Westwood Off to a Flying Start

Thu 19 Apr 2012

Westwood Off to a Flying Start

Jakarta, April 19: Lee Westwood of England got off to a hot start in his title defence at the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters presented by PNTS with a sizzling round of seven-under-par 65 on Thursday.

The Englishman opened up a two-shot lead over highly rated Arnond Vongvanij of Thailand, who returned with a 67 at the US$750,000 Asian Tour event staged at the majestic Royale Jakarta Golf Club.

Veteran Boonchu Ruangkit of Thailand, former Asian Tour number one Jyoti Randhawa of India, Shiv Kapur, Lee Sung of Korea, Zaw Moe of Myanmar and Sam Cyr of the United States were bunched up in tied third place on matching 68s.

A rejuvenated Westwood, who took a week’s break from his third place finish at the Masters, birdied the opening three holes before turning in 31 and adding three birdies and one bogey on his homeward nine.

“I had a break last week and hardly hit any balls. I played a lot of golf earlier this year and needed a rest. It was good to go home and recharge my batteries because the Masters always takes a lot out of you. It is physically and mentally very demanding,” said the world number three golfer.

It was a wind-swept day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club and Westwood was caught off guard on the 14th hole where he dropped his second bogey of the day.

“This is quite a tricky test because the greens are very undulating. You got to have your “A-Game” with you. It (wind direction) changed on 14 and it caught me by surprise and ended up with a bogey where I three putted,” said the Englishman, who rose to the world number one position with his victory in this tournament last year.

Asian Tour rookie Arnond, who has two top-10 finishes this year, continued to impress and credited his straight shooting game for his flawless scorecard.

“I’m happy but not surprised. I feel that my game in the last couple of weeks have been really close to where I want it. I hit my driver fairly straight and didn’t get into too much trouble,” said the 23-year-old.

Korea’s Lee, who was born with a hearing impairment but had an implant surgically put into his right ear in 2010 to help him hear, missed only one fairway in a round of five birdies against one bogey.

“My driver was excellent. I missed only one fairway. If you get your tee shots going here, you can have a chance of attacking the greens. All my birdies were quite close today,” said Lee, who has won once on the Asian Tour in 2007.

Kapur, the Asian Tour rookie in 2005, birdied three of his closing five holes to trail first round leader Westwood by three shots.

“I played pretty well. It was one of those rounds where I could have gone really low. I just didn’t hole enough putts. I hit a lot of fairways and greens and kept burning the edges. I was kind of rewarded with my patience,” said Kapur.

“I like the course. It is one of those courses where there’s a big premium of hitting fairways. You have to hit quality iron shots here. Iron play is kind of my strength so it worked pretty well for me,” he added.

Matthew Rosenfeld of the United States will finish his first round on Friday morning as darkness fell at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club.


Sponsors and partners of the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters will enjoy widespread exposure via a strong local media platform and the Asian Tour’s global television platform, which reaches out live to over 200 countries and 650 million households, Highlights, Asian Tour Golf Show and Golfing World.


Indonesia’s premier news channel, Metro TV, will also be broadcasting the event locally for 10 hours live and will be airing additional shows and features related to the event and the positive impact it has on the economy of Indonesia.


Other partners include the event’s Presenting Sponsor Pelayaran Nasional Tanjungriau Service (PNTS), Garuda Indonesia (Official Airline), Indonesian World Class Energy Company, Pertamina, Salonpas by Hisamitsu BMW (Official Car), Coca-Cola (Official Drinks Partner), Four Seasons Hotel Jakarta (Official Hotel), Thiess Indonesia (Main Partner), Navigat Energy (Main Partner), Pertamina (Main Partner), Linc Group (Main Partner), Salonpas (Main Partner), Hush Puppies Golf (Official Apparel) and San Miguel (Official Beer), BlackBerry (Official Handset), Srixon (Official Ball), Ricoh (Official Office Equipment) and Casillero del Diablo (Official Wine).

Scores after round 1 of the CIMB NIAGA Indonesian Masters Presented by Pnts being played at the par 72, 7262 Yards Royale Jakarta GC course (a- denotes amateur):

65 - Lee WESTWOOD (ENG).

67 - Arnond VONGVANIJ (THA).

68 - LEE Sung (KOR), Boonchu RUANGKIT (THA), Zaw MOE (MYN), Jyoti RANDHAWA (IND), Sam CYR (USA), Shiv KAPUR (IND).

69 - PARK Hyun-bin (KOR), Berry HENSON (USA), Thitiphun CHUAYPRAKONG (THA), Masanori KOBAYASHI (JPN), Angelo QUE (PHI), Rick KULACZ (AUS).

70 - Bernd WIESBERGER (AUT), Marcus BOTH (AUS), Mithun PERERA (SRI), Javi COLOMO (ESP), KOH Deng Shan (SIN), Antonio LASCUNA (PHI), Ajeetesh SANDHU (IND), Pawin INGKHAPRADIT (THA).


About CIMB Niaga

CIMB Niaga was established as Bank Niaga in 1955. CIMB Group holds around 97.94% of the stakes in CIMB Niaga. The Bank offers a comprehensive suite of both conventional and Islamic banking products and services, through an expanding delivery channel network of 901 offices all over Indonesia as at 31 December 2011, including 630 branches, 233 Mikro Laju units, and 38 cash/payment points. CIMB Niaga has more than 13.600 employees.


CIMB Niaga encourages people to share high growth and take advantage of all the potential that South-East Asia regions bring – in line with CIMB Group’s brand positioning: “ASEAN for You”.


CIMB Group is Malaysia’s second largest financial services provider and one of ASEAN’s leading universal banking groups. It offers consumer banking, investment banking, Islamic banking, asset management and insurance products and services. Headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, the Group is now present in 8 out of 10 ASEAN nations (Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Cambodia, Brunei, Vietnam, and Myanmar). Beyond ASEAN, the Group has market presence in China, Hong Kong, Bahrain, India, Sri Lanka, the US and UK. CIMB Group is listed on Bursa Malaysia via CIMB Group Holdings Berhad. It has a market capitalisation of RM55.3 billion as at 31 December 2011. The Group has over 40.000 employees located in 14 countries.


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.