One Asia Tour gets underway in Jakarta
BY OneAsia | OneAsia Tour | 2014 Enjoy Jakarta Indonesia PGA Championship | Preview | 25 Mar 2014
Fearless Matt Griffin will tee-off Thursday in OneAsia’s season-opening Enjoy Jakarta Indonesia PGA Championship, presented by Indonesia Port Corporation, relishing being the reigning Order of Merit winner.
Over the past few seasons the Australian has broken through, winning tournaments, receiving great financial reward and increasing the weight of expectation on his shoulders.
History has shown that such circumstances can adversely affect a player, but Griffin looks unlikely to buckle as he prepares to take on Damai Indah Golf’s stunning Jack Nicklaus-designed Bumi Serpong Damai course.
The U.S. $1 million tournament is jointly sanctioned by OneAsia and the Japan Golf Tour Organisation (JGTO), and is the opening tournament of the 2014 season for both circuits.
“I think the pressure is off having won the OneAsia Order of Merit and two OneAsia events,” said the 30-year-old.
“I know I can do it now and when I tee up, I tee up to win. I have always expected a lot of myself and no matter what it is always there.”
Griffin proved that point in February when he claimed the Victorian Open on the PGA Tour of Australasia just over a month after wrist surgery.
“I had intersection syndrome on December 18 which meant having some tissue taken out as it was inflaming my left wrist. It was caused by playing a lot of golf and it would just not go down,” said Griffin, who first tasted victory on OneAsia at the 2012 Charity High1 Open in Korea.
He returned to tournament golf early this year and played the first four events in Australia. He missed the cut in the first one but triumphed in Victoria, the third leg.
Last year Griffin won the OneAsia Merit list with earnings of $257,480, helped by winning the SK Telecom Open, also in Korea, while his worst finish was joint 24th.
He is in the star player group for the first two rounds this week with Korean Y.E Yang, winner of the 2009 U.S. PGA Championship, and Hiroyuki Fujita from Japan – a 15 time winner in the Land of the Rising Sun who claimed their money list in 2012.
Defending champion Choi Ho-sung from Korea, his compatriots Kim Bi-o and Kim Kyung-tae, and China’s Liang Wenchong and Wu Ashun are also competing.
Thailand’s Thaworn Wiratchant, Prom Meesawat and Arnond Vongvanij, and top Indonesian Rory Hie have entered.
In addition, Australian Andre Stolz, winner of this event and the Merit list in 2011, Filipino Juvic Pagunsan, Malaysian Danny Chia and Singaporeans Mardan Mamat and Choo Tze Huang are also playing.
Other leading Australasians include Brad Kennedy, Nick Cullen, Scott Strange, Mark Brown, Gareth Padisson, Dimitrios Papadatos and Michael Hendry