Dhaka, Bangladesh, April 4: Tour rookie Sadom Kaewkanjana of Thailand stole the limelight after carding his personal-best round of a nine-under-par 62 to storm to the top of the leaderboard, seizing the halfway lead at the Bangabandhu Cup Golf Open on Thursday.
The 20-year-old Thai, who came through the 2019 Asian Tour Qualifying School last December, fired an eagle and eight birdies against a bogey to grab a three-shot lead with his 15-under-par 127 total at the highly-rated Kurmitola Golf Club.
Sadom’s commendable round saw him set the lowest 18-hole and 36-hole scores in the National Open of Bangladesh. His three-shot advantage is also the largest halfway lead recorded in the tournament, which is celebrating its fifth edition on the Asian Tour this week.
In-form Rashid Khan of India returned with a bogey-free 64 in the afternoon to grab second place on his own while overnight leader Maverick Antcliff of Australia slipped six shots off the pace to third following a battling 70 at the US$350,000 Asian Tour event.
Local hero Siddikur Rahman emerged as the highest-placed Bangladeshi on the leaderboard after posting a 68 to share fourth place with Japan’s Mikumu Horikawa (67) and Viraj Madappa of India (66) on matching 134s.
Starting from the 10th, Sadom reeled in two straight pars before a birdie on the 12th sparked a hot streak which saw him go five-under in the next four holes. He dropped a shot on the 17th hole but would gain it back swiftly with a birdie on 18th to turn in 30.
Sadom went on to add three more birdies on his back nine to cap a superb round, which saw him navigate his way around the greens in only 24 putts, including a 13-footer for eagle on the par-five 14th hole.
A total of 70 players, including a record number of 12 local professionals, survived the halfway cut set at one-over-par 143.
The Bangabandhu Cup Golf Open 2019 welcomed a new title sponsor in the National Bank Ltd, a public limited bank in Bangladesh. The tournament has been named in honour of the father of the nation of Bangladesh, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Did you know?
- Sadom Kaewkanjana secured his 2019 Asian Tour card in his first attempt at the Qualifying School last December.
- Sadom, who turned professional at the end of 2018, broke through on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) after claiming his first professional victory at the Thongchai Jaidee Foundation in February.
- The 20-year-old Thai enjoyed a tied-sixth finish on the Asian Tour when he played the 2018 Queen’s Cup presented by Bangchak as an amateur last year.
- Sadom enjoyed an illustrious amateur career prior to joining the play-for-pay ranks. He was ranked as high as 10th position on the Official World Amateur Rankings and his amateur wins include the 2017 Malaysian Amateur Open, 2017 All Indian Amateur and the 2018 Dutch International Junior Open. Also won the 2017 Singha Pattaya Open on his domestic circuit as an amateur.
- Sadom is making his first start on the Asian Tour this season. He first played at the Kurmitola Golf Club four years ago for the 30th Bangladesh Amateur Golf Championship where he came in second.
- Rashid Khan, who turned professional in 2010, is a two-time winner on the Asian Tour. He won twice in Thailand and India in 2014.
- Khan has been enjoying a good run of form since winning on his domestic circuit in Mumbai last December. He won again in Bangladesh last month before claiming a solid top-10 finish at the Hero Indian Open last week.
- Maverick Antcliff enjoyed a tied-fourth place finish when he made his Asian Tour debut at the Asian Golf Championship in China two years ago.
- Antcliff secured his 2018 Asian Tour card in what was his first attempt at the Qualifying School. The Australian, however, failed to keep his card for 2019 after finishing outside of top-60 on the Habitat for Humanity Standings.
- Antcliff is making his debut appearance at the Bangabandhu Cup Golf Open this week. It will be his third Asian Tour start this season. He missed the halfway cuts in his last two starts in Perth and New Zealand.
- Siddikur Rahman marked the best ever result produced by a Bangladeshi at the 2017 Bangladesh Open. He birdied the 18th hole to close with a five-under-par 66 and a 13-under-par 271 total, finishing four shots shy of winner Jazz to take second place on his own.
- The Kurmitola Golf Club is the home course of Siddikur, who used to work as a ball boy at the club to support his studies. He is currently attached to Kurmitola Golf Club as an honorary member.
- Siddikur became the first player from Bangladesh to win on the Asian Tour when he emerged victorious at the Brunei Open in 2010. Also became the first sportsman from his country to qualify for the 2016 Olympics on merit and was accorded the honour of becoming Bangladesh’s flagbearer during the opening ceremony in Rio de Janeiro.
- Two weeks ago, Siddikur finished tied-15th at the lucrative Maybank Championship in Malaysia. He sits in 18th place on the Merit rankings.
Sadom Kaewkanjana (THA) – Second round 62 (-9), Total 127 (-15)
My goal today was just to shoot under-par. I didn’t expect to play so well. I am really happy. My putting is very good. I got off to a solid start. I had a great run from the 12th hole. I was just hitting fairways and greens and then making putts. It felt great.
It’s my first time playing this tournament but I have played here before when I was still an amateur four years ago. I played at the Bangladesh Amateur Open. I like this course. It’s in a good condition. It’s not too long and you just need to hit it straight off the tees.
I am really excited now. It’s been a good journey so far since I turned professional. I don’t think there’s much difference being a pro and an amateur. I just want to enjoy and not think so much about making money. Just play my game and be happy on course.
Winning on the ADT has given me a lot of confidence in my game. It feels good to be in the lead after two rounds in my first Asian Tour start this season too. I hope to continue my good form over the next two days and see how it goes.
Rashid Khan (Ind) – Second round 64 (-7), Total 130 (-12)
It was a good round. The way I started was great. I missed the greens on my first three holes but managed to make up and downs for pars. Made a really long putt for birdie on fifth. I think it’s about a 20-footer. I carried on that good momentum and birdied sixth and seventh and made another one on ninth to turn in four-under.
I made some good putts after the turn. Just rolled past the hole. I hit it to about two-feet on the 13th and made another birdie there. Made up and down for birdies on 14th too. Overall, it’s a good round. I made a lot of up and downs and I holed some putts. Hit one or two bad shots but I recovered really well.
I tried my best today. Just three shots back now so I think it will be a good fight over the next two days. I have never played well on this course. This is my best round here. I took out my three-iron and put in a gab-wedge today. That’s the only difference compared to yesterday.
I felt good coming back to Bangladesh. I won a tournament here about three weeks ago, although on a different course. I played good golf there and I shot 24-under total to win by seven shots. I felt the good vibes coming back to Bangladesh. It has given me a lot of confidence.
It’s been awhile since I last won on the Asian Tour. It’s always been at the back of my mind, to win on the Asian Tour again. I will just play the same tomorrow, give myself chances and keep trying my best.
Maverick Antcliff (Aus) – Second round 70 (-1), Total 133 (-9)
It was alright. I was hitting it nicely at the start. Just got into a bit of trouble on the 17th and 18th holes. A couple of three-putts there but played really nicely on the fifth and sixth. Unfortunately, three-putted from 12 feet to bogey the eighth hole coming in but overall, it was still pretty solid.
Wind was up a little bit but that was expected every afternoon. I made a nice birdie on 10th which got me settled down for a little bit. I hit a nice shot to about six feet and then on the 12th, I hit a nice shot to about two-feet for birdie too.
Siddikur Rahman (Ban) – Second round 68 (-3), Total 134 (-8)
It was another good round, except for the last hole. I made a silly bogey there. But I have no complaints, it was a wonderful day. I am happy to shoot eight-under for the first two days here. I am happy with the way I played.
I putted well today. I am hitting the ball good too. Making putts will be the key to score this week. I wish to keep to the same rhythm, nothing changes. I am hoping for the best. Hopefully I can keep up with my fitness for the next two days.
My family and friends are out here to support me. I feel energized to see them and they kept me going out there. It’s good to see our local boys doing well. I can see that they are getting more experienced now. It’s happy to see how the development of golf in Bangladesh has grown.
Scores after round 2 of the Bangabandhu Cup Golf Open being played at the par 71, 6642 Yards Kurmitola GC course (am – denotes amateur):
127 – Sadom Kaewkanjana (THA) 65-62.
130 – Rashid Khan (IND) 66-64.
133 – Maverick Antcliff (AUS) 63-70.
134 – Mikumu Horikawa (JPN) 67-67, Siddikur Rahman (BAN) 66-68, Viraj Madappa (IND) 68-66.
135 – Settee Prakongvech (THA) 65-70, Berry Henson (USA) 68-67, Jack Harrison (ENG) 68-67, Akbar Hossain (BAN) 67-68.
136 – Jazz Janewattananond (THA) 65-71, Md. Nazim (BAN) 67-69, Ajeetesh Sandhu (IND) 70-66, Trevor Simsby (USA) 66-70, Daniel Fox (AUS) 69-67, Poom Pattaropong (THA) 67-69, Md. Sajib Ali (BAN) 66-70, Karandeep Kochhar (IND) 69-67.
137 – Wei-lun Wang (TPE) 65-72, Rory Hie (INA) 67-70, Danny Masrin (INA) 68-69.
138 – Jesse Yap (SIN) 72-66, Md. Zamal H. Mollah (BAN) 72-66, Prayad Marksaeng (THA) 68-70, Kwanchai Tannin (THA) 70-68, Heungchol Joo (KOR) 68-70, Veer Ahlawat (IND) 67-71, Pawin Ingkhapradit (THA) 69-69.
139 – Md. M. Sayum (BAN) 68-71, Muaj Mohammad (BAN) 65-74, Chris Rodgers (ENG) 69-70, Yu-chen Yeh (TPE) 70-69, Tomoharu Otsuki (JPN) 72-67, Udayan Mane (IND) 70-69, Yanwei Liu (CHN) 71-68.
140 – Akshay Sharma (IND) 72-68, Kerry Sweeney (USA) 69-71, Ben Geyer (USA) 72-68, Hongtaek Kim (KOR) 70-70.
For full results, please click here.
About Asian Tour
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