Arie hopes to contend in Sarawak

Arie Irawan with his wife Marina during practice round ©Arep Kulal|Asian Tour

Kuching [SARAWAK]: Malaysia’s Arie Irawan hopes marital bliss will translate into better results on the golf course when he contends at the inaugural Sarawak Championship which starts on Wednesday.

The 27-year-old Arie married Marina Malek in May, and his wife will be on his bag this week at the US$300,000 Asian Tour tournament staged at the scenic Damai Golf and Country Club.

Arie, an Asian Development Tour (ADT) regular where he has won two titles, hopes to repeat the chemistry he shares with his wife this week after they linked perfectly on the PGA Tour China Series last month which resulted in a tied fourth finish.

He will be among the strong Malaysian challengers this week which includes Nicholas Fung, Ben Leong and Airil Rizman, who are all Asian Tour champions.

“It is good to have the opportunity for Malaysians to play a new event on the Asian Tour. We have Maybank Championship and CIMB Classic but it is a good opportunity for us to play in a full field Asian Tour event,” said Arie.

“Sarawak is where I was born (in Miri where his father worked in oil and gas previously). This is a little bit like home and it is always nice for the international golfers to see a different part of Malaysia since most of our events are in the peninsular,” he noted.

And while he has played at the Damai Golf and Country Club on the ADT last year and finished in tied eighth place, Arie is not setting himself any lofty targets.

“I played here last year and finished top-10 on the Asian Development Tour (ADT). The course suits my eye and I know how it sets up and what to expect but I don’t have any goals this week. I want to play the best I can.

“I had my wife on the bag in Guilin where I finished tied fourth and she is my caddie this week as well. Hopefully the momentum and trend continues this week,” he added.