a bogey free day with six birdies.

"I've been having an upset stomach since last night. I took some medication and I think I had taken my mind off the game slightly which helped. As the saying goes, 'beware of the sick golfer'.

"I haven't been playing well all year but in the last two tournaments, I finished strongly and this week again I'm playing steady. I've been much more patient on course which made the difference to my performance. I did not allow the mistakes to get to me and moved on," said Steel, who recorded top-10 finishes in the last two events on the Asian Tour.

"This is my third straight bogey free round (including the final round at Brunei Open last week) and it's been a good run for me. I hope to continue my steady performance into the weekend rounds," he added.

Filipino Pucay charged up the leaderboard thanks to a solid start with birdies in the first four holes before closing in with a strong 65.

"After more than 12 years, it was only last year when I decided to adopt an aggressive approach and it's paying off now. I was playing conservative and changed that approach last year. I struck four birdies in a row which got me to a great start and I carried my momentum from there. I was steady and missed the fairway only once today. Great round for me," said the 38-year-old Pucay.

After a 64 in the opening round, Chinese Taipei's Lin battled the windy conditions at the Pantai Indah Kapuk course on the way to a 72 today.

"The wind was unpredictable today. It proved costly especially with my shots off the tee. I'm satisfied but I'm not too happy with how I was driving the ball today. I had a slow finish with two bogeys on my last three holes. I also injured my wrist slightly while getting out of trouble on the eighth hole so I hope it's nothing too serious," said Lin, who won the Asian Tour International title in Thailand in March.

Former Asian Tour number one Thaworn is eyeing his second title this season when he remained in contention after a 69.

"I want to win this week. I hope to produce two good rounds over the weekend. The wind picked up in the afternoon which made it tough so it will all depend on the conditions on course. But I'm feeling good about my game this week so we shall see what happens tomorrow," said Thaworn, who won the Bangkok Airways Open in June on the way to a record 10th title on the Asian Tour.

Defending champion Juvic Pagunsan of the Philippines shot a 69 and was on the mark in a tie for 56th position while Indonesia's Rory Hidayat Hie missed the cut when he posted a 77 to finish in joint 80th spot.

"It would have been great if I had made the cut but it's been a good experience for me. I had really good support here and I enjoyed the week. Hopefully I'll be able to compete in future Asian Tour tournaments," said Hie, who turned professional on Wednesday.

A total of 69 players made the weekend rounds.

Pertamina is the title sponsor of the Asian Tour event for the second successive year with Qatar Telecom being a main sponsor. The event's co-sponsors include Commonwealth Bank, Indosat and partnered by Bormindo, Corum, Evian, Damai Indah Golf, The Flag Golf Magazine/Kariza, Golf Digest Indonesia, Heineken, Le Meridian Hotel, MNK, Prestige, PGN, Pin High, Samsung and Srixon.

The tournament is sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Indonesian PGA (PGPI) and organised by the Indonesian Golf Association (PGI).

Leading second round scores

135 - Iain Steel (MAS) 69-66

136 - Thaworn Wiratchant (THA) 67-69, Lin Wen-tang (TPE) 64-72, Mars Pucay (PHI) 71-65

137 - Anthony Kang (USA) 67-70, Ted Oh (KOR) 68-69

138 - Wisut Artjanawat (THA) 70-68, David Gleeson (AUS) 71-67, Panuwat Muenlek (THA) 69-69, Pavit Tangkamolprasert (THA) 71-67, Ashley Hall (AUS) 68-70, Andrew Dodt (AUS) 69-69

139 - Somkiat Srisanga (THA) 69-70, Wittawat Sae-ung (THA) 71-68, S. Siva Chandran (MAS) 70-69, Kodai Ichihara (JPN) 71-68, Kane Webber (AUS) 68-71, Brad Kennedy (AUS) 67-72

140 - Zaw Moe (MYN) 71-69, Jason King (AUS) 69-71, Scott Hend (AUS) 71-69, M. Sasidaran (MAS) 68-72

141 - Kwanchai Tannin (THA) 69-72, Atthaphon Prathummanee (THA) 69-72, Udorn Duangdecha (THA) 70-71, Noh Seung-yul (KOR) 72-69, Tony Carolan (AUS) 69-72

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 Carlsberg (Official Beer), ESPN Star Sports (Official Regional TV Broadcaster), Pin High (Official Apparel Partner), Sofitel (Official Hotel) and Srixon (Official Ball). Sentosa, Singapore's premier island resort getaway, is the Home of the Asian Tour.

For further information, please contact Asian Tour's Shenton Gomez at the Pertamina Indonesia President Invitational media centre at : +6221 30000461