By BGB Staff Writer
BANGKOK, Thailand: Justin Harding of South Africa put an exclamation point on the closely contested final day, as he carded a one-under-par 71 to win his maiden Asian Tour title at the US$500,000 Bank BRI Indonesia Open on Sunday.
The 32-year-old, who missed only three greens-in-regulation before the final round, uncharacteristically dropped two shots on holes seven and eight. However, he bounced back when it mattered with two birdies before emerging victorious with an 18-under-par 270 total at the Pondok Indah Golf Course.
I hit a good shot at the 18th. I was planning to lag it down there to two inches and tap it in, but I didn’t mean it put it four feet past the hole!
Zimbabwe’s Scott Vincent transferred the pressure to Harding early in the round after firing three consecutive birdies on the second, third and fourth hole. But he lost the advantage after dropping three shots at the sixth, ninth and 10th. He eventually ended the week in second place, his fifth top-10 finish this year.
Thailand’s Chapchai Nirat and United States’ Sihwan Kim shared third place after carding 68 and 69 respectively. Gaganjeet Bhullar of India is one shot behind the duo, in lone fifth place.
Johannes Veerman (66), who led the tournament after the opening round, ended his tournament with a flourish. He grabbed a share of sixth place, along with India’s Udayan Mane and Thailand’s Natipong Srithong.
Harding will be taking up Asian Tour membership after his win at the Bank BRI Indonesia Open. The current Sunshine Tour Order of Merit leader was playing in the tournament on an invite.
Did you know?
– Justin Harding missed only three fairways in his the first three rounds.
– At 90 per cent (65/72), he is ranked first in greens-in-regulation at the tournament.
Before his consecutive bogeys on the final round, he last dropped a shot in round one, on the second hole.
– Harding turned professional in 2010.
– He has a total of seven victories on the Sunshine Tour.
– Scott Vincent posted two top-10 finishes in his rookie year. He was tied-ninth at the 2016 Bashundhara Bangladesh Open and tied-second at the 2016 Shinhan Donghae Open.
– Vincent came into the Bank BRI Indonesia Open on the back of two top-10 finishes. He was tied-sixth at the Queen’s Cup and tied-seventh at the Sarawak Championship.
– He graduated from Virginia Tech University with a finance degree.
– Sihwan Kim finished ninth on the Challenge Tour Rankings in 2013.
– After the Queen’s Cup, he rose to 211st on the Official World Golf Ranking list, the highest achieved so far in his professional career.
– Gaganjeet Bhullar won both his Indonesia Open titles in 2013 and 2016 by three shots.
Udayan Mane has won on the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) this season, at the Golconda Masters 2018.
– Johannes Veerman is the 2016 Asian Development Tour Order of Merit champion.
– At one point of the final round, only three shots separated the top nine golfers.
– This was the first time in three years the officials did not have to suspend the play due to bad weather.