Sohel seizes opening lead at City Bank American Express Dhaka Open; India’s Ankur Chadha tied fourth
Dhaka, January 24, 2018: Local prospect Shakhawat Sohel fired an opening five-under-par 67 to lead by one shot over countryman and two-time Asian Tour winner Siddikur Rahman at the inaugural City Bank American Express Dhaka Open on Wednesday.
The 33-year-old Shakhawat, playing on his home course at the Kurmitola Golf Club, marked his card with seven birdies against two bogeys to take his place atop the leaderboard at the US$60,000 Asian Development Tour (ADT) event.
Meanwhile, Gurgaon-based Ankur Chadha fared the best among the Indians in round one of the inaugural City Bank American Express Dhaka Open at the Kurmitola Golf Club in Dhaka.
While day one of the event tri-sanctioned by the Asian Development Tour (ADT), Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) and Bangladesh Professional Golfers Association (BPGA) was dominated by local favourites Shakhawat Sohel (67) and Md Siddikur Rahman (68) of Bangladesh, Ankur Chadha ended the day in tied fourth after returning a two-under-70.
The 23-year-old Chadha, playing only his third season as a professional, made a slow start as he was two-over through 11 holes. Ankur, who finished inside the top-60 on the PGTI last year, then had a late flourish with four birdies on the last six holes.
Chadha sank a giant 50-footer for birdie on the 13th and also landed his approach to within three feet for birdie on the 17th.
Ankur said, “I had a strong finish today with those four birdies between the 13th and the 18th. One needs to be patient here and try to keep the ball in play. This course cannot be overpowered. You cannot look for too many birdies here instead you have to play percentage golf.
“I finished 60th on the PGTI last year but I still feel my game was better as compared to my rookie season in 2016 when I finished 59th. I was playing with more confidence in 2017 and felt more at home on the pro circuit. Hopefully, I can capitalize on this good start over the next three days.”
Shakhawat expressed his delight after returning with a commendable round. “I am pleased with how I played. I told myself to just play against the course and not other players. I hope to get the season off to a good start by claiming a good result this week,” he said.
Siddikur, the country’s number one golfer, lamented a cold putter but took pride in his solid display as he chases for a second win on the region’s secondary circuit.
“I hit the ball very well today. I was able to hit it close but I missed a lot of putts out there. If my putting improves over the next few days, I should be able to put up a good result this week,” Siddikur said.
The trio of Rahul Bajaj, Arjun Prasad, and Shankar Das were placed tied seventh with scores of one-under-71 thus making it four Indians in the top-10 on day one.