Stolz completes comeback with win at Indonesia PGA
A few years ago, Andre Stolz didn't know if he'd ever swing a golf club again.
On Sunday, Stolz picked up a riveting victory by firing a 4-under 68 to outlast overnight-leader Rory Hie by a stroke to win the $1 million Indonesia PGA Championship at the Imperial Klub Golf in Jakarta.
“A couple of years ago I thought I would never play again, and now I am standing here with a trophy for a $1 million event. It will take some time to sink in,” said Stolz, following the OneAsia Tour's season opener.
Stolz, plagued by wrist injuries, retired temporarily from 2005-08. He has won a title each on the PGA Tour (2004 Michelin Championship), Nationwide Tour and Japan Tour – plus four wins on the PGA Tour of Australasia.
He rejoined Australian Tour in 2008 and won the Victorian PGA Championship in 2009.
“I had to completely remodel (my) swing. The second half of last year, I started to play really well and this week I played great, but the putter was misbehaving,” the 40-year-old Australian said.
Stolz's putter got hot at the right time, with a 35-foot birdie on No. 17 and an 8-foot birdie on the last.
Hie, who played at USC, also birdied the final two holes in the group behind Stolz, but bogeys on Nos. 10 and 12 and a double bogey on No. 11 were too much to overcome.
“I really thought this was going to be my week. I had prepared so hard. However, I am proud of the way I finished the round and this final day has been a great learning experience,” Hie said.
Gareth Paddison of New Zealand and Eun-shin Park of Korea finished tied for third, while Thailand's Thaworn Wiratchant finished fifth.
The highly anticipated debut of Chang-won Han was a solid one, with the youngster finishing T-17 at 6 under.