Dhaka, January 27: Bangladeshi hero Siddikur Rahman returned to winning ways when he cruised to a four-shot victory at the inaugural US$60,000 City Bank American Express Dhaka Open on Saturday.
The 33-year-old took advantage of his home course knowledge as he shot a two-under-par 70 to win his second Asian Development Tour (ADT) title at the Kurmitola Golf Club. He also won his first ADT event here in 2011.
Sweden’s Malcolm Kokocinski posted a 67 to finish in second place while Shankar Das of India, who trailed overnight leader Siddikur by two shots, settled for third after returning with a disappointing 73.
Siddikur ended a five-year title drought following his second Asian Tour win at the 2013 Hero Indian Open. Since then, he has struggled with a serious back injury but believes this victory will provide an extra spring in his step ahead of a busy 2018 Asian Tour Schedule.
“I’m very excited with this win because it was a great week and my short game was really good,” said Siddikur, who totalled 14-under-par 274. “This win will definitely help me in 2018 and I look forward to a busy season on the Asian Tour.”
Siddikur is one of the most inspiring stories on the Asian Tour and ADT. He worked as a ball boy at Kurmitola Golf Club to support his studies and started playing golf with a makeshift seven iron head stuck on a metal rod.
Through hardwork and determination, Siddikur has crafted a solid resume on the Asian Tour by becoming the first golfer to play and win on the region’s premier Tour. He also represented Team Asia in the EurAsia Cup in 2010 and at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro where he was the flagbearer for his country in the opening ceremony.
The win will be a huge confidence booster for Siddikur, who never lost the lead after the second round. He did not drop a single bogey on the first nine the entire week and was hardly challenge on the final day after posting four birdies against two bogeys.
“Honestly I was very comfortable on the back nine. I made two birdies on the first nine and that helped a lot. Overall it has been a great two weeks and I’m feeling healthy which is very important,” said Siddikur, who won US$10,500.
“My goal is to stay fit in 2018. If I can do that, I will continue to work hard on my game. I couldn’t practice much in the last few years because of the injury but my health is slowly improving so I hope I can play and practice without pain,” he added.
Leading final round scores:
274 – Siddikur RAHMAN (BAN) 68 66 70 70
278 – Malcolm KOKOCINSKI (SWE) 70 70 71 67
279 – Shankar DAS (IND) 71 68 67 73
281 – Akbar HOSSAIN (BAN) 70 70 71 70
282 – Shamim KHAN (IND) 72 69 70 71
283 – Kapil KUMAR (IND) 72 69 71 71
284 – Arjun PRASAD (IND) 71 78 67 68, Honey BAISOYA (IND) 73 74 69 68, M DHARMA (IND) 74 72 69 69, Zamal Hossain MOLLAH (BAN) 72 69 71 72
285 – Mithun PERERA (SRI) 71 71 71 72, Shakhawat SOHEL (BAN) 67 73 72 73, Sujjan SINGH (IND) 73 70 69 73
287 – Jakiruzzaman JAKIR (BAN) 76 70 72 69, Veer AHLAWAT (IND) 72 70 70 75