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Local players enjoying the limelight

Indonesia's leading professionals are keen to take advantage of their rare chance to play alongside top international pros at the Enjoy Jakarta HSBC Indonesia Open 2006.

Aceh native Ilyahssak, the country's top-ranked professional golfer, said opportunities for local players are few and the US$1 million tournament gives them an exceptional chance to showcase their skills on the global stage.

"We only play about two or three professional tournaments a year," said the 40-year-old Ilyahssak.

"The problem is that we lack experience and this kind of tournament is a great chance for us.

"We are not expected to do well but we will try our best and we are not scared of the opposition."

Ilyahssak is joined by second-ranked Hamzah Rahmadi, Jemin Saputra and Dana Mahmud as Indonesia's four pros taking part in the tournament, which is co-sanctioned by the European and Asian Tours and promoted by Parallel Media Asia.

Also competing are four amateurs - 19-year-old Benny Kasiadi, Suprapto, Sudirman and Andik Mauludin.

Ilyahssak, who used to compete with Thai star Thongchai Jaidee during their amateur days, is looking forward to playing at Emeralda Golf Club.

"It's a nice course but we are not used to the greens," he said. "During tournament time, the condition of the greens is different to other times of the year."

March 2, 2006

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