Jakarta, November 19 - Local amateur Almay Rahman Yaquta continued to surprise the field by leading a group of five Indonesian players into the weekend at the Bank BRI-JCB Indonesian Open.
After thunderstorms and upcoming darkness had stopped the second round late Friday, the 18 year old amateur had to complete his round early Saturday morning and did so with success. His second round score of 69 combined with a first round score of 68 meant he was the highest ranked Indonesian player to go into the weekend in a tie for 11th place.
Danny Masrin, Adrian Halimi and George Gandranata, who all had completed their rounds on Friday, together with Jordan Irawan, who still had to play a few holes Saturday morning, are joining Almay to battle for local honors in Indonesia's oldest tournament.
Johannes Veerman of the United States shot a six-under-par 66 to take the second round clubhouse lead on Friday as he searches for a first Asian Tour victory. The American, whose mum is half Indonesian, eagled the 14th hole for the second consecutive day to finish the round on 11-under-par 133 at the US$300,000 Asian Tour event.
Hung Chien-yao from Taiwan joined Veerman at the top of the leaderboard on Saturday morning after completing his second round with a 67.
Frenchman Lionel Weber fired a sparkling 62 for the low round of the day as he finished two shots back of the clubhouse target alongside Janne Kaske (67) of Finland at the Pondok Indah Golf Course.
The sweet swinging Veerman made 25 putts in a round of four birdies and one eagle which was his third for the week as he soared into contention at the BANK BRI-JCB Indonesia Open. After spending most of his youth in Asia, Veerman, who is now based in Texas, hopes to continue his impressive form during the weekend where his mother and relatives will come to support him.
“I played some great golf. I’ve made so many eagles this week which is probably the most I’ve done in my life. I made two eagles yesterday and today on the 14th hole. I don’t know what’s happening but I like it,” said Veerman.
“It is difficult when you are travelling around the world but my mum is Indonesian and she is coming up with my family and they will be out here. I’ll be excited and happy to play in front of them,” he added.
Veerman enjoyed a splendid season on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) this year where he won once. He now hopes to follow in the footsteps of ADT graduates Pavit Tangkamolprasert and Poom Saksansin, who both won on the Asian Tour last month.
“All of that practice on the ADT has been polishing my game. You read about success stories of golfers winning but when you play with these guys (Pavit and Poom) and see them winning, then you tell yourself ‘hey if they can do it, so can I’,” he said.
Frenchman Weber, who is playing in his fourth season on the Asian Tour, fired his career’s low round of 62 where he birdied his closing five holes for a superb homeward nine score of 29-under. “During suspension, I went to the restaurant, had good food and was watching the golf on the television. I got back on the course feeling relaxed and enjoyed my round. Making five birdies in a row gives you a good feeling,” smiled Weber.
“I’ve got nothing to lose this week. I will play offensively. I haven’t won on the Asian Tour yet so it will be superb to do it. I think I’ve secured my Asian Tour card so I hope I can get a win now,” he said.
Kaske, a winner on the ADT, missed a par putt on the 16th hole after the weather delay but bounced back brilliantly when he chipped in for birdie from the edge of the 18th green. “We had a three-hour delay and I was imagining making that lag par putt but I burnt the edge on that one. I’ve had a bad year so far but I’m trying to finish the season strongly. A win will be the best case scenario,” said Kaske.
Scores after round 2 of the Bank BRI-JCB Indonesia Open 2016 being played at the par 72, 7243 Yards Pondok Indah GC course (am - denotes amateur):
133 - Johannes VEERMAN (USA) 67-66, HUNG Chien-yao (TPE) 66-67
135 - Janne KASKE (FIN) 68-67, Lionel WEBER (FRA) 73-62, Khalin JOSHI (IND) 65-70, Adam GROOM (AUS) 70-65
136 - Jazz JANEWATTANANOND (THA) 69-67, Gaganjeet BHULLAR (IND) 71-65, Chinnarat PHADUNGSIL (THA) 65-71
Selected Indonesian players:
137 - Almay Rayhan YAQUTAH (A)
140 - Danny MASRIN 68-72
141 - Jordan IRAWAN 70-71
142 - Adrian HALIMI 71-71, George GANDRANATA 70-72.