Sadom Kaewkanjana of Thailand
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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.
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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.
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