Thailand’s Poom Saksansin showed why he is a class act when he fended off the challenges from his more illustrious rivals and fast-charging compatriots by closing with a four-under-par 68 to win the BNI Indonesian Masters presented by Bank Tabungan Negara (BTN), PT.Lautan Luas.Tbk and Bank Mandiri on Sunday.
Despite being ranked 239th in the world, Poom showed he would not be cowed into submission against two of the world’s highest ranked players Justin Rose (2) and Sweden’s Henrik Stenson (27) and a host of Asian Tour champions who had assembled at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club for the Asian Tour season-finale.
Like his first Indonesian Masters victory in 2016, Poom had his uncle, Pratya Ployprapai, on his bag again. Together, they forged another formidable partnership to win the last event on the Asian Tour by three shots with a four-day total of 20-under-par 268.
Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond, who started the day six shots back of Poom in third place, went on an amazing run by storming out in 32. He birdied 10 and eagled 12 to give himself a glimmer of hope of winning his third Asian Tour title.
However, two dropped shots on 15 and 17 put paid to all hopes. An eagle-three on his closing 18 brought the smiles back as it saw him end his Asian Tour season with seven top-10s and one victory.
Thailand’s Panuphol Pittayarat, who won his National open in June, claimed his third top-10 result of the season by finishing third with a bogey-free final round 66 at the US$750,000 event.
The charge by Stenson to deny Poom his day of glory did not materialise as the Swede could not find his putting touch on the day that matters most at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club.
Malaysia’s Nicholas Fung, who has only made the cut once his five previous attempts at the Indonesian Masters, wrapped up his year in spectacular fashion by signing off with a 62 to finish tied for ninth.
Defending champion Justin Rose had to finish tied-16th or better to move back to world number one but posted a disappointing 75 to finish tied-17th.
Poom Saksansin (Tha) – Final round 68 (-4), Total 268 (-20)
The course is very long for me. But I have won here before so I love coming back here. The greens are very nice this week and the course is in great conditions. I always enjoy coming back to Royale Jakarta and Indonesia.I really look up to Henrik (Stenson). I was really happy when I saw his name in the field this week. I was hoping to play with him in the first two rounds actually. I was very happy when I finally get to play with him in the final round.
I wasn’t even thinking about winning or losing. I was just thinking about playing alongside Henrik. I am very excited right now and I look forward to a better season next year. I can’t wait to come back and defend my title. I came into the week with no expectations. It depends on the conditions each day. Like on the second day, I putted very well for a 63 but today, I left some putts out there. I think the only thing me and Henrik spoke about today was ‘good luck’ on the first tee. That’s the only thing I can remember right now.
Jazz Janewattananond (Tha) – Final round 65 (-7), Total 271 (-17)
It was a very long putt for eagle on the last! I saw Panuphol in second place on the leaderboard coming down the 18th. I knew I couldn’t catch Poom already. I made some hiccups down the stretch but I kept myself in the grind. I told myself if I can make two putts for birdie, I will finish second on my own. I wasn’t thinking about anything else really. To eagle that hole was really a surprise. I haven’t had two eagles in one round in a while so I am very happy with that. Everything went well for me today. I just made some silly mistakes. But shooting seven-under, I can’t complain. After the first eagle on the 12th, I thought if I can make another birdie, I might have a chance to chase Poom down. But I dropped some shots there so I didn’t think I had a chance then. Poom played great this week. It’s hard to beat him in Indonesia. This is my first time playing alongside Stenson. We actually share the same coach – Pete Cowan. I spoke to him on the 18th coming up and told him I felt really happy to play with him and I have always looked up to him. And then he told me he actually saw the swing that I sent to my coach earlier this week. I spoke to him quite a bit out there but didn’t tell him that we have the same coach until the last hole. I think I should be back inside top-10 on the final Order of Merit. It has been a great season. I was hoping to get another win before the season ends but next year will be better!
Panuphol Pittayarat (Tha) – Final round 66 (-6), Total 273 (-15)
Playing with Justin Rose was the first great thing for me today. I played well. I made some putts and missed some but I’ll take it. I made a long putt for birdie on the third. I grinded it out today. I actually kept the ball nicely in play. It was a lot calmer out there today. Only the last hole, the wind started gusting. But overall, it has been a great week. I actually came out from an ankle injury. I had to get help from the Physio. It’s just too much golf. It’s much better now with the tapes and all.
Henrik Stenson (Swe) – Final 71 (-1), Total 274 (-14)
I didn’t bring much game today. I feel like I have been fighting a little bit with the long game today. It was certainly not good. I got a little frustrated with myself. I missed a lot of fairways and greens. That is normally not what we are doing. I have been putting good all week but unfortunately today I didn’t make the putts. I had a couple of really close calls. Bit like Justin yesterday I kept on shaving the edges. It was a bit of a grind to keep it together and to finish off with a respectable score because I was playing quite poorly. I needed a fast start today but Poom came fast out of the blocks with a couple of birdies. I was four behind and needed to get going but I certainly did not have the game to go out today and shoot six or seven under. A little disappointed with that but all in all a pretty decent week.
Nicholas Fung (Mas) – Final round 62 (-10), Total 280 (-8)
It’s great to end the season with a final round of 62. Obviously, I am very happy. I didn’t expect myself to shoot 62. I have been playing well recently. I played well in Japan earlier and I was feeling confident about my game coming to this week. All was good here except the third round. Conditions were just so tough yesterday. I am still very happy with my week overall. This is the lowest round that I have ever shot. I was trying to go to 61 though. This is my first time making the cut here in this tournament. It’s nice to cap a good result here. I am sure it will remain as a good memory for me. I hope to continue this good form into the 2019 season.
Leading scores after round 4 of the BNI Indonesian Masters being played at the par 72, 7361 Yards Royale Jakarta GC course (am – denotes amateur):
- 268 – Poom Saksansin (THA) 67-63-70-68.
- 271 – Jazz Janewattananond (THA) 68-69-69-65.
- 273 – Panuphol Pittayarat (THA) 71-66-70-66.
- 274 – Henrik Stenson (SWE) 67-68-68-71.
- 275 – Thitiphun Chuayprakong (THA) 67-70-74-64.
- 277 – Shiv Kapur (IND) 71-66-71-69.
- 279 – Sihwan Kim (USA) 69-69-70-71, Jakraphan Premsirigorn (THA) 68-65-74-72.
- 280 – Nicholas Fung (MAS) 69-71-78-62, Viraj Madappa (IND) 73-69-72-66, Suradit Yongcharoenchai (THA) 67-66-75-72.
- 281 – Shugo Imahira (JPN) 71-70-73-67, Chapchai Nirat (THA) 69-67-76-69, Sungho Lee (KOR) 66-71-74-70, Lin Wen-tang (TPE) 69-70-72-70, Jarin Todd (USA) 68-70-72-71.
- 282 – John Catlin (USA) 66-72-75-69, Steven Jeffress (AUS) 69-71-73-69, Justin Rose (ENG) 68-68-71-75.