Australians Kim Felton, Matthew Griffin, Terry Pikaldaris, and Jamie and Scott Arnold will battle alongside China’s number one golfer Liang Wenchong, Japanese star Hiroyuki Fujita and Filipino ace Juvic Pagunsan in this month’s Enjoy Jakarta Indonesia Open.
The prestigious national championship is the opening event of OneAsia’s 2012 season, and for the first time is jointly sanctioned with the Japan Golf Tour Organisation (JGTO) as part of an historic three-year deal that guarantees increased world ranking points for the field.
The US$1 million tournament, played at Emeralda Golf Club from March 22 -25, has already attracted a stellar cast that includes defending champion Thaworn Wiratchant from Thailand and 2010 champion Michael Hendry from New Zealand.
But it is the formal participation of the Japanese tour players in a OneAsia event for the first time that is drawing the golf world’s attention.
Michio Matsumura, Masanori Kobayashi, Mamo Osanai, Daisuke Maruyama, Azuma Yano, Masaya Tomida are also all winners in Japan.
China’s Liang, meanwhile, who finished second in the Indonesia Open in 2010 en-route to claiming that year’s OneAsia Order Of Merit title, makes a popular return to a tournament that helped cement his reputation on the international stage.
One talking point of the event is the participation of Asian Tour Order of Merit winner Pagunsan, who earned his spot through his membership of the Japanese tour.
He will be hoping to follow up the finest season of his career with a flying start on his debut on OneAsia, with the tantalising prospect of a unique Asian Order of Merit double.
Also making the journey venturing are a host of Thailand’s top golfers including Prayad Marksaeng, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Prom Meesawat, Chawalit Plaphol, Chapchai Nirat and Chinnarat Phadungsil.
Indonesia’s Rory Hie, joint runner-up in 2011, will once again be the local favourite as he attempts to become only the second Indonesian to win his national Open. Kasiadi, who like many Indonesians uses only one name, achieved that feat in 1989.
Korean stars Kim Dae-hyun, Han Chang-won, Kim Meen-whee and Choi Jin-ho, who finished joint second last year, will also be bidding for honours this year.
New Zealand’s Mark Brown and Gareth Paddison have also entered.
The Enjoy Jakarta Indonesia Open is one of 14 tournaments on OneAsia this year boasting an overall purse of US$16 million.
“The quality of players competing this year is extremely high and this is in a big way due to the many great Japanese players who have entered. Everyone associated with the event is looking forward to a brilliant week of golf,” said Arifin Panigoro – President of the Indonesian Golf Association (PGI).
The Tournament is one of five national Opens on OneAsia’s schedule along with those of Australia, China, Korea and Thailand.
“The Enjoy Jakarta Indonesia Open boasts an incredible line up of players from the whole Asia-Pacific region which is exactly our intention for all our events now and in the future,” said Sang Y Chun, OneAsia’s Chairman and Commissioner.
All OneAsia tournaments have the benefit of being broadcast on a global television platform that includes ESPN Star Sports across Asia, Korea’ s SBS television, ONE World Sports, the leading Asia-Pacific focused sports network in the US, and across Africa on SuperSport.