In-form Masrin eyes breakthrough at PGM Darulaman Championship
Kedah, Malaysia, January 23: Indonesian talent Danny Masrin will be looking to ride on his fine form when he chases for a breakthrough Asian Development Tour (ADT) victory at the PGM Darulaman Championship which starts on Wednesday.
The 25-year-old Masrin, who turned professional in 2015, battled into contention at the prestigious SMBC Singapore Open last week before settling for a tied-12th place finish to mark his best result on the Asian Tour.
Buoyed by his soaring confidence, Masrin hopes to put up another solid display when he returns to the Darulaman Golf and Country Club in Malaysia for the tournament which he had previously enjoyed a top-10 finish in 2016.
“Keeping the ball on the fairway will be the key. It will be a little more different, a little more relaxed I would think. I think I’m hitting it well and I am just going to get a feel for the greens here,” said Masrin.
Masrin will feature in the RM225,000 (approximately US$55,000) event alongside a host of ADT winners, which include defending champion Nattawat Suvajanakorn of Thailand, countryman George Gandranata and American John Catlin.
Fresh graduates from the 2018 Asian Tour Qualifying School will also be vying for honours at the season-opener in Malaysia. They include Sorachut Hansapiban of Thailand, American Kurt Kitayama, Japanese duo Shohei Hasegawa and Yutaka Araki.
Gandranata, a one-time winner on the ADT, hopes to make up for the disappointment from missing the halfway cut in Singapore by putting up a good showing in Malaysia this week.
“I did not do so well last week so I have been working on my short game over the next couple of days. I struggled with my putting so I will have to get comfortable with the greens in Malaysia,” said Gandranata.
“It’s a nice course. I like the layout. It’s not tricky at all. You got to have your A game there if you want to go low,” he added.
Newcomer Kitayama signalled his arrival in Asia by finishing tied-third in his first attempt at the Asian Tour Qualifying School in Thailand a fortnight ago. He went on to top the Monday qualifier to earn his spot at the SMBC Singapore Open last week.
“Travelling to a new country for the first time is always exciting. I am looking forward to playing another event in Asia. It’s good to keep playing tournaments to stay competitive,” said Kitayama, 25.
The PGM Darulaman Championship, by featuring on the ADT schedule, will also receive Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) status, with the winner receiving a minimum of six OWGR points and the leading six players and ties earning points based on a sliding scale.
The 2018 ADT season will kick off this week with the PGM Darulaman Championship being held in Malaysia as well as the inaugural City Bank American Express Dhaka Open which will be held concurrently at the Kurmitola Golf Club in Bangladesh.