Home favourite Siddikur hopes to turn the corner
Dhaka, May 7: Local hero Siddikur Rahman will aim to bounce back from an uncharacteristic lackluster season on the Asian Tour when he headlines the AB Bank Bangladesh Open which gets underway on Wednesday.
Siddikur, a two-time Asian Tour winner, made only one cut in four starts on the region’s premier Tour this season but kept up his hopes of putting up a good showing as he relishes home course advantage at the Kurmitola Golf Club.
The 33-year-old Siddikur will also draw confidence from his recent success on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) where he claimed his second title at the Kurmitola Golf Club in January before securing another tied-sixth place finish on the same venue two weeks ago.
Siddikur will headline the US$300,000 Asian Tour event alongside Tour winners Rattanon Wannasrichan and Poom Saksansin of Thailand, two-time Order of Merit champion Jeev Milkha Singh of India, as well as Singaporean veteran Mardan Mamat, who won the tournament in 2015.
Qualifying school graduates Kurt Kitayama of the United States, Shohei Hasegawa of Japan, Australian Steven Jeffress and Miguel Carballo of Argentina will all be vying for top honours at the AB Bank Bangladesh Open.
Other notable players in the 144-man field include India’s Chiragh Kumar, Masahiro Kawamura of Japan, Thammanoon Sriroj of Thailand and China’s Yanwei Liu, who enjoyed a top-10 finish last year.
Did you know?
- The Kurmitola Golf Club is the home course of Siddikur Rahman, who used to work as a ball boy at the club to support his studies. He is currently attached to Kurmitola Golf Club as an honorary member.
- Siddikur marked the best ever result produced by a Bangladeshi at the Bangladesh Open last year. He birdied the 18th hole to close with a five-under-par 66 and a 13-under-par 271 total, finishing four shots shy of winner Jazz to take second place on his own.
- Siddikur became the first player from Bangladesh to win on the Asian Tour when he emerged victorious at the Brunei Open in 2010. Also became the first sportsman from his country to qualify for the 2016 Olympics on merit and was accorded the honour of becoming Bangladesh’s flagbearer during the opening ceremony in Rio de Janeiro.
- Siddikur’s wife, Samaun Anjum Auroni, became the first Bangladeshi female golfer to turn professional earlier in January. Auroni took up the game in 2010, the same year Siddikur won his first Asian Tour title.
- Siddikur claimed a commanding 12-stroke victory for his first ADT title on the same venue in 2011.
- Yanwei Liu of China claimed his first ever top-10 result on the Asian Tour at the 2017 Bangladesh Open. He closed with a five-under-par 67 to grab a share of 10th place.
- Liu, 20, enjoyed another top-10 result on home soil last November where he came in second runner-up at the Asian Golf Championship in Xiamen. The result, however, was not enough to help him secure his Asian Tour card for this season. He missed out on the top-61 cut-off mark by one rung on the 2017 Asian Tour Order of Merit.
- Miguel Carballo is the only Argentinean in the 144-man field this week. He came through the Qualifying School earlier in January and is the only Argentinean to hold an Asian Tour card for the 2018 season.
- The 38-year-old Carballo turned professional in 2002 and has previously won on the Challenge Tour and the Web.com Tour. He is playing on the Asian Tour for this first time since 2006 this week.
- Since making his ADT debut in Brunei in March, Carballo has notched four top-10s in five starts on the secondary circuit, including a tied-third place finish at the BTI Open, which was held at the Kurmitola Golf Club two weeks ago.