George Gandranata hopes to become the first Indonesian to win on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) at The Bali National Golf Championship which starts on Thursday.
The talented Gandranata, who won four titles on the local circuit last year, will spearhead the local challenge at the US$76,000 ADT event staged at picturesque Bali National Golf Club.
The current top five on the Order of Merit including Hsieh Chi-hsien of Chinese Taipei, Sean Riordan of New Zealand, Chan Shih-chang of Chinese Taipei, Nirun Sae-Ung of Thailand and Malaysia’s Arie Irawan will headline the event.
Nicholas Fung of Malaysia, the 2013 ADT Order of Merit winner, teen titan Phachara Khongwatmai of Thailand, Masaru Takahashi of Japan and Niall Turner of Ireland will also challenge for honours in Bali.
The 29-year-old Gandranata predicts that the local golfers are inching closer towards a first win on the ADT after gaining confidence and experience of playing in more Asian Tour and ADT events on home soil and around the region.
“We’ve seen a lot more guys playing on the ADT and some of us have led on the ADT before. We just need to get four rounds to click and win. When we have more Indonesians playing on the ADT then we will stand a better change to have a local winner,” said Gandranata.
He will be among 45 Indonesian golfers including Rory Hie, Ian Andrew, Jordan Dermawan and Andik Mauludin who will aim to etch a small slice of history in the ADT event which will be played on the holiday isle of Bali.
“The golf course is beautiful. It is in good shape. It is scenic and the design is really good. The greens are really challenging so if you consider all these, in my opinion this is one of the best golf courses in Indonesia,” said Gandranata.
“It is good for golf for Indonesia and Bali to welcome the international players who will see a different outlook in Indonesia. There is no better spot than here. This week will be a good week for the players to enjoy golf and time outside the course,” he smiled.
Gandranata has not missed a single cut in five appearances on the ADT and he hopes to continue his form and challenge for the title this week.
“I’ve been working hard but the results have not come yet. I need to be more patient because I’ve just made some swing changes. My game is coming along nicely and hopefully it will come together this week,” he explained.
The Bali National Golf Resort Championship will be the 15th leg of the 2015 ADT season and also the first of the three stops in Indonesia. Admission to The Bali National Golf Championship is free.
Since it was inaugurated in 2010, the ADT has grown from five events in the first year to a record 22 tournaments in 2015.
The ADT will continue to reward the top-five finishers on the Order of Merit at the end of this season with Asian Tour cards for 2016.
With the Olympic Games looming in 2016 where golf will be reintroduced as a medal sport, players in the region could earn their spots in Rio de Janeiro by earning Official World Golf Ranking points through the Asian Tour and ADT.
For more information on the ADT, please visit www.asiandevelopmenttour.com