Photo - Asian Tour
HIE AND THANYAKORN TAKE CLUBHOUSE LEAD AT KARIZA CLASSIC
Jakarta: Local prospect Rory Hie flew his country’s flag high by taking a share of the clubhouse lead with Thailand’s Thanyakorn Khrongpha after the first round of the Kariza Classic was suspended due to darkness on Tuesday.
Hie posted four birdies against one bogey to tie with Thanyakorn on three-under-par 69 at the Imperial Klub Golf where play was suspended for two hours in the morning due to a thunderstorm.
A total of 51 players will return at seven a.m. local time on Wednesday to resume their round at the US$60,000 Asian Development Tour event.
Chinese Taipei’s Chang Chi-wei and Indonesia’s Ayadi Hermawan finished on 70 while compatriots Hardjito and Indra Hermawan were a further stroke back on 71.
Hie, the first Indonesian to earn his Asian Tour card in 2008, produced a superb chip in birdie from 25 feet on the 18th hole (played from the back nine) after his approach shot flew over the green.
He was delighted with his polished performance after making changes to his grip under the guidance of coach Andrew Argus.
“I hit the ball very well and could have done better if I sank more putts. But I’m happy with the way I’m striking the ball,” said Hie, who won at the Imperial Klub Golf in 2008.
“I went to see Andrew in Malaysia and since then my game has been improving every week and I’m starting to get my confidence back up. He changed my grip and that was the biggest thing for me. My grip was too weak before and he changed it to a more neutral position and I’m starting to hit it better,” said the 23-year-old.
Little known Thanyakorn, 20, who claimed his first career victory in Indonesia in May, sank a huge 20 feet birdie putt on the 15th hole before closing with five birdies and two bogeys.
“It was a good round for me and I’m happy with my score. The conditions were tough but I managed to hang in there and maintain my focus,” said Thanyakorn, a two-time gold medallist in the team event of the Southeast Asian Games in 2007 and 2009.
Chinese Taipei’s Chang was disappointed to drop two shots on the 16th and 17th holes where he missed his putts from six feet.
“I was punished because I was rushing to finish the last three holes and play was suspended when I was on the fairway of the 18th hole. Despite the two dropped shots, it was still an okay round for me and I hope to do better the next few days,” said the 36-year-old who teaches golf when he is not competing.