Mon, 17 Sep 2001

Indonesia, Malaysia share golf glory

KUALA LUMPUR (JP): Indonesia secured its first ever gold medal in the women's golf event at the Southeast Asian Games on Sunday with an 2-0 upset over defending champion Thailand.

Thailand's misery on the golf course continued as host Malaysia upstaged it in the men's team final.

Indonesia took a 1-0 lead after Sitti Retno Purwandi defeated Titiya Plucksataporn 1-up. Ani Iman wrapped it up early, upsetting women's individual champion Onnarin Sattayabanphot 3- and-2.

The Philippines had to win a playoff at the 18th hole for its bronze after Malaysia's Koe Lai Yin beat Heidi Chua 2-and-1 but Carmalette Villaroman kept the Philippines in contention by beating Valerie Tan 1-up over 20 holes.

Unlike in the past, the golf team competition applied the match-play format.

Indonesian women golfers have never won a gold at the SEA Games since the inception of the sport in 1989.

"This is their (players) top performance since they were put on a team for several regional events," a former Indonesia Golf Association (PGI) top official told The Jakarta Post. "I think they deserve the gold. And if they could keep their playing rhythm they have a good chance at the next SEA Games," he said.

In the men's team final, Malaysia shut out Thailand in three matches for the gold medal.

For Malaysia's men, Airil Rizman Zahari beat Ronnachai Jamnong 2-and-1, S. Sivachandhran beat Wisut Artjanawat 1-up and Shaasan Hussin cruised past Prom Meesawat 4-and-3.

The Philippines won the bronze on victories by Juvic B. Pagunsan, who won the individual men's gold by nine strokes last Thursday, and Jesselito C. Saragoza against Indonesia.

Pagunsan beat Inam Zarems 4-and-3, and Saragoza defeated Indra Hermawan 2-and-1. For Indonesia, Iin Setiwan beat the Philippines' Jay E. Batron 2-and-1. (nvn/rsl)