23 August 2018
Gandranata And Namchok Set The Pace At The Ciputra Golfpreneur Tournament Presented By Panasonic
Jakarta, August 22: Local hotshot George Gandranata closed with three straight birdies to sign for an opening seven-under-par 65, sharing a one-shot lead with Thailand’s Namchok Tantipokhakul at the Ciputra Golfpreneur Tournament presented by Panasonic on Wednesday.
Gandranata, the first Indonesian to win on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) in 2016, fired one eagle and six birdies against a bogey to match the efforts of Namchok, who returned with a bogey-free round highlighted by eight birdies, at the par-72 BSD Course by Damai Indah Golf.
Australian David Gleeson, a three-time Asian Tour winner, took third place with young Thai Phanuvich Onchu while Japan’s Shohei Hasegawa, placed fourth on the current Order of Merit, was tied in fifth place following a 67 at the US$110,000 ADT event.
Starting from the first, Gandranata nailed two birdies to turn in 34 before dropping a shot on the 10th hole. The 32-year-old, however, bounced back with an eagle on the par-four 12th hole before storming home with four more birdies in his closing five holes.
“My putting was good. I trusted my line and my caddy was good too. I read the lines well and got the speed right. I had some good par saves as well. It was a good bogey on the 10th actually. I eagled the 12th after holing out my second shot with a seven-iron from 151 yards. That got my momentum going,” said Gandranata, who needed only 25 putts around the greens.
“It’s good to be playing at home. I feel pretty relaxed. This course is not too long. I think it’s going to be a putting contest this week. If you can putt well, you should stand a good chance,” added Gandranata, who had enjoyed a fourth-place finish in an ADT event on home soil earlier in March.
The 31-year-old Namchok, a two-time winner on the region’s secondary circuit, is playing in his first event after taking a four-week break from golf to recover from a shoulder injury.
“I hit the ball good today. This is my first tournament in a month. I took four weeks off to recover from a shoulder injury. I am feeling much better now and it’s great to shoot a good score after taking the break!” said Namchok.
“This is my first time playing in this event. The course condition is really good. I holed a good birdie on the par-four sixth hole after making the putt from about nine feet. That’s probably my best birdie today,” he added.
The Ciputra Golfpreneur Tournament, which is celebrating its fifth consecutive edition on the ADT this week, is the 15th leg of the 2018 season and the second to be played in Indonesia this year.
As one of the richest events on the ADT schedule this season, the Ciputra Golfpreneur Tournament will play a pivotal role in determining the Order of Merit rankings, where the top seven players on the final 2018 Order of Merit will earn a coveted Asian Tour card for 2019.
By featuring on the ADT schedule, the Ciputra Golfpreneur Tournament will also offer Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points. The winner will receive six OWGR points while the top six players and ties will also earn points based on a sliding scale.