Looks like married life is agreeing with Arie Irawan … with wife of three weeks Marina on the bag, the Malaysian carded a four-under-par 68 to jointly top the morning leaderboard in today’s first round of the Guilin Championship on the PGA Tour Series-China.
Arie, 27, tied the knot with Marina on May 11 and their recent union was extended to the golf course this week. The husband-wife partnership worked well as Arie nailed four birdies in a flawless opening round.
“I’m so lucky that I have my wife here this week … we just got married three weeks ago and she handles my food as well, so that makes it easy. This is the first time she’s travelling and caddying for me as well,” said Arie.
“It helps a lot having her out there. It just makes me more calm and that’s why I didn’t make any bogeys today. That’s probably why, she makes me happy!”
Arie noted that the Guilin Landscape Golf Club layout suits his eye and is similar to Templer Park Country Club in Malaysia, where he won last year’s Maybank Players Championship on the local PGM Tour.
“I love the golf course, it reminds me of the last golf course where I won in Malaysia … it looks very similar with the rocks and everything, and I love the set-up of the greens. The key is to take advantage of the par-fives,” said Arie, adding that he did not mind the strong winds as he played in such conditions during his US collegiate golf days with University of Tulsa.
Arie is dividing his time between the China circuit, the Asian Development Tour (ADT) and local events this season. He won two ADT events in 2015 and also held a full card on the Asian Tour that season, but his career was stymied in early 2016 when a moped accident forced him out of golf for several months. Arie slowly played his way back to form and returned to the winner’s podium last December at Templer Park, a performance which earned him the 2017 Comeback Golfer of the Year accolade at the recent Malaysian Golf Awards.