Photo - Asian Tour
TUNNICLIFF AND PAGUNSAN TO HEADLINE BALI OPEN
Bali: Two-time European Tour winner Miles Tunnicliff of England and talented Filipino Juvic Pagunsan will headline the inaugural US$60,000 Bali Open, the final leg of the Asian Development Tour, next week.
The 42-year-year-old Tunnicliff will add a dash of European flavour at the New Kuta Golf Resort situated on the world famous holiday isle from November 3-6 while Pagunsan is no stranger to Indonesian fans as he secured his first Asian Tour victory at the Pertamina Indonesia President Invitational in 2007.
Upcoming Thai Thanyakorn Khrongpha, who won the Kariza Classic in Jakarta last month, will also feature in the Bali Open which will be the final chance for players to finish in the top-three of the Asian Development Tour Order of Merit.
Current leader S. Siva Chandhran of Malaysia is skipping the event as he cannot be caught due to his big lead on the merit list but Chinese Taipei’s Hsu Chia-jen and Malaysia’s Akmal Tarmizee, second and third respectively, will tee up at New Kuta to protect their positions where the top three will earn Asian Tour cards for 2011.
Korea’s T.J. Kim, currently fourth on the list, and fifth-ranked Thanyakorn are in the field next week as they have a chance to finish in the top-three with a strong outing in the Bali Open.
With a top prize of US$10,500 on offer next week, the likes of 12th ranked Takafumi Kawane of Japan can upset the odds if he pulls off a victory but he will need Hsu and Akmal to miss the halfway cut.
Other prominent names who will compete in the Bali Open and have a mathematical chance of breaking into the top-three with a victory include Airil Rizman, one of three Malaysians to taste victory on the Asian Tour with his 2007 Pakistan Open triumph.
Myanmar veteran Zaw Moe, a former winner of the Singapore Open, Australian Richard Moir, England’s Nick Redfern, who finished second in last year’s King’s Cup in Thailand, and Singaporean national amateur player Lam Zhiqun will also feature in the Bali Open.
All eyes will certainly be on Tunnicliff due to his stature in Europe. He achieved his first European Tour victory in 2002 when he completed one of the most heart-warming maiden triumphs in history when he won The Great North Open at the De Vere Slaley Hall.
The victory came only a fortnight after he lost his inspirational mother Pam to cancer. Two days before she died she told him to go and win a tournament for her, so the raw emotion was therefore understandable when he did just that.
Almost exactly two years later, he was again in the winners’ enclosure after claiming his second title with victory in the Diageo Championship at Gleneagles. He came close to victory at the Maybank Malaysian Open last year but settled for tied second place.
With one of the best golf swings on the Asian Tour, Pagunsan will certainly be a threat in Bali. This season, he has enjoyed three top-five finishes and could well challenge for the title at New Kuta, which previously hosted the 2009 Indonesian Open on the Asian Tour.