Rose in control at Indonesian Masters
Jakarta, December 14: England’s Justin Rose threw down the gauntlet on his closest rivals by charging ahead with a sensational first-round 10-under-par 62 to grab the first round lead at the Indonesian Masters presented by Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI), Bank Mandiri, Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI), Bank Tabungan Negara (BTN) and Telkom Indonesia on Thursday.
The world number six took advantage of the benign early morning conditions to power his way to the top with a flawless card marked by 10 birdies at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club. It would have been a course record for the Olympic gold medalist if not for the preferred lie ruling which was in force.
“That is a dream start to be honest with you. I birdied the first hole. I felt comfortable from the outset. Did all the right thing today I suppose, I put the ball in play from the tee. Obviously with ball in hand and placing the ball on the fairway, you had a perfect lie for every shot providing you put the ball in the fairway. So that is what I did well and was able to take advantage. The beginning part of the week was really busy. I have been getting acquainted with the tournament, sponsor commitments, Pro Am. My week gets a bit easier now. So maybe I will get a chance to sample some of the sites and some good restaurants,” said Rose.
“This course, the way it is today, it is there for the taking. Obviously there was no wind, it was perfect golf conditions. The fairways are soft, the fairways are playing wide and generous but the greens aren’t too soft but therefore they are rolling really true. They perfect for going low but we will see what the weekend brings. So far a great start and I am trying not to get ahead of myself. I think the key this week is recovery. It is hot. Hot and steamy and soft under foot. It is a long walk out there so I am going to be focusing on recovery. Try and find an ice bath somewhere and jump in that, maybe go for a swim, go to the gym. Do all those kinds of things, take care of my body.”
Thailand’s Gunn Charoenkul gave his merit battle a lifeline by opening with a 64 to stay two shots back of Rose in second place while compatriot Phachara Khongwatmai remained in the mix with a 65 which saw him share third place with Korea’s Giwhan Kim at the Asian Tour’s season-ending flagship event.
India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar opened with a five-under-par 67 to share eighth place with Steve Lewton, Yusaku Miyazato, Lucas Herbert (AUS), Scott Vincent, Gaganjeet Bhullar, Younghan Song.
“I think it’s the best I played so far this year, didn’t make any mistakes at all. I missed it on the right side of the green and it was a near perfect round where I put myself in a good position up there on the leaderboard. The eagle on nine, I hit a good drive, had about 242m to the pin and then hit my hybrid and left myself an 18-footer which I holed,” said Charoenkul.
“I will have to play pretty much the best golf of my life with all the good players in this field, if I want to secure my card. The mindset I have for this week is to win and my performance looks like its been getting better because of all the years I have been playing on tour. As far as the plans I have for 2018, this is my last tournament for the year on the Asian Tour so I just aim to secure my card. If I don’t make it on the Asian Tour I will try my hardest on the CGA tour and the Japan Tour.”
Singapore’s Choo Tze Huang, who is playing on a sponsor’s invitation, enjoyed an encouraging start by posting a 66 to grab a share of fifth place together with Australia’s Ashley Hall and Lu Wei-chih of Chinese Taipei.
Playing in his event overseas after earning a one-year exemption on the Asian Tour, China’s Xiao Bowen also had an encouraging start with his first round 68.
Did you know?
- Justin Rose turned professional in 1998 and together with his wife, Kate they run the Kate & Justin Rose Foundation, benefitting the youth of Orlando
- Rose only missed one green today and had a total of 26 putts for an opening 62.
- Gunn Charoenkul is currently lying in 111th place on the Asian Tour Order of Merit. He needs to break into the top-61 on the money list to secure his tour card for 2018.
- Gunn missed the grade at Qualifying School and his best result on the Asian Tour is a tied-15th finish at the Queen’s Cup in June.
- Gunn’s eagle on nine came courtesy of an 18 foot putt. He took advantage of watching his playing partner Javi Colomo’s putt first before reading the line and sinking that putt.
- Gunn hit 11/14 fairways and 16/18 greens. He had a total of 27 putts in his first round.
- Xiao Bowen earned a one-year exemption on the Asian Tour following his victory at the KG S&H CITY Asian Golf Championship two weeks ago. It was the first event in nine years that the Asian Tour was sanctioning in China.
- The Indonesian Masters is the third leg of the Panasonic Swing, which is an aggregate points race that spans five events – in Thailand, Malaysia, India, Indonesia, and Japan – where Asian Tour players can earn a share of a lucrative bonus pool.
- The Indonesian Masters is the last event of the year on any main Tour worldwide with significant OWGR points.
- Apart from a minimum of 20 Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points, the winner of the Indonesian Masters will also receive an invitation to play at the WGC – Bridgestone Invitational in 2018.
Leading scores after round 1 of the Indonesian Masters being played at the par 72, 7359 Yards Royale Jakarta GC course (am – denotes amateur):
62 – Justin ROSE (ENG).
64 – Gunn CHAROENKUL (THA).
65 – Giwhan KIM (KOR), Phachara KHONGWATMAI (THA).
66 – Ashley HALL (AUS), CHOO Tze Huang (SIN), LU Wei-chih (TPE).
67 – Steve LEWTON (ENG), Yusaku MIYAZATO (JPN), Lucas HERBERT (AUS), Scott VINCENT (ZIM), Gaganjeet BHULLAR (IND), Younghan SONG (KOR).
68 – Hyunwoo RYU (KOR), Sihwan KIM (USA), Bowen XIAO (CHN), Antonio LASCUNA (PHI), Soomin LEE (KOR), HUNG Chien-yao (TPE), Adam BLYTH (AUS), Kiradech APHIBARNRAT (THA), Chikkarangappa S. (IND), Rinaldi ADIYANDONO (INA), CHAN Shih-chang (TPE), Daniel CHOPRA (SWE).
69 – Chanwoo KIM (KOR), Clement KURNIAWAN (INA), Prayad MARKSAENG (THA), Daisuke KATAOKA (JPN), Micah Lauren SHIN (USA), Rattanon WANNASRICHAN (THA), Sam CHIEN (USA), LIU Yan-wei (CHN), Jazz JANEWATTANANOND (THA), Scott HEND (AUS).
70 – Junsung KIM (KOR), Mitchell SLORACH (SIN), Mardan MAMAT (SIN), Dodge KEMMER (USA), Shota AKIYOSHI (JPN), Panuphol PITTAYARAT (THA), Terry PILKADARIS (AUS), Itthipat BURANATANYARAT (THA), Shiv KAPUR (IND), Pavit TANGKAMOLPRASERT (THA), Gavin GREEN (MAS), Rory HIE (INA), Adri ARNAUS (ESP), Wolmer MURILLO (VEN), Thanyakon KHRONGPHA (THA), Brian JUNG (CAN), LIN Wen-tang (TPE), Casey O’TOOLE (USA), Arnond VONGVANIJ (THA), Michael TRAN (VNM), Arie IRAWAN (MAS), Natipong SRITHONG (THA), Lionel WEBER (FRA), Tirawat KAEWSIRIBANDIT (THA).
71 – Shubhankar SHARMA (IND)
72 – Brandt SNEDEKER (USA)
73 – SSP CHAWRASIA (IND)