Hong Kong’s impressive young amateur star Taichi Kho and Thailand’s Itthipat Buranatanyarat fired stunning bogey-free eight-under-par 64s to take the clubhouse lead in the rain and lightning-interrupted first round of the Mandiri Indonesia Open today at Pondok Indah Golf Course.

Kho, ranked 100th on the World Amateur Golf Ranking, sensationally took the lead in a professional event for the first time when he holed his third shot on the par-five ninth, which was his 18th, to join Itthipat at the top of the leaderboard.

A total of 59 players where unable to finish due to two weather delays earlier before play was abandoned due to fading light.

Two of Thailand’s most decorated golfers Prayad Marksaeng and Chapchai Nirat shot 65s, while Tirawat Kaewsiribandit carded a 66.

Indonesian amateur Almay Rayhan Yagutah impressively flew the flag for the host nation with a 67, along with Chinese-Taipei’s Chang Wei-lun.

The US$500,000 event is the 11th stop of the season on the Asian Tour.

“It was great,” said Kho, whose father Victor is caddying for him.

“I was really happy with the way I played. I stuck to my game plan. I managed to hit some good shots on my back nine. 

“On nine I was out of position off the tee, but I managed to get it back in play. I had 93 yards for my approach, I hit it really nice, but I did not expect it to go in.” 

Kho, who plays his college golf at the University of Notre Dame, hit the headlines last year when he finished second in the Asian Amateur Championship.

“Eight birdies, no bogeys, wow!” said Itthipat.

“I could see the lines on the greens, and my caddie did as well. And I like the course, I have played well here before.”

He played in two LIV Golf Invitational events this year, in London and Portland, and feels he is a better player for the experience.

“I played with the big names and learned so much. I have reset the things I work on now because of it,” he added. 

Ten-time Asian Tour winner Prayad, aged 56, rolled back the years making seven birdies and no bogeys.

“It’s my first time playing here, so I didn’t expect too much, just planned to stay on the fairway. Luckily, my tee shots were the best part of my game today,” said the Thai veteran, who won on the senior tour in Thailand in May in his hometown of Hua Hin.

“And, I made a great birdie on the first hole, that helped. I feel chilled this week, happy to see so many familiar faces.”

Chapchai, a four-time winner on the Tour, mirrored Prayad’s seven birdie bogey free performance. The 39 year old has not won on Asian Tour since 2014. 

Unlike his three countryman ahead of him Tirawat did make a couple of bogeys but was happy to continue to play well after discovering some form in Thailand recently. 

“I have been playing well on the All Thailand Golf Tour over past two weeks, a top-five and a top-10, so I am feeling good about this week,” he said.

“I got off to the perfect start, two birdies on first two holes. I like the course but it’s a little bit difficult for tee shots, but today that part of my game was okay.”

Korean Minkyu Kim, who won the Kolon Korea Open in June, was the leading player on the course at five under playing hole number 14.

India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar returned a 68; he is bidding to win the event for a record third time, following his successes in 2013 and 2016.

Indonesia’s Naraajie E. Ramadhanputra, winner of the OB Golf Invitational in June on the Asian Development Tour, came in with a 69, while his country’s leading player Rory Hie carded 70.

Scores after round 1 of the Mandiri 40th Indonesia Open 2022 being played at the par 72, 7243 Yards Pondok Indah GC course (am – denotes amateur):
64 – Itthipat Buranatanyarat (THA), Taichi Kho (am, HKG).
65 – Prayad Marksaeng (THA), Chapchai Nirat (THA).
66 – Tirawat Kaewsiribandit (THA).
67 – Almay Rayhan Yagutah (am, INA), Chang Wei-lun (TPE).
68 – Kwanchai Tannin (THA), Adilson Da Silva (BRA), Steve Lewton (ENG), Pavit Tangkamolprasert (THA), Gaganjeet Bhullar (IND), Ben Campbell (NZL), Woohyun Kim (KOR).
69 – Randy Abernata  Bintang (am, INA), Aaron Pike (AUS), Kevin Phelan (IRL), Pawin Ingkhapradit (THA), S.S.P. Chawrasia (IND), Naraajie E. Ramadhanputra (INA), Rahil Gangjee (IND), Miguel Carballo (ARG), Jbe Kruger (RSA), Ian Snyman (RSA), Yoseop Seo (KOR), Sam Brazel (AUS), Seung Park (KOR).
70 – Siddikur Rahman (BAN), Kyongjun Moon (KOR), Jack Harrison (ENG), Yikeun Chang (KOR), Scott Strange (AUS), Indra Hermawan (INA), Rory Hie (INA), Mathiam Keyser (RSA), Jesse Yap (SIN).
71 – Rinaldi Adiyandono (INA), Othman Almulla (KSA), Jyoti Randhawa (IND), Settee Prakongvech (THA), Andrew Dodt (AUS), Josh Younger (AUS), S. Chikkarangappa (IND), Jose Suryadinata (am, INA), Ben Eccles (AUS), Daniel Fox (AUS), Kevin Yuan (AUS).
72 – Sangchai Kaewcharoen (THA), George Gandranata (INA), Benjamin Follett-Smith (ZIM), Thaworn Wiratchant (THA), Paul Peterson (USA), Bio Kim (KOR), Nicholas Fung (MAS), Jake Higginbottom (AUS), Kevin Akbar (INA), Chen Guxin (CHN), Gabriel Hansel Hari (am, INA), Udayan Mane (IND), Neil Schietekat (RSA).
73 – Cory Crawford (AUS), Robby Sugara (INA), Rattanon Wannasrichan (THA), Christoffer Baumann (SWE), Dodge Kemmer (USA), Khalin Joshi (IND), Poom Pattaropong (THA).
74 – Zach Bauchou (USA), Viraj Madappa (IND), Hongtaek Kim (KOR), Hyukchul Shin (KOR), Ervin Chang (MAS).
75 – Jamel Ondo (INA).
76 – Nabil Almanaaf (am, INA), Gareth Paddison (NZL), Bongsub Kim (KOR).
77 – Justin Quiban (PHI), Peter Gunawan (INA), Rizchy Subakti (INA).
78 – Almer Noreen Nurdaffa (am, INA), Luke Evan Moore (am, INA).
79 – Jonathan Tanoto (am, INA), Rusli Abu Bakar (INA), Jakraphan Premsirigorn (THA).
80 – Junaidi Ibrahim (INA), Naoki Sekito (JPN), Kurnia Herisian Santoso (INA).
81 – Rudi Anto (INA), Amadeus Christi Susanto (am, INA).
83 – Aqil Widyantoro (INA), Yudiansyah   (INA).

- Advertisement -