Jakarta:Chinese Taipei star Lin Wen-tang will play through the pain barrier of a hip injury when he challenge for honours at the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters presented by PNTS starting on Thursday.
Lin, a five-time Asian Tour winner, will be playing in only his third event this year after taking a two-month break from golf. Going against the advice of his doctor to play in this week’s US$750,000 showpiece, Lin said he has lost some distance off the tees because of his injury.
“I injured my hip and shoulder because I trained too hard in the gym. I still feel slight pain and I can’t control my drives. I think I’ve lost about 15 yards in distance. My doctor actually advised me to rest for another one month but this is a big tournament so I had to play here,” said Lin.
Lin will be among an elite cast assembled at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club where defending champion and world number three Lee Westwood, Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand, Michael Campbell of New Zealand and Ian Woosnam of Wales will headline the event.
Lin has high hopes of another strong finish at the event after finishing in tied ninth place last year. “I like playing here. I missed the cut in my last two events but I feel that I can play here because I like the course a lot. I’m not sure if I can win because of my body condition but I’ll try my best.”
Mithun Pererra of Sri Lanka hopes to continue his dream run on the Asian Tour where he has yet to miss a single cut and finished tied second at the ISPS Handa Singapore Classic two weeks ago.
“This is actually my first time in Indonesia! This week is another good week for me to get a good result and give me a chance of keeping my Asian Tour card. I feel I have a chance on this golf course even though I’m not a long hitter but what I lack in distance, I can make up with my short game,” said Pererra, currently in 17th place on the Order of Merit.
Pererra, whose father Nandasena was a famous name on the old Asian circuit during the 1980s and 1990s, is preparing himself mentally as he takes on the 7322-yard golf course.
“You have to be mentally strong when you are playing on long courses such as this one. Obviously it is quite disappointing when you see the long hitters blasting their shots of the tees. That’s why you have to keep a calm mind and focus on the strong points of your game,” he added.
Thitiphun Chuayprakong of Thailand is delighted to return to the venue where he claimed his best Asian Tour result. He finished in tied third place last year and will draw on the memories of playing with Westwood on the last day.
“I’m feeling confident. Coming back here gives me a good boost in my game. After last year’s event, I changed the mechanics in my golf swing and was struggling to feel comfortable with it. It feels better now but I need to stay focus on my mental game when I putt,” said the 19-year-old, nicknamed “Tote” which means slow because he does things in his own pace.
Andik Mauluddin, a seven-time winner on the local circuit, will spearhead the Indonesian charge this week. He believes the experience of playing against Westwood and the best players in Asia will prepare him for the Asian Tour Qualifying School next year.
“I’m feeling good. I want to use this tournament as a platform to test my game for the Asian Tour Qualifying School. I tried before in 2009 and 2010 but missed the cut,” said the 2005 and 2008 bronze medallist in the South East Asian Games.
“It is always nice to be playing in a big event in Indonesia. My game is good so I’m feeling confident. I also know this course very well because I’ve played here many times,” said Mauluddin.
By Indian Sports News Network