Dhaka, February 2: Local hope Md. Zamal Hossain Mollah hopes his home course knowledge will propel him to glory at the inaugural Grameenphone Bangladesh Masters which starts on Thursday.
Zamal, the 2009 Bangladesh Open champion, will be inspired to chase his dream of winning the US$75,000 Asian Development Tour event at the Kurmitola Golf Club.
The Grameenphone Bangladesh Masters is the curtain raiser for the new 2011 Asian Development Tour season where the top three players on the Order of Merit at the end of the season will be rewarded with their Asian Tour cards for 2012.
Local hero Siddikur, the first player to play and win on the Asian Tour, will headline the event with former national team captain Shakhawat. They will be joined by a strong cast including Lindsay Renolds of Canada, Malaysian Rizal Amin and former European Tour player Neil Reilly of England.
Zamal was delighted to be playing in the first ever Asian Development Tour event on home soil and knows a victory this week will be life changing.
“I know this course very well and I’m going to do my best. Of course it will be a dream come true to win here. I think it is everyone’s goal to win,” said the 25-year-old.
Zamal previously worked as a caddy at the Kurmitola Golf Club before getting bitten by the golf bug. He was eventually roped into the national team and has continued to blossom ever since.
“When Siddikur won on the Asian Tour, it sparked further development in the sport in Bangladesh. Suddenly, sponsors were more interested in the sport and now we have the first ever Asian Development Tour event. Things have really turned around for the better in the sport and I hope to reap the benefits from it,” said Zamal.
Thai-based Renolds, 24, missed out on the top-40 of the Asian Tour Qualifying School Final Stage last month and hopes to make amends this week.
“It would be great to win the Asian Development Tour Order of Merit as anybody would love to. But you got to be patient. I feel my game is good enough to do it and I need to believe in myself,” said the former Canadian national team player.
The slightly built golfer has been living in Phuket for the past 10 years and is resolved of plying his trade in Asia.
“Asia is my home and I don’t plan to leave Asia. If I can play in any tournaments in Asia, I’ll be happy. My game is getting better and if I play and manage well, then ultimately the result will show,” said Renolds.
The burly Rizal, who has been based in the United States for the past 17 years, believes astute tee shots will be the key to a good result.
“I got to use a lot of three woods. The course is short but tight and tricky. If you hit fairways then you will be alright,” said the 27-year-old.
He posted a solid opening 69 at the Qualifying School Final Stage before fading with an 82 as he struggled with illness and is now eyeing to emulate the success of country S. Siva Chandhran and Akhmal Tarmizee where they finished first and third place on the Order of Merit last season.
“Those guys showed that the Asian Development Tour is a stepping stone for players such as myself. Seeing them playing well makes you want to follow in their footsteps and hopefully get your Tour card,” said Rizal.
The Asian Development Tour, structured along the lines of the Nationwide Tour in the United States and European Challenge Tour, was launched in 2010 with tournaments staged in Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia and Chinese Taipei.
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About the Grameenphone Bangladesh Masters
The Grameenphone Bangladesh Masters is the first tournament in Bangladesh to be held on the Asian Development Tour. It is title sponsored by Grameenphone Ltd., the leading telecom operator of Bangladesh. The other co-sponsors of the US$75,000 event played at the Kurmitola Golf Club are; Aamra Group, Eastern Bank Ltd, Farid Group, Meghna Group, Pink City, Hotel Radission Water Garden, Bangla Perfume, Pepsi and ETV. These companies/ organizations well reputed and leading entrepreneurs in their respective fields of business. They are all associated with different sports and other social corporate responsibilities.
About the Asian Development Tour
The Asian Development Tour was launched in 2010 with the aim of creating a career pathway for professional golfers in Asia. Sanctioned by the Asian Tour, the Asian Development Tour will ultimately create a new playing platform for emerging stars from across Asia and around the world. Through the AsianTourQualifyingSchool, players will qualify for the Asian Development Tour and enjoy the opportunity to hone their games and talent through a secondary circuit in Asia. Designed in the same structure as the Nationwide Tour in America and European Challenge Tour, the Asian Development Tour is a stepping stone to the Asian Tour and the exciting world of international golf. The Asian Development Tour has been structured to ensure the best opportunities for its members. The leading three players on the Asian Development Tour will earn coveted Asian Tour cards for the following season, ensuring a proper career pathway for aspiring professionals.