Trio Seize Clubhouse Lead

Thu 22 Oct 2009

Trio Seize Clubhouse Lead


Johor Bahru, Malaysia, October 22: Thailand’s Chinnarat Phadungsil together with compatriot Pariya Junhasavasdikul and Mark Purser of New Zealand made a spirited start to take the first round clubhouse lead at the weather interrupted Iskandar Johor Open on Thursday.


Play was suspended at noon for about three hours due to inclement weather and only resumed at approximately 3 p.m. All players who teed off in the afternoon session have yet to complete their round after play was suspended due to darkness at 7 pm.

Chinnarat, who holds the distinction of being the youngest winner on the Asian Tour, posted a four-under-par 68 that was matched by Pariya and Purser at the US$1 million full field Asian Tour event at the Royal Johor Country Club.

Chinese Taipei’s Lin Wen-tang and Chang Tse-peng are on five-under after 13 and 12 holes respectively. Himmat Rai of India is also on five-under through nine holes.


Malaysia’s Danny Chia, Gaganjeet Bhullar of India and defending champion Retief Goosen of South Africa were among the 11 players bunched in tied fourth position on 69.

Starting on the 10th tee, Chinnarat started his round with two birdies on the 11th and 13th holes before carding a double bogey on the 17th hole when his approach shot landed in the water.

Chinnarat recovered brilliantly with another birdie on the 18th hole to make the turn in 35 and continued his impressive form with further birdies on one, two and six.

“My putting and approach shot was good but I wasn’t driving very well. Luckily for me my chipping and putting pulled me up,” said Chinnarat who won his third Asian Tour title at the Queen’s Cup in Thailand in August.

Playing in his rookie season, Purser welcomed a return to form when he holed a 20 feet putt on his first hole for birdie which set him on his way to another five birdies against two bogeys.

The New Zealander did well to maintain his momentum when he chipped in on the 12th hole from the edge of the green for birdie.

“I got off to a good start where I birdied the first few holes which certainly helped. I did not drive very well but overall the rest of my game was pretty tidy and that gave me a chance to shoot a good round,” said Purser who is seeking for his maiden win on the Asian Tour.

Defending champion Goosen, who started on the back nine, started his title defence with six birdies against three bogeys.

“I was not striking the ball too well. I hit five fairways and eight greens in regulations so to shoot three-under is pretty much as good as I could have done. My last birdie on the 18th hole was the most crucial but I had three hours to think about my putt!” said Goosen who was on the 18th green before play was suspended for three hours.

Chia, also starting on the back nine, led the local charge with a solid performance after posting six birdies against one bogey and a double bogey on the par four 18th. He managed to stay within touching distance of the leaders when he sank his chip for birdie on third.

“My ball striking was inconsistent but my putting and chipping around the green was good. I holed a few putts out there but overall it was good. I need to work on my ball striking and hopefully I can play better the next few days,” said Chia.

The Iskandar Johor Open, celebrating its third edition and offering a record prize fund this year, is sanctioned by the Asian Tour, Johor Golf Association and Malaysian Golf Association.

The main sponsor of the Iskandar Johor Open is the Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA). It is also supported by platinum sponsor - UEM Land Berhad, the master developer of Nusajaya which is a key driver of Iskandar Malaysia. Other co-sponsors include Iskandar Waterfront Development and UM Land. Official partners are TaylorMade Adidas Golf, 100 Plus, Srixon, Winston Wine, Dewars, Ricoh and the Puteri Pacific Hotel.

News and updates on the tournament will be available on the official IJO website

Completed first round scores

68 – Chinnarat Phadungsil (THA), Mark Purser (NZL), Pariya Junhasavasdikul (THA),

69 - Lin Wen-hong (TPE), Keith Horne (RSA), Retief Goosen (RSA), Danny Chia (MAS), Noh Seung-yul (KOR), Mars Pucay (PHI), Gaganjeet Bhullar (IND), Marcus Both (AUS), Udorn Duangdecha (THA), Rahil Gangjee (IND), Tim Stewart (AUS)


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 ESPN Star Sports (Official Regional TV Broadcaster), Pin High (Official Apparel Partner), Ricoh (Official Office Solutions Provider) and Srixon (Official Ball). Sentosa, Singapore’s premier island resort getaway, is the Home of the Asian Tour.