By THE NATION
The popular Asian Tour event will continue to be part of the Panasonic Swing and the winner of the BNI Indonesian Masters will again receive a coveted spot in the World Golf Championships – FedEx St. Jude Invitational in 2020.
By being the flagship event of the Asian Tour, the BNI Indonesian Masters will award the winner with no less than 20 Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points, ensuring more players benefit from the points breakdown in what will be the penultimate event of the 2019 season.
The OWGR points will become more significant as it will be used to determine players’ qualification for the prestigious 60-man event at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan next July. It will also be key for players vying to qualify for the Major tournaments next year.
The Indonesian Masters has played a key role in developing the game of golf in Indonesia and across the region since its inception in 2011. This is evident when Indonesia welcomed its first ever Asian Tour winner in Rory Hie, who won in India last month.
Last year, Thailand’s Poom Saksansin fended off the challenges from his more illustrious rivals to win the 2018 Indonesian Masters by three shots for his third Asian Tour victory.
It was a class act by Poom as he showed that he would not be cowed into submission against an elite field which included marquee players Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson, who were ranked number one and 27th respectively on the OWGR then.
Poom, who had cruised to a comfortable five-shot victory for his first Asian Tour win in 2016, is the second player following Lee Westwood to win the event more than once. Lee had won the event for a record three times in 2011, 2012 and 2015.
Austrian Bernd Wiesberger triumphed in 2013 while Anirban Lahiri of India emerged victorious in 2014. Rose claimed his third win in seven weeks at the 2017 Indonesian Masters after he recorded a commanding eight-shot victory with an impressive four-day total of 29-under-par 259.
“On behalf of our members, I would like to welcome the return of the BNI Indonesian Masters onto the 2019 schedule. The tournament has grown into one of the premier events in the region over the years and I believe it will be another exciting week of golf when the tournament gets underway in December,” said Cho Minn Thant, Commissioner and CEO, Asian Tour.
The Indonesian Masters, which has grown from strength to strength since its inception in 2011, will be backed by PT Bank Negara Indonesia (Persero) Tbk (BNI), an Indonesian state-owned bank, for the third time this December.
Anggoro Eko Cahyo, Consumer Business Director of Bank Negara Indonesia, said, “We are thrilled to be back as title sponsor of the Indonesian Masters. This year, 144 professional and amateur golfers will compete to show their best skills. Through BNI support, we sincerely hope to be able to help in the development of golf, and be able to capture young talented golfers from Indonesia who can show their exceptional talents internationally."
Anggoro Eko Cahyo, Consumer Business Director of Bank Negara Indonesia, said
for this year this is our fourth time to be involved with Indonesian Masters. We feel that Indonesian Master is a tournament that is able to show that Indonesia is a country that has the potential to be invested through BNI. Other than that we are hoping to support the development sports of golf, and to also attract the young golfer who can represent Indonesia and speak to International audience.”
The Indonesian Masters will form the third leg of the 2019/20 Panasonic Swing, a ranking based on an aggregate points race that spans five events with Asian Tour players chasing a share of a lucrative bonus pool.
Aside from BNI, this prestigious international event is also supported by BRI Bank. Prilly Savitri, EVP Marketing Communication of Bank Rakyat Indonesia expressed his support for the 2019 Indonesian Masters event. "This international level tournament provide valuable experience because this event is attended by golfers from all over the world. In addition to developing golf in the country, this international tournament is also good to introduce Indonesia to foreign countries," said Prilly.
While Hilmi Panigoro as the President Director of MedcoEnergi revealed, "We strongly support the holding of the 2019 Indonesian Masters. For us this event is a premier event in the country and we hope that our participation can continue to improve golf achievements in Indonesia."
Fans across the region can also catch all the action live on television as all four days of the Indonesian Masters will be broadcast on the Asian Tour’s television platform. The Indonesian Masters, which was inaugurated in 2011, will be the penultimate event of the 2019 season. “I hope that this tournament will be held successfully at Royale Jakarta Golf Club," said Cho Minn Thant.