AUTHOR

OBGOLF

06 February 2019

First Timers Victorious

Thailand and Hong Kong secured the Best Gross Overall titles at the 7th Pondok Indah International Junior Golf Championship 2018. Both winners are first-time champions at the event.

The 7th Pondok Indah International Golf Championship, held December 18-20, was a success for visiting players. Pongsapak Laopakdee of Thailand and Virginie Ding of Hong Kong claimed the elite titles.

Pongsapak succeeded to break the domination chain of hosting players in the boys’ category. The 13-year-old Thai, who played in B class (age 13-14), won Best Gross Overall, defeating Indonesia’s Jose Suryadinata by two strokes with a total score of 213 (3-under). For the past two years, Indonesia has triumphed in the boys’ division thanks to Kentaro Nanayama in 2016 and Jonathan Wijono in2017.

Pongsapak ended Indonesia’s reign at the event by making an impressive score in the final round. Starting the final round 1-over par, the teenager, whose idols are Thongchai Jaidee and Kiradech, was just one stroke back from Jose. During the round, he made a big leap to finish on 68 (4-under) while Jose carded 71 (1-under).

 “The last round I did pretty well, which is 68, and I'm proud of myself. Yeah, I think it’s great playing this course and making a good score,” said Pongsapak, who was visiting the capital Jakarta for the first time. “I think it feels pretty nice here, it’s in a nice condition. I love this course and I have new experience here, it's pretty windy and flat.”

Virginie shares a similar story to the boys’ champion Pongsapak. Trailing her compatriot from B class, Chloe Chan, she was 1-under before the final round. Virginie, who played in A Class (age 15-17), took control in the final round to score 71 (1-under) and defeat Chloe by two strokes with a winning total of 217 (1-under).

“I think it’s definitely the long game and approach shots. But, more importantly, I think it’s probably my putting. To really shoot low, like 70 or even under, I think it comes down to the putting and just getting the ball into the hole. It was the most important part,” remarked Virginie.

“This is my first time, and my first time coming to Indonesia. At first, it was surprising that the golf course, it was in such a good condition, and it was hard, and I feel it was tough for everyone, its long and there's water, but its beautiful and I loved it,” she added.

Referring to the rest of the results from this year’s tournament, it’s evident that Indonesia was still able to compete in the boys’ division. However, in the girls’ division, the host players struggled to match up to the standard of the international players.

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