Sports

Indonesian Open to feature
on Asian Tour

The Indonesian Golf Association (PGI), Asian Tour and IMG have signed a landmark three-year agreement to stage the Indonesian Open from 2013 onwards, officials announced in a release on Friday.

The new partnership will focus on elevating the stature of the Indonesian Open to one of the most prestigious national championships on the Asian Tour, which is the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia.

As a full member of the International Federation of PGA Tours, all Asian Tour tournaments receive the highest allocation of Official World Golf Ranking points in the region.

With golf returning to the Olympic Games in 2016, the exciting development will provide a clear pathway for Indonesian golfers to try and play their way to Rio de Janeiro in four years’ time through the accumulation of Official World Golf Ranking points.

The return of the Indonesian Open to the Asian Tour platform will see the country welcome an array of stars from the Asian Tour, whose members hail from nearly 30 different nations.

This will ensure a truly cosmopolitan field when the 2013 Indonesian Open is staged in the second half of 2013. The venue and tournament dates will be announced at a later time.

By becoming part of the Asian Tour’s television platform, the Indonesian Open will be beamed to over 200 countries and 650 million homes around the world, ensuring that Indonesia’s golf credentials are promoted extensively through the championship.

PGI president Arifin Panigoro was upbeat on the new deal and what it meant for the future of Indonesian golf.

“On behalf of PGI, we are delighted to announce that we have entered into a partnership with the Asian Tour and IMG that will benefit our country immensely through a myriad of wonderful opportunities for junior development, the golfing industry and tourism in this country.

“This agreement marks a new dawn for our national championship and we are convinced the staging of the Indonesian Open in 2013 and beyond will be hugely successful so that the entire golfing fraternity in Indonesia will be proud of our flagship tournament,” he said

Asian Tour executive chairman Kyi Hla Han shared Arifin’s excitement over the deal.

“The Indonesian Open has always been one of the finest golf championships in Asia where our leading stars such as Thaworn Wiratchant, winner of the 2012 Asian Tour Order of Merit, and Thongchai Jaidee have won in the past.

“We are excited to have this opportunity to work closely with the PGI and we believe the Indonesian Open is right up there among the best of national opens in Asia. Our players enjoy visiting Indonesia as the golf courses, facilities and hospitality are first-class and we look forward to returning for the 2013 Indonesian Open.”

The partnership was also met with optimism from Grant Slack, senior vice president of IMG Golf.

“We are very much looking forward to working with the PGI and our partners, the Asian Tour, to develop the Indonesia Open into one of Asia’s finest tournaments. We believe the players will really enjoy adding Indonesia to their schedules. It is a wonderful country to visit with fantastic golf courses and facilities and we look forward to delivering an Indonesian Open that will truly showcase all that Indonesia has to offer the global golf market,” he said.

Established in 1974, the Indonesian Open’s honor roll includes prominent names such as the late Payne Stewart of the US, Frank Nobilo of New Zealand, Filipino legend Frankie Minoza, Australia’s Craig Parry, Chinese Taipei’s Lu Chien-soon and Myanmar’s Mya Aye.

Kasiadi is the only Indonesian player to have won the national open, doing so 1989.

Paper Edition | Page: 18

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