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Credit Suisse Amateur Match-play Championships 2014

By: Simon Reynolds

The 12th Credit Suisse Amateur Match-play Champion 14 year old Naarajie Emerald, PGI Pengkot Bandung

The 12th Credit Suisse Amateur Match-play Champion 14 year old Naarajie Emerald, PGI Pengkot Bandung

Many of the very best golfers of today and yesteryear all started their professional golf careers as highly successful amateur golfers, before making the step up towards professional golfers. Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Victor Dubuisson to name a few enjoyed glittering amateur careers before committing to becoming professionals on the world’s biggest Tours the PGA and European Tours. Golf is predominately a game of confidence and by being successful during top quality amateur events, single handicap golfers may prove to themselves, and their mentors that indeed going pro is in fact a good idea.

PGI has a big influence on amateur golf and the future of Indonesia’s most talented amateur golfer’s here in Indonesia. PGI worked alongside Gunung Geulis Golf and Country Club once again to host the 12th Credit Suisse Amateur Match-play Championship from the 29th September – 2nd October this year. Since the 1st edition Credit Suisse have sponsored this prestigious match-play golf event open to all single handicap golfers with a USGA handicap of 7.7 or below.  With around 100 golfers circulated around Indonesia there are many golf tournaments organized every year, but the Credit Suisse Amateur Match-play Championship is unique in its format as it offers top amateur golfers the opportunity to compete in match-play style golf played at a mountain resort course famous for its interesting course layout and fast and troublesome greens.

Over 100 golfers participated from all over Indonesia, including golfers from Kalimantan, Sumatera, and even as far as Papua New Guniea making the journey to the Bogor foothills to experience the thrills and unique conditions of this event. With PGI being involved with the tournament organizing they made an effort to make conditions as challenging as possible for all participants and they invited 6 of some of the best finishers from the recent Indonesian Amateur Championships the week beforehand, including 2013 defending champion Bobby Cahyo representing Jakarta. The other 5 PGI special invites: Rifqi Alam (Jakarta), Almay Rayhan (Bekasi), Rizchy Subakti (South Sumatera), Naarajie Emerald (Bandung), I Nyoman Pasek (Banten). Reigning Indonesian amateur champion Joeh Seik also participated in the event.

Most of these PGI players being young amateurs of 18 years of age or below which made for an interesting demographic amongst the contesting participant’s, who says golf is a game for older folk?

The agenda meant all golfers were to play a qualifying round on day one, from the back tees on the West Course. The top 16 recorded gross scores would advance to the second round which was the beginning of the match-play competition, and the first round of match-play was played after lunch on the first day meaning 36 holes of golf for the best players, perhaps the younger golfers did have an advantage?

BAGAN MATCH PLAY CREDIT SUISSE 2014 - FINALThe 16 qualifiers proved to be an interesting mix with all 6 PGI special invites qualifying into the first round of match-play alongside some stalwarts of Indonesian amateur golf amongst the older generations: Several past champions also qualified and were looking to replicate past glory and interestingly enough to this day there has never been a multiple winner since the first event in 2001 where Jimmy Masrin claimed the very trophy.

The remaining golfers who failed to qualify still had plenty to play for in the B-Tournament Stroke-play consolation event, which was played out on the East Course over the next two days and 36 holes of golf. The quality and depth of the field was evident after day 2 of the stroke-play with several players shooting scores in the mid-70’s. In the end credit is due to Korean – Jakarta based junior Kim Min Seok representing Sedana Golf Club winning the consolation event posting rounds of 76-75 (+7), highly impressive for a 14 year old.

Over the next two days of match-play there were several surprises: Bobby Cahyo went out in the 1st round of the match-play to the inform I Nyoman Pasek representing Banten on the 19th hole, and their first hole of sudden death. In the end it was great and a promising sign for Indonesian golf and their national team as PGI players Naarajie Emerald and Almay Rayhan played there ways into the final, with 14 year-old Naarajie overcoming Indonesian Amateur Champion Joeh Seik on the 15th Hole of their semi-final match. Sweet revenge for the youngster from Bandung who played in the final group with Joeh Seik at the Indonesian Amateurs the previous week narrowly missing out and settling for third that week.

FINAL CSAMPC 2014-1The final of the 12th Credit Suisse Amateur Championship featured 14 year-old Naarajie vs 16 year-old Almay Rayhan. Naarajie capped off a stellar week winning on the 33rd Hole to win 4 & 3 picking up 27 valuable official world amateur ranking points.

Events like this are great opportunities for top Indonesian amateurs to gain valuable official world amateur ranking points and improve their overall official amateur world rankings. With the Asia Pacific Amateur Championships closely following: Indonesia’s Top 3 ranked amateurs going through to represent Indonesia at the event. One of the three for 2014 being Fadhli Soetarso who was a semi-finalist in the 11th Credit Suisse event last year.

Once again, praise must go to Gunung Geulis Golf and Country Club, Credit Suisse and PGI for hosting a top quality amateur event under professional standards. It is events like these, which continue to inspire us avid golfers to thrive to better and improve our games every year. Events like these also act as a steppingstone, for bigger opportunities down the road. See you there in 2015.

About Simon Reynolds

Simon fell in love with the game of golf at an early age. Watching Happy Gilmore when he was 12, Simon was hooked, and to this day thanks Adam Sandler's genius in the film for his passion for the game. His golfing hero is more refined and mature these days, and he continues his spiritual quest to model his golf game on Ben Hogan's perfect golf swing.

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