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Steve Jeffress heads Australians at Indonesian Masters

Despite good week Jeffress unable to reach the all-important top 60 (Photo: Henry Peters )
Poom Saksansin headed a Thai domination of the Asian Tour’s season ending BNI Indonesian Masters, the 25 year old from Bangkok holding off not only fellow Thais, Jazz Janewattananond and Panuphol Pittayarat, but two of the game’s modern greats in Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson.

Saksansin, who won this event two years ago, has hardly been near his best in recent months after playing the Japan Tour for much of the year but he led this event for most of the week and won by three over Janewattananond with Pittayarat another two back.

Henrik Stenson, who along with defending champion Justin Rose was one of the marquee invites for the week, was expected to challenge Saksansin over the final 18 holes but after an early birdie he was unable to mount a serious challenge and finished 4th.

For Saksansin not only was the victory a great way to end the season but so too was the opportunity to play with and against a player he has long held a lot of admiration for in Henrik Stenson.

“The course is very long for me,” said the champion. “But I have won here before so I love coming back here. The greens are very nice this week and the course is in great conditions. I always enjoy coming back to Royale Jakarta and Indonesia.

“I really look up to Henrik (Stenson). I was really happy when I saw his name in the field this week. I was hoping to play with him in the first two rounds actually. I was very happy when I finally get to play with him in the final round.

"I wasn’t even thinking about winning or losing. I was just thinking about playing alongside Henrik. I am very excited right now and I look forward to a better season next year. I can’t wait to come back and defend my title."

Rose needed something very special today if he was to have any chance of a successful defence but after dropping four shots in his first five holes his hopes were gone and he eventually finished with a round of 75 and a share of 17th place.

Steven Jeffress finished as the leading Australian when he tied with Rose and others for that 17th place.

Jeffress has played 15 events on the Asian Tour this season but with not a lot to show for it he will finish 71st on their Order of Merit and without full status there next year.

Jeffress has however recorded top 5 finishes in three PGA Tour of Australasia event this year so has enjoyed an overall solid season but without the real success he was seeking.

Jarryd Felton finished 20th this week after what had ben a fast start on Thursday but will improve only three places to 70th on the Order of Merit in Asia, his best finish coming when 5th in Fiji, an event jointly sanctioned with the Asian Tour. He too will be required to return to Tour School to regain full status.

Marcus Fraser and Jake Higginbottom tied for 28th this week, Scott Hend and Josh Younger 35th, Maverick Antcliff 49th and Andrew Martin 57th.

Daniel Nisbet finished the season as the leading Australian on the Order of Merit in 26th place ahead of Terry Pilkadaris in 32nd place.

Interestingly, the pair finished 1st and 2nd at the New Zealand Open which played a key role in their final standing given the New Zealand Open’s sanctioning arrangement with Asian Tour.

SCORES

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