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Jakarta: Indonesia will host its newest professional golf tournament on the Asian Tour in April with the inauguration of the US$750,000 Indonesian Masters at the prestigious Royale Jakarta Golf Club, officials announced today.


World number one Lee Westwood of England will headline the Indonesian Masters alongside Asia’s top stars from April 21-24, 2011, with the first champion taking home a winner’s cheque of US$118,875.


Sponsors of the elite and full-field Asian Tour event include Royale Jakarta and Four Seasons Hotel. The Professional Golf Association of Indonesia (PGPI) will also sanction the Indonesian Masters.


The Indonesian Masters is earmarked to become the country’s premier golf championship on the Asian Tour, with plans to raise its prize fund and attract other international stars to Indonesia in the coming years.


Organisers lauded the event’s launch and believe that Westwood’s star presence will help mark a new milestone in the growth of professional golf in Indonesia and across Asia.


“Today heralds an exciting landmark for golf in Indonesia,” said Kyi Hla Han, Executive Chairman, Asian Tour. “We are delighted to launch the Indonesian Masters, which will place Indonesian golf firmly on the world map and play a significant role in the expansion of the game here.


“With Lee Westwood competing in the inaugural edition, it will rubberstamp the Indonesian Masters as a premier event on the Asian Tour and reflect the importance of the game in this vibrant nation.


“The Asian Tour and our partners will make every effort to ensure the great success of the Indonesian Masters so that all of Indonesia can be proud of this new tournament.”


Westwood has enjoyed a phenomenal past two years where he was crowned the inaugural Race to Dubai winner on the European Tour in 2009 and subsequently became the world’s top player by dislodging Tiger Woods from his perch last season.


A winner of 32 international titles, the 37-year-old Englishman will be looking to add to his success in Asia where he has won previously in Japan, Macau and Malaysia.


I am looking forward to competing in the inaugural Indonesian Masters. I have heard that Royale Jakarta is a magnificent golf course and I am really eager to compete on this venue,” said Westwood.


“Asia has always been good to me over the years as I have won several titles across the region and I hope to challenge for my first win in Indonesia. However, I know it will not be easy as the level of competition on the Asian Tour is really strong. Indonesia is a wonderful country to visit and I can’t wait to return.”


The Royale Jakarta Golf Club, located 15 minutes from Central of Jakarta, will become the permanent home of the Indonesian Masters. Designed by Bob Moore Jr. and JMP Group, the exclusive 27-hole golf club is one of Asia’s newest jewels where it uses the latest type of Sea Isle Supreme Paspalum grass to meet and exceed international standards.


“Of behalf of the Club, we are excited to forge a new partnership with the Indonesian Masters and Asian Tour. We have every confidence that this tournament will create a major impact on the landscape of professional golf in Indonesia and ultimately showcase Royale Jakarta to the world,” said Royale Jakarta Golf Club Chief Operating Officer, George Chandra.


The Indonesian Masters will be broadcast “live” over four rounds to over 40 countries worldwide, reaching 440 million homes.


Han said the launch of the Asian Tour’s latest tournament was the continuation of several major announcements for the official sanctioning body for professional golf in the region. Amongst the recent developments include a 12-year agreement with IMG Media to set-up a joint venture company which will manage all television production and global distribution.


PGPI’s Board Member Nursalam Tabusalla believes the Indonesian Masters will provide a wonderful opportunity for local stalwarts to compete in a world-class event.


“We are delighted to work with the Asian Tour in the staging of the Indonesian Masters. Through this new event, the Indonesian players will relish the opportunity to compete against the stars from Asia. It will be tremendous if one of our players win the Indonesian Masters,” he said.

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