England’s Simon Dyson held off the brave challenge of Australia’s Andrew Buckle in a classic head-to-head duel over the Emeralda Golf and Country Club to win the Enjoy Jakarta HSBC Indonesia Open.
A final round of five under par 67 took Dyson to 20 under par 288 and earned him a two stroke victory over Buckle, who battled back from a devastating quadruple bogey eight on the sixth hole to shoot a three under par 69.
It was Dyson’s first European Tour title and sits alongside the three wins he had on the Asian Tour in 200, earning him €137,701 and lifting him from 73rd to 17th on The European Tour Order of Merit.
“It’s been a long time coming,” said the elated Englishman. “A couple of years ago I thought it might never happen. But this year I thought it could more than any other year and to do so early on and get the result, I can’t put it into words how good it feels.”
Dyson and Buckle started the final round three shots clear of the field and when they both birdied the first, it was clear the title would come down to a straight battle between the two leaders. They traded birdies on the third as well before Buckle struck the first blow with a birdie on the fifth.
But the match turned on the sixth when Buckle ran into trouble in the rough and took five to reach the green before three putting. It was a killer blow and Dyson pounced. A magnificent five wood on the seventh hole from Dyson nestled a foot from the pin for a tap in eagle and within two holes he had gone from one behind to four ahead.
“That five wood was one of the best shots I have ever hit,” enthused Dyson later.
But as they walked to the ninth green, play was suspended as lightning lit up the sky. After a two hour delay play resumed but the break had knocked Dyson off this rhythm while Buckle regrouped and came out all guns blazing.
Birdies on the 11th and 12th, where he holed a 30 foot putt, closed the gap to two and momentum was swinging his way. Buckle had another chance on the 14th which slipped by and when he hit his approach to six feet on the 15th, Dyson thought his lead would be down to one. But Buckle’s putt lipped out and Dyson was handed a lifeline.
When Buckle then missed the green on the par three 16th, Dyson thought for the first time the title could be his. Buckle almost holed his chip but Dyson remained two ahead.
Dyson put the matter beyond doubt when he matched Buckle’s birdie on the 17th by holing from 15 feet, pumping the air as he knew that sealed his victory.
Of his vanquished foe, Dyson was full of praise. “I think he is one of the best up and coming players I have seen. It won’t be long before he is sat here. He hits the ball like a top ten player in the world and he is a very good putter. And mental wise I can’t say enough. To make an eight and then throw a few birdies back at me, I don’t know if I could do that.”
Buckle, one of the most promising players to emerge from Australia in recent years, certainly made Dyson fight for his first title.
“I told myself to try and make a game of it,” said Buckle. “I was only four behind and I was hitting the ball well. If I could keep doing what I was doing and be patient and I had chances on the 14th and 15th.
“I’m proud of the way I came back. I could have let him run away with it. But credit to Simon who played great.”
For the record Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand and Wang Ter-chang of Chinese Taipei finished joint third but theirs was a side show as Buckle and Dyson fought for the title.