Siddikur hitting prime form

After ensuring a forgettable 2023, following which Siddikur Rahman lost his card for the Asian Tour, the premier golfer of Bangladesh is looking like he’s enjoying golf again. He has played in three big-money events this year and did reasonably well in all of them. The ace golfer, despite facing a few external issues, is looking forward with renewed optimism. Here are the excerpts of an interview where he discussed his current schedule and his hopes for the future.

What is your target for this year?
I’ve just played in Saudi Arabia last week and played in three tournaments so far this year. Thankfully played pretty well in all three. There are many more tournaments this year, but I won’t be able to play in all of them due to not having the Asian Tour card. But there’s a positive side to it that I’ll get more time to prepare myself.

What were the high points for you over the last one year?
I think I’m doing much better than last year. Last year China Volvo Open and this year the Saudi Open which finished last week are the two high points in recent times. I finished inside the top 20 in both events.

What was the experience of playing in Saudi Arabia like?
Saudi Arabia is a bit different from the other courses in Asia since there are no trees and it’s pretty hot there. But the golf courses are world class. Whether you play well or not, it gives you satisfaction. It’s always enjoyable to play on such world class courses.

Overall the experience was very good. It was a well organised tournament and the hospitality was great. So, I enjoyed it a lot there.

Do you still have any chance to qualify for the 2024 Olympics?
Chances are quite remote. I’m still way behind the ranking in terms of qualifying for the Olympics. I will probably get three or four tournaments before the Olympics. I will have to do exceptionally well in those tournaments to be able to participate in the Olympics.

My target is to keep playing till the end. Now I’m playing on the main tour, maybe someday I’ll play on the senior tour.

So, what’s next for you on the tour?
I’m going to Incheon, Korea next week for an Asian Tour event. I’m not targeting anything, I’m just following my process.

There are quite a few Bangladeshi players playing in the Indian circuit. What is your opinion about them?
Six players from Bangladesh are playing in PGTI currently, and they are all doing well. I believe they will all make full cards after the end of the year for 2025. It is really pleasing. I believe there are other players with potential who should go to PGTI and inspire the ones in the pipeline.

Siddikur hitting prime formYou had a visa issue recently and missed a big event due to that. Could you shed some light on it?
Yea, indeed. I couldn’t play a big tournament in Oman due to visa restrictions. It was unfortunate for me. I don’t know what I need to do to get visa quickly, maybe the ministry knows.

But this is not the first time you faced such issues. Since you’re a frequent traveller, there must be a way around this?
Getting a Visa quickly is a very important thing for me because it’s a big blow for me when I miss a tournament. If the authorities work on this issue, it would be good for me as well as for future golfers.

How long do you see yourself playing golf?
I’m a sportsman and I like to play. My target is to keep playing till the end. Now I’m playing on the main tour, maybe someday I’ll play on the senior tour. But my target is to keep playing.

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