Dhaka, Bangladesh, May 26: Bangladeshi ace Siddikur Rahman believes the Bashundhara Bangladesh Open, which starts on Wednesday, is his golden ticket to a third Asian Tour title.
The 30-year-old hopes to shine at his home course at the Kurmitola Golf Club and win the prestigious trophy which is designed in the form of Bangladesh’s national animal, the Royal Bengal Tiger.
“If I can play my own game here, I think I can win this tournament. This is definitely a golden opportunity for me to win and prove that Bangladeshi golfers are good,” said a confident Siddikur.
“I’m physically fit and I really look forward to a good week. I didn’t prepare any differently this week because I feel very comfortable here. I think the fans and golfers will really enjoy the week,” he added.
Siddikur, who worked as a ball boy at Kurmitola Golf Club to fund for his studies, will headline the US$300,000 Asian Tour event alongside Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand, Singaporean Mardan Mamat and India’s Rashid Khan.
“I’m very excited that this week has finally arrived. I’m feeling great because this is my home course. I don’t feel pressure because I’ve won many tournaments here,” said Siddikur, who started playing golf with a makeshift seven iron stuck on a metal rod.
Thailand’s Chapchai Nirat, the world 72-hole scoring record holder, hopes to bounce back from his play-off defeat to Lee Westwood in Indonesia in April by winning his fifth Asian Tour victory this week.
“I’m still sad that I lost in Indonesia but my game is good now so I’m feeling very confident. I feel another win is coming soon. Chapchai is back!” smiled the 31-year-old, who is nicknamed ‘King Kong’ by his peers.
Spaniard Carlos Pigem believes he is closing in on his first Asian Tour win after enjoying a solid season where he has yet to miss the cut in five appearances.
“If I continue to do what I’ve been doing then I think the win is near. I’ve had some chances to win so that’s pretty good,” said Pigem, who is playing in his third year on the Asian Tour.
“If you do good early in the year then you have less pressure to play in the rest of the tournaments. It is going to be interesting because you always try to win a tournament. My goal is to win one tournament this year,” he said.
Malaysia’s Nicholas Fung will defy the doctor’s orders by teeing up at the Bashundhara Bangladesh Open, which is one of five new events on the Asian Tour this year.
The Malaysian injured his back while warming up at the gym earlier this month. But armed with the knowledge that the course suits his game, the talented 25-year-old is ready for another shot at glory this week.
“Siddikur told me it isn’t a long golf course so I decided to play against the doctor’s advice. Even the physiotherapist told me to stay away from the golf course but I’m being stubborn. I’ll just need to maintain an easy golf swing this week,” said Fung.
“The golf course looks exciting to me. It isn’t playing too long so it suits my game. You need golf course management here. I have a back injury so I can only hit 70% of my strength,” he added.
For further information, please contact Doyle De Costa at the Bashundhara Bangladesh Open media centre at +6012 699 1976.
About the Asian Tour
As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include FENIX Golf (Official Apparel Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Sponsor), Oakley (Official Eyewear and Footwear Sponsor), PRG (Official Accessories Supplier), Srixon (Official Ball), Titleist (Official Web Partner) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf, www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf, www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf