Nick Flanagan will play a tournament in Asia for the first time in 12 years when he joins an 18-strong Australian presence at this week’s Bank BRI Indonesia Open in Jakarta.
With Andrew Dodt’s recent win at the Sarawak Championship serving as motivation, Flanagan is teeing it up in Asia for the first time since the 2007 Johnnie Walker Classic in Phuket, Thailand that preceded his three-win season on the secondary American tour.
The 35-year-old is one of nine Australians along with Kiwi Gareth Paddison to be granted entry into the Indonesia Open through the ISPS HANDA PGA TOUR of Australasia, James Nitties, Callan O'Reilly, Jarryd Felton, Steven Jeffress, Aaron Pike, Daniel Gale, Josh Younger and Darren Beck the others issued an opportunity on the Asian Tour.
Injuries and playing opportunities have made it difficult for Flanagan to build a schedule in recent years but his form since the Australian PGA Championship last December indicates that he can contend again if given the chance.
Tied for sixth at RACV Royal Pines Resort, Flanagan backed that up with a tie for 10th at the ISPS HANDA Vic Open in February and a tie for 11th at the SEC NZ PGA Championship a month later.
Since that tournament Flanagan has dropped 200 places in the world rankings to now sit 964th, making his return from almost six months out of tournament golf at last week’s Tailor-Made Building Services NT PGA Championship where he was tied for 44th.
Dodt climbed more than 200 places in the world rankings with his win two weeks ago in Malaysia and following a tie for 10th in the Northern Territory last week will be seeking a second straight Asian Tour title with confidence sky-high.
The other Australians in the field this week are New Zealand Open champion Zach Murray, Jason Norris, Marcus Fraser, Travis Smyth, Andrew Martin, Daniel Fox, Jake Higginbottom and Daniel Nisbet.
The Japan Golf Tour is in Fukuoka this week where six Australians will be hoping to equal the feat of Steven Conran of 15 years ago when he won the RIZAP KBC Augusta tournament at Keya Golf Club.
Won Joon Lee’s tie for fifth was the best of the Aussies 12 months ago and Lee returns this year along with David Bransdon, Matthew Griffin, Brendan Jones, Brad Kennedy, Dylan Perry, Anthony Quayle and New Zealand’s Michael Hendry.
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