11 October 2017
Heroes Of The IGT-PGM Championship
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The second year of Danny's professional career has been made even more colorful thanks to the experience of playing in an international team match play, the IGT-PGM Championship. "Being able to play in the Indonesian team is the most exciting experience of my golf career," said Danny.
His first time playing in a team match play format meant Danny Masrin needed to adapt quickly. Danny admitted that it was not easy to maintain the momentum of the game, especially in the foursome format “because we took turns to hit.”
Despite the challenges of the new format, the 25-year-old enjoyed being a part of the Indonesian team and the way their bonds improved. "We often met and played together before, however, the IGT-PGM Championship has made our friendship closer,” he explained.
After the first three games, Danny had a clean sheet but unfortunately, couldn’t maintain that in the fourth game. Paired with Adrian Halimi, the pair were defeated by R. Nachimutu and A. Nazrin 5 & 4. "Our putting wasn’t good. Malaysia made more birdies more than us. They played very well. We were off the game then,” added Danny.
On the final day, Danny again grabbed a point with a victory, though he was 3-down up to the 6th hole. "The game of [Kenneth] Tobuse broke down in the second nine after I recorded three birdies on the last three holes of the first nine, so the score became all square," said Danny.
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Adrian Halimi, who only turned pro this year, certainly gained a valuable experience in this prestigious Ryder Cup-style tournament at Riverside Golf Club in early September.
"The most important lesson is that there is a positive value that can be taken from the victory against Malaysia. It means Indonesian golf is more advanced. But, we should not be satisfied, because next year Malaysia will definitely come back with a stronger team. We also have to continue to strengthen our game," said Adrian.
Adrian stated that the portion of joint training was very helpful in building cohesiveness and teamwork. "For the team-format, we should be able to match our game with our partner. We cannot play casually as usual because it might not suitable for our partners and the incompatibility can lead to defeat.”
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The feeling of pride is one felt by all the Indonesian players and team officials, including Ian Andrew. The team match play championship ended with victory for the Indonesian team and gave the 25-year-old player an unforgettable experience.
"I feel proud to have been able to help Indonesia win against Malaysia. I felt we had a very solid team at the tournament. The atmosphere was very different from playing the usual tournaments. The tournament's Ryder Cup-style made our adrenaline tenser," said Ian.
“Playing in an event like this we should have a good mentality, as well as having good putting because putting can be decisive," Ian, who partnered with Joshua Andrew Wirawan in three team matches,” added.
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Fajar was the 12th player to join the Indonesian team for the IGT-PGM Championship after successfully passing the selection. Since this was his first experience playing in a format like this, he strived to adjust to the needs of the team.
“It’s not easy to handle a partner's expectations. One thing I learned from all team matches was: it’s not about how far you shoot, but it’s about how to make par,” explained Fajar, who partnered with George Gandranata in all three team matches. “We respect each other and we believe in each others ability to score. We back each other if one of us makes a mistake.”
After winning the first two matches, Fajar and George were then defeated by Sasidaran and Kenneth Tobuse 3&1. It was a heavy battle for the Indonesian duo who played 54 holes in just one and a half days.
“I admit, it was my first time playing 54 holes in 1.5 days! I was not used to it and it drained my energy so much. My concentration was dispersed; often making silly mistakes that were easily used by my opponents," said Fajar.
However, it provided a lesson to Fajar about team match play. "We have to prepare our stamina 100% because we have to be ready anytime when the captain asks us to play. I was helped by the availability of vitamins and power bars, which provided additional energy for us. However, playing in high-pressure conditions still drains a lot of energy.”
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Rinaldi completed an impressive clean sweep in the IGT-PGM Championship. Four matches, four wins. He partnered with Adrian Halimi twice and Elki Kow once, and proved that he can win no matter who he is playing with.
"With Adrian, we had set a strategy in our practice round. Partnering with Elki in the four-ball, we complemented each other. Elki played aggressively, I played more safely," explained Rinaldi.
Competing in match play requires non-technical preparation. In addition to being mentally ready, the player must also make sure they prepare physically ahead of the potentially very long days. ”We have to make sure we eat & drink enough, and get enough rest,” said Rinaldi.
Rinaldi was naturally very happy that Indonesia won the IGT-PGM Championship and he’s pretty convinced that as host Indonesia will be hard to beat. In fact, he believes Indonesia can win by a big margin.
"The key to our victory is our compactness. The efforts of Captain Teddy Jubilant to have us play together for a week before the tournament really helped us to build up team cohesiveness," added Rinaldi.
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As a player who is familiar with the match play format, George Gandranata became the "teacher" for his playing partner for three matches, Fajar Winnuryanto. However, George believes that when playing in team match play events it’s necessary to have a “bond” with your partner, rather than to simply rely on experience and skills.
"We must have chemistry with our partners. In the foursome, we have to match the style of our partner. If we’re in four-ball, we must also have a strategy and also choose a suitable partner. If I play conservatively, my partner is better playing aggressively," said George.
Despite his wealth of experience, George was still able to gain certain things from his participation. "I learned the game of our friends," explained George.
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Indra Hermawan was Indonesia’s least experienced team member. The captain's strategy forced Indra to watch his friends competing. "I felt more tense watching than playing. While my friends hit the ball, I felt I was the one hitting and the ball had to be good [landing],” said Indra.
The opportunity to play came after sitting out of three matches. Playing in the Wednesday afternoon four-ball, which spanned two days due to suspension because of darkness, Indra partnered with Benyta. However, they experienced 1-down defeat on the 18th hole.
“I was actually confident of winning. However, the next day (Thursday morning) my back was hurt when I was practicing. I was very disappointed. On the course, I tried not to feel pain during impact. I just focused on my ball going straight," stated Indra.
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“Playing in an event like this teaches us not to be individualistic, especially in the team format. We also have to be able to communicate with partners and learn the advantages of colleagues in a team," said Elki when asked what lessons he gained from competing in the IGT-PGM Championship.
Elki, who played with two different partners, Danny twice and Rinaldi once, collected three points for Indonesia.
"With Danny, we've practiced three times before and it felt right with each other's type of play, so the adaptation was not too difficult. With Rinaldi, we never practiced together, but because of playing the four-ball format we could focus on the game itself and give each other advice. Our communication went well... and importantly, we didn't put a burden on each other.”
Elki closed his performance at the IGT-PGM with a defeat in his singles match. "I felt too tired so I lost focus, especially with my short game which was not sharp. I was bad over the last four holes.”
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Benyta Kasiadi is familiar with match play format. Winning at the National Match Play Championship was Beny's additional experience going into the IGT-PGM Championship.
"In the team match play, I felt very solid teamwork. The format of match play forms our individual winning mentality," said Beny. "I felt the excitement in yesterday's tournament. We encouraged each other ... and we shared game strategies and so on."
For his singles match, Benyta played in the last match, thus it became a decisive victory for Indonesia as the points ensured Indonesia's success in winning the championship trophy.
"After losing in the four-ball, my confidence rose. I had the feeling that I could win in singles. Therefore, I applied my strategy not to waste a chance. I wanted to finish the game with a victory," said Benyta, who won over Wahyuddin Manaf 5&4.
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Due to his touring schedule in Japan, Rory Hie was only able to join the team a few days before the practice round. With minimal time to prepare, Rory's first match with Clement in the Tuesday afternoon four-balls ended in defeat. "To be honest, I'm not mentally ready to play match play. It's still an adaptation. I arrived in Jakarta just a few days before the event," explained Rory.
However, in the second four-ball, Rory earned a point. Rory has previously experienced match play formats, especially in teams, as he played for the West Junior Team at the Canon Cup and also on the International Team at the China versus International match 2011-2014. He shared his experience with Clement over two four-ball matches.
"In match play, we need many different strategies. We must know when the shot matters or not. If it does not matter, we must dare push to the limit. A shot that would be an unusual, high-risk shot in stroke play should be tried in match play," said Rory, who was a quarter-finalist at the US Public Links Match Play.
Joshua Andrew Wirawan
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Joshua Andrew Wirawan was the youngest of the Indonesian team members. The 20-year-old player was able to set an impressive record for himself in his first team match play event. Andrew only experienced one defeat, in his Wednesday-morning foursome round.
"We did not play badly. Our opponents were very good. They scored four birdies and no bogeys," said Andrew, who has been playing-partners with Ian Andrew since the 2012 National Games.
Competing in the IGT-PGM was an exciting experience for Andrew in his professional golf career. “We're a solid team. Even when not playing, we can feel the tension seeing our colleagues play. I am very happy that we beat Malaysia," said Andrew. "The lesson is that we learned mutual support for one another because we are one team. After the event, our friendship became closer.”
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After the tournament, Clement Kurniawan reflected that his adaptation to partners in team match play didn’t always go as expected. Partnered with senior player Rory Hie for their first fourball match, the pair suffered defeat 3&2.
“We were both just beginning to adapt to each other. We did not take chances when our opponents were off guard like we did in the second four-ball match,” explained Clement.
Evaluating their first game provided a positive lesson to take into their second game. In the duo's second four-ball, Clement and Rory beat their opponents to the tune of 6&4.
Clement explained his takeaway lesson, “My way of thinking in match play should be a little different from the one I used to play in stroke play. Playing in team match play, I have to understand how my partner is playing. We have to work together to take the hole by hole points because we play together.”