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 Rahman of Bangladesh
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.
Siddikur Rahman of Bangladesh
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View from the 14th hole of the Kurmitola Golf Club
Siddikur Rahman (Ban)
I am really excited for this week. This is the fourth consecutive edition of the Bangladesh Open and I am very happy to see the tournament back on the Asian Tour schedule. I think the other professional golfers in the country are equally happy too.
I am feeling confident for this week because I won on this course again for my second ADT title earlier in January. I am looking forward to this week. The game’s feeling pretty good. I prepared myself nicely for this event.
I took a good rest last week. I skipped the Korean event last week and just did some practice to prepare myself for this week. The course is in a great shape. It’s a little soft because of the rain over the last few days.
I had a good finish last year. It was a great memory. I birdied the last hole to finish second. Hopefully I can bank on those good memories to win the tournament this year. I have the home advantage and I know if I can play my own game, I won’t have any problems winning this tournament.
The golf scene in Bangladesh has really improved over the last few years, especially with the addition of two events on the ADT this season. I would like to thank all sponsors for their support and commitment.
I have been trying to work on my mental game and my fitness this season. These two things are really important if you want to do well, especially mental strength. I will keep working on these and hopefully some good results will show.
Miguel Carballo of Argentina
Miguel Carballo (Arg)
The game’s been feeling great for the past few weeks. I have been pretty consistent. I played well when I came here for the ADT event two weeks ago too. I am feeling really confident for this week. I am excited too as this is my first Asian Tour event this year.
I like this course. It’s similar to the course where I used to play back home in Argentina. The conditions are similar. The course is pretty flat and tree-lined and you need to hit it straight off the tees. You need a lot of concentration on this course.
I had a lot of fun out there when I first came here two weeks ago. I want to just enjoy myself again this week. I feel really good coming back here. I have been travelling a lot over the last two months.
I went back home to Argentina after getting my Asian Tour card at the Qualifying School in January. I came back to Asia for my first ADT event in Brunei in March and haven’t been back home since. It has been a good run so far and I am enjoying it.
Yanwei Liu of China
Yanwei Liu (Chn)
This is the third time I am playing in this event. I like the course here. I had a good result last year where I came in top-10. It’s good to be back. The course is pretty narrow and it’s not that long. It suits my game. Tee shots will be important this week.
I remembered playing good off the tee for the entire week last year. I guess that is the key to playing well on this course. If you can do that, you should be able to do well out there.
My aim is to finish inside top-60 on the Habitat for Humanity Standings to secure my Asian Tour card for next season. Hopefully I can cap a good result this week to achieve that goal. I try my best to obtain the best result I can every week.
With the Asian Golf Classic on home soil coming up next week, I really hope to play well as these two events are really important for me.
About 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 Rolex (Official Timekeeper), Panasonic (Official Consumer Electronics), Habitat for Humanity (Official Sustainable Development Partner), ECCO (Official Footwear Sponsor), Titleist and FootJoy (Official Web Partner), Bloomberg TV (Official International Media Partner), Bloomberg Businessweek Chinese (Official International Media Partner), Wall Street Journal (Official International Media Partner) and Sentosa in Singapore which is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur.