Indonesia’s Indra Hermawan enjoyed an encouraging start on home soil when he carded an eight-under-par 64 to share the first round lead with Thailand’s Sutijet Kooratanapisan at the US$100,000 Ciputra Golfpreneur Tournament presented by Panasonic on Wednesday.
Thailand’s Suradit Yongcharoenchai, a 17-year-old teenager, put up a solid performance that belied his age when he returned with a 65 to finish the opening day in third place at the BSD course by Damai Indah Golf.
Play was suspended for 90 mins at 3.45pm (local time) and resumed only at 5.15pm. It was suspended again due to fading light at 6.15pm leaving 15 players having to return early on Thursday morning to complete their first round.
Teeing off in the morning, Indra got his campaign off to a flying start with an opening birdie on the par-four first.
His fortunes soared even higher when he eagled the sixth hole before picking up further gains on holes seven and eight.
The Indonesian, who has won once on his domestic Tour in 2011, continued his sensational run after the turn with another two birdies on 10 and 11 before a bogey-six on 13 briefly halted his charge.
Indra would then complete a day to remember with another two birdies in his closing four holes.
“I’m happy to be in the lead. I’ve been in this position before and I don’t feel nervous at all.
“My second shot and putting have been very good today and I guess the reward for all of that is taking today’s lead,” said Indra.
Sutijet also matched Indra’s efforts with his flawless 64. The Thai had a scorching front-nine where he went out in 30 with four birdies and an eagle
Another two birdies on 12 and 18 would put him in a pole position with Indra as they lead the title charge.
“It was a very good round especially my front-nine where I could do no wrong.
“Play was suspended for about an hour but that did not distract me and I was happy to be able to resume play and close with another birdie,” said Sutijet.
Suradit was delighted his round of 65 has put him closer to his goal of finishing inside the top-five on the ADT Order of Merit where he will earn his playing rights on the Asian Tour for 2017.
The young Thai, who is currently in sixth place on the money list, was on song with his putter as he marked his card with eight birdies and one bogey in his maiden visit to Jakarta.
“This is my first visit to Indonesia and I’m really enjoying my time here. The course conditions are great and I’m playing and putting well. I cannot ask for a better start.
“My goal is to earn an Asian Tour card and I hope I can secure it through a top-five finish on the ADT,’ said Suradit, who has already enjoyed six top-10s on the ADT this season.
The winner of the Ciputra Golfpreneur Tournament presented by Panasonic will take home a prize purse of US$17,500 and receive six OWGR points while the top six players and ties will also earn points based on a sliding scale.
For more information on the ADT, please visit www.asiandevelopmenttour.com
Leading first round scores
64 Indra HERMAWAN (INA), Sutijet KOORATANAPISAN (THA)
65 Suradit YONGCHAROENCHAI (THA)
66 Chanat SAKULPOLPHAISAN (THA), Micah Lauren SHIN (USA), Rory HIE (INA), Nick SHERWOOD (USA), John Michael O’TOOLE (USA), Jordan IRAWAN (INA)
67 Nirun SAE-UENG (THA), Arie Irawan (MAS), Irfan YUSOFF (MAS), Paul HARRIS (USA), Gavin GREEN (MAS), Johannes VEERMAN (USA)