In a previous article, we recalled the Damai Indah golf Course where the Indonesian tour took place. This time we will focus on the PRO golf players who participated in this tournament.
In the 2013 Indonesia Open, Gaganjeet Bhullar completed a wire-to-wire triumph to win his fifth Asian Tour title. He started the season with a second place finish at the Avantha Masters on home soil but did not make much of impact until his win in Indonesia. Also he earned his earned his place to represent Team Asia at the inaugural EurAsia Cup present by DRB-HICOM by virtue of his Order of Merit ranking. He also earned his European Tour card for 2014 by finishing 102nd on the rankings.
With the European Tour card in hand, Gaganjeet spent most of his time in 2014 playing on the European Tour. Nonetheless, he will be coming back to Indonesia to defend his Indonesia Open Title.
PERSONAL: Gaganjeet picked up golf at the age of four from his father H.S Bhullar. He grew up at Kapurthala Golf Club, in a city located north of India and enjoys listening to Indian hip-hop and jazz music. Twitter Handle: @gagsbhullar
George turned professional in 2012 and has been competing and honing his game on the Asian Development Tour. His best result on the ADT was a second-placed finish at the 2013 season-ending Linc Group Jakarta Invitational. The 2014 CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters proved to be a good year for him as he made the cut and played the weekend rounds.
George also claimed the silver and bronze medals in the team and individual category respectively at the 2011 South East Asian Games. His dream is to be playing on the European Tour in five years time.
PERSONAL: George spent his college years playing golf for the prestigious UC Berkeley in California. He was a late starter in the game, first playing golf when he was 13 years old. After a year-and-a-half playing he had already shot Par for 18 holes. Twitter Handle: @ggandranata
As a three time major champion, Padraig Harrington is one of the world’s top golfers. And his playing record speaks for itself. Following a very successful amateur career, including winning the Walker Cup in 1995 at Royal Porthcawl in one of his three Walker Cup appearances, he turned professional in September 1995.
Padraig made a great start to his professional career with a run of top 10 finishes. And that all important maiden tour victory at the Spanish Open. Further top ten finishes saw him finish 11th in the Order of Merit for the year and secured him places in the Irish Dunhill Cup and World Cup teams.
2013 has so far seen Padraig finishing in the top 10 on both the European & PGA Tours. He is back to his best and it shouldn’t be too long before he captures yet another trophy.
PERSONAL: Padraig started playing golf at the age of 4. His father was involved in building a golf course in South County Dublin called Stackstown and it became his second home.
The big-hitting Aussie competed in three consecutive US Opens from 2004 to 2006 and previously played on the Canadian Tour where he won the Victoria Open in 2002. He tore muscles in his left hand in 2006 which ruled him out for several weeks.
In 2013 he overcame a six-shot deficit to win the inaugural Chiangmai Golf Classic presented by PTT by three shots. He went on to win the Mercuries Taiwan Masters and cruised to victory at the Venetian Macau Open where he defeating Ernie Els of South Africa. The treble of victories led Hend to finish second on the Order of Merit, which was his career-best result.
PERSONAL: Celebrated the birth of twin babies in December 2006 and named them Aston and McLaren. According to Scott, it was pure coincidence that they were named after fast cars.
The 2001 & 2004 US Open Champion Retief Goosen is one of the best golfers of his generation and is a truly global professional, holding membership on three worldwide Tours (PGA Tour, European Tour and South African Tour). In recognition of his 30 amateur wins, and for his outstanding contribution to amateur golf, he was awarded Springbok Colours before turning professional in 1990.
Multiple wins followed in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009. And 2010 was a quiet year with regards to victories but his consistent play allowed him to finish 10th on the PGA Tour FedEx Standings.
The 2011 season saw Retief pick up a few minor injuries which forced him away from playing tournaments during the course of the year. These injury worries carried through to early 2012. But Retief has since been making a strong comeback with a string of top 10 finishes in the second half of 2012.
Rory Hidayat Hie had a successful amateur and collegiate career in United States, where he played for the University of Southern California (USC Trojans), and helped elevate USC to a top three collegiate golf team standing in the nation during 2007 and 2008.
The Balikpapan-born golfer enjoyed a solid campaign in 2008 with three amateur wins and one professional title.
His maiden professional tour win came at his home soil, in the 2008 Mercedes International Championship, remarkably only a month after he turned pro. After winning several tournaments in the home circuit, in 2011 Rory won the Tangshan China PGA Championship, becoming the first ever Indonesian golfer to win a professional tournament outside of Indonesia.
With 14 tour victories, Thongchai is one of the most successful Asian players of all time and one of the most recognised players in world golf. Thongchai has created history throughout his career. He was the first Thai player to win on the European Tour, he remains the only player to win the Asian Tour Order of Merit three times and was the first Thai player to compete in all four majors.
Thongchai’s journey to the professional ranks has not been the typical route. From humble beginnings Thongchai represented his province at football before becoming injured when a skewer became embedded in his foot. During recuperation he started playing golf on the Army Club behind his home with a discarded five iron head tied to a bamboo stick. Joining the Royal Thai Army in 1989 and becoming a paratrooper. Thongchai continued developing his skills on the course turning professional ten years later in 1999.
Thongchai most recent victory at the Wales Open at Celtic Manor in 2012, cements his place as one of the most successful and most personable players on tour.
Pablo Larrazábal is a Spanish professional golfer currently playing on the European Tour. He attended high school in the United States and returned to Spain in 2002 with the intention of turning professional. But his father made him work on the family fish farm to understand the value of money. He eventually turned professional in 2004.
At 21, Pablo turned professional and competed on the Challenge Tour for two years, before effortlessly winning his full Tour card at Qualifying School in November 2007. An excellent second round of 66 put Pablo in a fantastic position. And the young Spainiard took advantage to win the 10th European Tour card on offer.
Pablo had an extremely encouraging start to his 2008 rookie European Tour season, with impressive finishes at the Joburg Open, Madeira Islands Open, the Irish Open and the Celtic Manor Welsh Open. Pablo had already achieved 7 top 40 finishes. However, his hard work and determination was rewarded with a remarkable wire-to-wire victory at the French Open in June.