Indonesian Open returns to Asian Tour

21 Dec 2012

Jakarta, December 21: 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 today.

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

The Indonesian Open has been played under the OneAsia umbrella in the last few years but now reverts to the Asian Tour. The last time the event was played as an Asian Tour event was when Thongchai Jaidee was victorious in 2009.

While OneAsia has suffered a setback there, their fortunes have been boosted by the fact that the opening two events of their season (The Indonesian PGA and the Thailand Open) are now fully co-sanctioned with the Japan Golf Tour, extending the Japan Tour season and providing OneAsia players the opportunity to leapfrog their way on the Japan Golf Tour.

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 onto the Asian Tour platform will see the country welcoming an array of stars from the Asian Tour whose members hail from nearly 30 different nationalities. 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 being on the Asian Tour’s television platform, the Indonesian Open will beamed to over 200 countries and 650 million homes around the world, ensuring that Indonesia’s golf credentials are promoted extensively through the championship.

The Indonesian Golf Association (PGI) President Arifin Panigoro said: “On behalf of PGI, we are delighted to announce that we have entered into a partnership with the Asian Tour and IMG which 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.

“Through our association with the Asian Tour, we believe this will also mark the start of our quest to push the leading Indonesian golfers towards qualification for the Olympic Games in 2016. We are looking forward to exciting times for the PGI and the Indonesian Open.”

Asian Tour Executive Chairman Kyi Hla Han said: “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 the tournament 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 amongst 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.

”Through this new partnership, it will create the opportunity for Indonesian players to advance their golf careers and develop their games to a higher level in view of the qualification process for the 2016 Olympics. We believe the Indonesian Open will also provide the catalyst for more Indonesian players to compete on the Asian Tour.”

Grant Slack, Senior Vice President, IMG Golf said: “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 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.”

Established in 1974, the Indonesian Open’s roll of honour include prominent names such as the late American Payne Stewart, 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 his national Open in 1989.

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