Debut delight as Naraajie scores first professional win – Asian Development Tour

Debut delight as Naraajie scores first professional win

Indonesia’s Naraajie E. Ramadhanputra turned in a flawless round of nine-under par 63 to clinch victory at the OBGolf Invitational to win his debut event as a professional golfer, overpowering compatriot and fellow ADT debutant Jonathan Wijono to win by four strokes on the Damai Indah Golf’s BSD Course.

The US$70,000 event was beset by rain delays for the first three days of the tournament but the final day turned out fine, and despite needing to clear up the stragglers from Round Three in the morning finished with time to spare.

Ramadhanputra, who turned professional after the recent SEA Games, began the day tied for the lead at 15 under. He was under early pressure from the in-form Wijono, who started with three straight birdies to open up a small lead. But a brace of awkward bogeys on holes four and five for Wijono soon put the impetus back with Ramadhanputra and the pair traded birdies and one eagle to make the turn with a significant lead over the rest of the field.

Wijono, who was playing his first ADT event as a pro, faltered again with a bogey on the 10th hole and despite recovering the dropped shot within the next two holes, a string of birdies from Ramadhanputra and two more dropped shots as the round drew to a close meant he had to ultimately concede defeat.

Jonathan Wijono
Jonathan ‘Jowi’ Wijono. Photo by Yulius Martinus / OBGolf

A crucial putt on the 14th hole proved the deciding moment, as Naraajie went on to explain:

“Playing with Jowi (Wijono), we both hit a lot of birdies, he was six under through nine, I was five under, so it was close. We were the same score on the 14th, the par three. I hit it to the middle of the green, Jowi hit it close to about two or three meters, and I was about 8 meters away from the pin. I made the putt and he missed, so that was the turning point.”

“My ball striking and putting were both good today. We played 27 holes so of course I was tired but I just tried to do my best on each shot and it paid off in the end,” said Naraajie.

Lloyd Jefferson Go
Lloyd Jefferson Go of the Philippines. Photo by Yulius Martinus / OBGolf

The nearest contender at 17 under was Filipino Lloyd Jefferson Go, who posted a plucky 68 to keep hold of his overnight third place, holding off pressure from China’s Chen Guxin who could have caught him for a tie if not for a dropped shot on the 15th hole.

Australia’s Jack Murdoch maintained consistent scoring pressure throughout the tournament to finish at 15 under par, collecting fifth place honors which he shared with Thailand’s Chanat Sakulpolphaisan. Sakulpolphaisan, who scored a commendable 6 under 66 on the final day, did well to recover from a poor start with a 73 on the opening day, but was eventually unable to recover enough ground.

Chen Guxin of China. Photo by Yulius Martinus / OBGolf

Danny Chia of Malaysia started the final round with a share of third place, but three bogeys and only four birdies on the day saw him drop back to finish on a solo seventh spot.

Singapore’s Abdul Hadi eased himself back into the top ten with a string of birdies around the turn after starting the day back in 16th place but an unfortunate double on the par 3 14th hole looked to have put paid to his charge, only to be rescued by a eagle on the closing par 5 18th.

Sharing eight place with Hadi was England’s David Langley posted a two under 70, with just one dropped shot on the back nine, rounding out a solid if uneventful tournament.

Jack Murdoch
Jack Murdoch of Australia. Photo by Yulius Martinus / OBGolf
Thailand’s Poosit Supupramai, the leader after Day One, struggled for consistency on the final day, posting an eagle, birdie and two bogeys on the front nine, dropped three shots on the first two holes after the turn before recovering his form to finish strongly, birdieing five of the last seven holes. He shared 10th spot with India’s Udayan Mane.

Rory Hie, playing in a home tournament after a string of overseas appearances on the main Asian Tour, posted an 11 under total , sharing 12th spot with Shariffuddin Ariffin of Malaysia and Ryoto Furuya of the USA.