Kim Aims To Finish Dream Rookie Season On A High At The Bni Indonesian Masters
The 17-year-old freshman has been living the dream this year, having won three times on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) to earn playing rights on the Asian Tour in October and found immediate success on the region’s premier Tour with a victory in India last month.
Kim, playing in only his fifth start on Tour this week which is also his last event of the year, hopes to close his dream rookie season on a high note when he steps up to the tee at the highly acclaimed Royale Jakarta Golf Club, home of the Indonesian Masters since 2011.
Kim’s challenge, however, will be put to test as he faces a strong field of players that include defending champion Poom Saksansin, a two-time winner of the BNI Indonesian Masters, as well as newly crowned Order of Merit winner Jazz Janewattananond.
The talented 144-man field from 21 countries also features more than 50 Tour champions and six Order of Merit winners and they will all be vying for top honours in the US$750,000 event, which is celebrating its ninth straight edition on the Asian Tour this week.
Danny Masrin will spearhead the local charge alongside Rory Hie, who became the first Indonesian to win on the Asian Tour in September. Together with 24 other Indonesians in the field, they will be vying to keep the Indonesian Masters trophy on home soil for the first time in the tournament’s history.
Chinese Taipei’s Wang Wei-lun, who has shown great potential with three top-five finishes in seven starts this season, will continue his chase for a breakthrough victory on the Asian Tour this week. The 26-year-old enjoyed a tied-third place result when he played on the same course for an Asian Development Tour (ADT) event earlier in May.
Other notable players in the field are John Catlin of the United States, Scott Hend of Australia, India’s Shiv Kapur and S.S.P. Chawrasia, as well as Thailand’s Pavit Tangkamolprasert and Phachara Khongwatmai.
The BNI Indonesian Masters will form the third leg of the 2019/20 Panasonic Swing and the winner of the event 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 is the penultimate event of the 2019 season.
Did you know?
- Joohyung Kim claimed his breakthrough at the Panasonic Open India last month. It was only his third start on the Asian Tour this season. He had posted a third-place finish at the Indonesia Open and a tied-sixth place result at the Thailand Open prior to his breakthrough.
- The talented 17-year-old had earned his playing rights for the remainder of the 2019 Asian Tour season after clinching his third title on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) this season in Pakistan in October.
- Placed 161st on the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR), Kim is the second highest-ranked player following Jazz Janewattananond (57th) in the field this week. He started the year in 2006th place on the OWGR.
- The BNI Indonesian Masters will be Kim’s last event on the Asian Tour this season as he will not be teeing up for the season-finale in Thailand next week.
- Kim hopes to ride on his good memories in Indonesia for another fine showing this week. Apart from the top-three finish at the Indonesia Open in August, Kim also won his second ADT title in Indonesia.
- Danny Masrin, placed 923rd on the OWGR, is the second highest-ranked Indonesian in the field this week. He sits in 55th position on the 2019 Asian Tour Habitat for Humanity Standings and needs to stay inside top-61 on the final rankings to secure his card for the 2020 season.
- The 27-year-old Masrin enjoyed a top-10 finish on the Asian Tour in Chinese Taipei three months ago and has also notched three consecutive top-10 results on the ADT in May and June.
- His best result in the BNI Indonesian Masters is a tied-52nd place finish in 2016.
- Wang Wei-lun is a one-time winner on the ADT. He won on home soil in 2017 and finish fourth on the ADT Order of Merit that year to secure his Asian Tour card for 2018.
- Although he did not manage to retain his card for 2019, the 26-year-old Wang made full use of his limited playing opportunities to notch three top-five finishes in only seven starts so far this season.
- He is placed 56th on the current Merit rankings and has a good chance to secure his Asian Tour card for 2020 for the first time in his burgeoning career.
- Wang was crowned the Order of Merit champion on his domestic circuit in 2017.
Joohyung Kim (Kor)
I came here for the Asian Development Tour (ADT) event earlier this year so I feel pretty familiar with this course. The tee boxes are a bit different from before but obviously the course is playing in different condition now where it's softer greens. The fairways are good and if we play preferred lies, the scores are going to be low.
I obviously have good memories in Indonesia. I played my first Asian Tour event in Indonesia earlier and came in third so it’s nice to be back. After the Sabah Masters, I took some time off. I feel like I'm well rested now hopefully I can finish good this week.
I am actually not sure what my next goal is because I feel like I still have a long way to go. I have gotten a lot better but I’m still learning every single week. A lot of good players are here this week and these are the guys whom I used to watch from outside the ropes a few years back.
Now I’m playing head to head with them. It’s going to be fun for the future to be out there playing with these guys. I feel like I’m not really that far off from them when I am playing well. I’m happy to be in the running for the Rookie of the Year award, having played only four events so far while the rest of the guys started earlier this year.
Unfortunately, I won’t be able to play the season finale in Thailand next week. So this week will be my last event on the Asian Tour this year. I wish I was playing but I have some stuff to do in Korea next week. So I really hope to finish the year strong with a good result this week.
The experience I have gotten this year is great. I learned a lot and my confidence level grew as well. I think my mental game has improved a lot too. Playing on the ADT helps as well.
Wang Wei-lun (Tpe)
I played well on this course when we had the ADT event here in May. I came in top-three then so it’s nice to be back. Feels pretty familiar with the course now. I won’t say I am very confident of playing well this week but I do feel much comfortable now.
I have had some solid top-five finishes recently so that has definitely given me a lot of confidence as well. It was disappointing to miss out on a win as well but I know where my problems are now so I have been working on it. Hopefully, it won’t happen during the tournament again.
I’m pretty happy with my season so far. I think I’ve been quite lucky too. I managed to get in to quite a few events and I played well early in the year too. I was able to take advantage of the opportunities I had.
I have been learning a lot, every week there’s something new for you to learn, whether it’s techniques or mental. I try and tell myself not to think too much when I’m out there. My focus has been on the Asian Tour for the past few years. I must say the experience has really helped my game.
I actually wasn’t feeling well after playing in India earlier. I was battling with a cold at the Sabah Masters. I decided to take last week off to get some good rest. I think it’s a good decision made because I’m well and ready to go for the last two events of the year.
The goal for me at the start of the year was to finish inside top-60 and secure my card for 2020. I think I should be pretty safe now. But I will still try for another good result this year and I can end the season on a higher note.
Danny Masrin (Ina)
This is definitely a course that I am comfortable playing. This is where I practiced the most. My friend is on my bag again this week. I practiced with him all the time here so we’re really comfortable and we’re just looking to make some putts this week.
The course is in a better shape than I thought it would be. I played here before going to Mauritius and the greens didn’t look like they were going to be ready but they seem pretty good right now. I played well here for an ADT event earlier as well but they set it up quite differently this week.
I know I’m 55th on the Order of Merit right now. I don't want to feel the pressure. I just want to play well and hopefully everything take care of it. If I play decent, it should be good enough to keep my card for next year.
Obviously, the higher I can finish on the final Order of Merit, the better it is for me. I’ve been working a lot more on my short game this year. I changed my putter in August right before I played started playing well so I think that has made a difference.