KUMAR SEEKS REVIVAL AT THE AB BANK BANGLADESH OPEN

Chiragh Kumar of India

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Dhaka, May 8: India’s Chiragh Kumar will be looking to recover from his dip in form with a strong showing at the US$300,000 AB Bank Bangladesh Open which starts on Wednesday.

Kumar, a one-time Asian Tour winner, battled against a wrist injury at the start of the season but believes he can reproduce the magic when he returns to the Kurmitola Golf Club for the event where he came in tied-fourth last year.

The 34-year-old Kumar, who has not make a single cut in five starts this season, found out he had developed a cyst in his right wrist earlier this year but reckoned he is well on the road to recovery after seeking help from physiotherapists.

Talented Thai duo Danthai Boonma and Poom Saksansin will also looking to pick up their first win this season at the AB Bank Bangladesh Open, which is celebrating its fourth consecutive edition on the region’s premier Tour this week.

Coming off the back of a career-first top-10 finish on the Asian Tour, American John Catlin hopes to ride on his fine form for another standout performance at the Kurmitola Golf Club, where he capped a tied-eighth place finish on the Asian Development Tour two weeks ago.

Siddikur Rahman, who emerged as the best local performer after finishing second last year, will spearhead a strong local contingent which consists of 43 professionals and six amateurs. They will take aim at keeping the trophy on home soil for the first time since the event was inaugurated in 2015.

Did you know?

  • Chiragh Kumar earned his career breakthrough on the Asian Tour when he won the Panasonic Open India at the Delhi Golf Club in 2015.
  • Kumar enjoyed a tied-fourth place finish at the 2017 Bangladesh Open. He came in joint runner-up at the Panasonic Open India later that year to finish 41st on the Order of Merit, retaining his card for the 2018 season.
  • Kumar was part of the Indian national amateur team, which included 2015 Asian Tour Order of Merit champion Anirban Lahiri and eight-time Asian Tour winner Gaganjeet Bhullar, who won the team silver medal in the 2006 Doha Asian Games.
  • The 34-year-old Kumar, father of one, is also the chairman of the Asian Tour Tournament Players Committee.
  • Danthai Boonma is a one-time winner on the Asian Tour. His breakthrough victory came at the World Classic Championship in Singapore in 2015.
  • Danthai enjoyed four top-10s on the Asian Tour in 2017, with his best finish at the Thailand Open where he came in fifth.
  • Danthai is a double gold medalist at the 2012 South East Asia (SEA) Games.
  • Danthai got off to a great start this season when he finished tied-fourth at the Singapore Open in January to earn for himself a coveted spot at The Open this July. It will be his Major debut.
  • Poom Saksansin is a two-time winner on the Asian Tour and a one-time winner on the Asian Development Tour (ADT).
  • Poom claimed his second Asian Tour title in India last August and finished in a career-high eighth position on the Merit rankings to earn a maiden appearance at the 2018 EurAsiaCup where he represented Team Asia.
  • Poom is making his third appearance at the AB Bank Bangladesh Open this week. He has failed to make the cut when he last played in 2015 and 2016.
  • John Catlin is a proud graduate of the ADT. He ended the 2017 season in third place on the final Order of Merit and secured his playing rights on the Asian Tour for the 2018 season. He is a two-time winner on the secondary circuit.
  • Catlin enjoyed four top-10 finishes in five starts on the ADT this season, including a tied-eighth place finish at the Kurmitola Golf Club two weeks ago. He sits in second place on the latest ADT Order of Merit.
  • Catlin secured his first ever top-10 result on the Asian Tour after finishing in eighth place on his own at The 37th GS Caltex Maekyung Open Golf Championship in Korea last week.

Players’ quotes:

Chiragh Kumar (Ind)

I haven’t really played well so far this season. I am just looking to regain some confidence coming back to play here. I like the course and I played well last year. The course is in great shape. It’s playing softer than last year but it’s still in good condition. This is a ‘placement’ golf course. The greens are soft and tiny so it’s important to place your ball on the right spots.

I have had my fair share of injury troubles since the start of the year but I am looking forward to this week now. I have been down and out, hoping to get my season started. I hope things will pick up from here onwards.

I developed a cyst in my right wrist sometime last year but I only got to know about it this year. The pain in my wrist started when I was playing in Malaysia earlier in February. I had to miss a few events prior to this week.

Having said that, I am feeling a lot better now, physically. Hopefully my game gets better as well. I have been doing physiotherapy for my wrist. No need for surgery as of now. I am hoping not to go under the knife. The treatment has been helping so far.

It’s great to see Indian players doing well all over the world. It just shows how strong our domestic Tour is. All of us came out from there. The competition is good. If you play well there, you can play well anywhere.

A lot of motivation and confidence for me as well, seeing Shubhankar Sharma, Shiv Kapur and Rahil Gangjee winning and Ajeetesh Sandhu, Gaganjeet Bhullar finishing well last week. We are enjoying a good couple of years for Indian golf. Hopefully I can be part of that.

Danthai Boonma (Tha)

The course is looking good. The conditions have improved from two years ago when I last played here. Hopefully the weather holds up this week. It’s been a little gloomy. The game’s feeling good. You got to hit it straight here and putt well to score on this course.

I had a good start to the season, finishing top-five in Singapore to secure a spot at The Open in July. The game’s been feeling good since although it didn’t really show in my results. I guess I just need to sharpen up my short game as they would be the key to play well.

Poom Saksansin (Tha)

I haven’t been playing well. I am not feeling confident with my game as of now but I hope things will change with a good showing to regain my confidence this week. I don’t know why the dip in form recently but I guess this is golf, sometimes you play well, sometimes you don’t.

This is my third attempt here. I have never made the cut before but I hope I can change the record this week. I haven’t set any targets for myself. I just want to make the halfway cut first. This is a tight course and not very long which suits my game I think.

John Catlin (Usa)

I had an awesome week in Korea last week. I have been working very hard over the last couple of years and it feels great to finish inside top-10 on the Asian Tour. To be able to come out and perform like I know I can with all the work I’m putting in, it really gives me a lot of confidence moving forward. I am excited to see what is installed for me this year.

There are a lot of good players on the Asian Tour. I always like the challenge to step up my game. I am just going to use the top-10 result last week to work harder on my game. My short game was on point last week.

I am excited to be back in Bangladesh. I was just here the week before for the ADT tournament where I finished tied-eighth. I am feeling very confident. I am just going to head out and see how I fair this week. Just have to keep going and hopefully I can ride on the good form.

Ends.

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.

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