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Indonesian Masters: Aphibarnrat can win again but Rose is a worthy fav

Kiradech Aphibarnrat – The Punter’s fancy in Indonesia
Kiradech Aphibarnrat – The Punter’s fancy in Indonesia
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There's no European or PGA Tour action on offer this week but there are some stellar names in the Asian Tour's televised offering so our man's taken a detailed look at the Indonesian Masters here...

"The cream rises to the top here more often than not so I wanted to concentrate on the market leaders and given Aphibarnrat has very decent course and current form, I was happy to take a small chance on him at [10.0]."

Tournament History

Only in existence since 2011, this will be just the seventh renewal of the Indonesian Masters.

Venue

Royale Jakarta Golf Club, Jakarta, Indonesia.


Course Details

Par 72, 7,304 yards

The Royale Jakarta Golf Club is made up of three nine hole courses - North, South and West. The tournament is played over a composite of the South and West.

Designed by Robert Moore Jr of US based JMP Golf Design, Royale Jakarta is a long and very open looking course with water in play on many holes. The grass used throughout the course, including on the greens, is Sea Isle Supreme - a resilient strain of Paspalum grass.


Weather Forecast


TV Coverage

Live on Sky Sports all four days, starting at 05:00 on Thursday.


First Six Winners

2011 - Lee Westwood -19
2012 - Lee Westwood -16
2013 - Bernd Wiesberger -15
2014 - Anirban Lahiri -17
2015 - Lee Westwood -7
2016 - Poom Saksansin -18


What Will it Take to Win the Indonesian Masters?

Stats wise - the first three tournament winners all ranked number one for Greens In Regulation and all the winners, bar the last one, Poom Saksansin, have been fairly long off the tee.

The first six winners were all very well-fancied. Lee Westwood went off favourite on every occasion he won, Bernd Wiesberger was a 12/1 chance and Anirban Lahiri was a 20/1 shot but the last winner broke all the trends. Saksansin was in fairly decent form 12 months ago but he still went off at around 150/1 and he was the first winner that wasn't a 'star name'.

Although they're both European, Westwood (in particular) and Wiesberger both have great records in Asia. Westwood has an incredible record when he travels east and three of Wiesberger's four victories have been in Asia. The Austrian won the Ballantine's Championship in Korea at the Blackstone Golf Course 12 months after Westwood and he won the Shenzhen International in China in April.


In-Play Tactics

Saksansin and Lahiri were outside the top ten after round one - both sat tied for 17th - but they were hardly miles back. They both trailed by just three strokes. Lahiri and Wiesberger were both five adrift at halfway but both were inside the top-ten places (ninth) and they both moved to within one of the lead with a round to go. The other four winners were all in front with a round to go and it's hard to see an off the pace winner.

Chapchai Nirat trailed by seven with a round to go in 2015 before he lost a playoff to Westwood but that had a lot to do with Westwood's poor final round of 73.


Market Leaders

With wins in China, Australia, Japan, and South Africa and all over Europe and America, Justin Rose is a truly global player and a very worthy favourite in what is a weak event. He's been in solid, if not spectacular, form since he won back-to-back in China and Turkey last month and it's impossible to see him not contending but he isn't without a couple of negatives.

Rose is very much the star name in attendance this week and as a result he's going to be very busy away from the golf course with media appearances and other sponsor obligations. When you accept a no doubt sizable appearance fee to play in an event on the other side of the world just before Christmas you're not just getting paid to play golf and there's always a chance that the off the course distractions could have a say in how he performs on it.

Rose is also playing in Indonesia for the first time and while that isn't a massive negative, when we're assessing whether to play someone at less than 4/1, all things need to be considered and I think he's just a shade too short.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat has been in fine form for a few months and he really should have won at least once on the European Tour. This is his third appearance here, having finished seventh in 2011 and fourth in 2014 and he's definitely the biggest danger to Rose.

Having finished runner-up to Jon Rahm at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai and 10th at the Hong Kong Open, Aphibarnrat won his second Thongchai Jaidee Foundation title at the weekend in his native Thailand and I can see him signing off the year in style here.

Brandt Snedeker is a surprise entrant at first glance given he's played just once (29th at the RSM Classic) since June because of an injury to his sternum, but currently sitting 51st in the world rankings, climbing inside the top 50 by the year end will secure him a spot in next year's US Masters. He'll have another chance before the end of March, but he'll want to get the job done this week, though given his lack of competitive golf in recent months, of the four main market leaders he's the one I fancy least.

Dylan Frittelli is another I didn't expect to see playing here given how much he's played and how intensively he's played of late, but like Snedeker, he's chasing a US Masters slot. He was a disappointing favourite at the Joburg Open last week and I suspect after near misses in Turkey and Dubai and a win in Mauritius he must be approaching knackered, if he isn't there already. This is his second appearance in the event. He missed the cut here in 2013 and he's not for me.


Selection

As highlighted above, the cream rises to the top here more often than not so I wanted to concentrate on the market leaders and given Aphibarnrat has very decent course and current form, I was happy to take a small chance on him at [10.0].


Selection:
Kiradech Aphibarnrat @ [10.0]


Given this is the only tournament this week, I won't be doing an In-Play Blog or a De-Brief this week but I'll be back over the Christmas period at various points to look at next year's majors.


*You can follow me on Twitter @SteveThePunter

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