Dhaka, February 4: Local hero Siddikur extended his lead by eight strokes after the second round of the Grameenphone Bangladesh Masters courtesy of some glorious putting on Friday.
Siddikur posted a flawless round of seven-under-par 65 for a two-day total of 13-under-par 131 to tighten his grip in the US$75,000 Asian Development Tour event.
His compatriot Md. A. Motin battled to a 71 for a 139 total while Japanese Hirotaro Naito and Bangladeshis Md Liton Howlader and Md. Zamal Hossain Mollah shared third place on matching 140s at the Kurmitola Golf Club.
Siddikur, the first Bangladeshi to play and win on the Asian Tour, turned in 32 before adding three birdies on his homeward nine. His birdies were all within the region of six to 10 feet and he was beaming with confidence with his distant lead.
“It was an excellent day with another great day of putting. I played very well in the first round and that gave me more confidence to go out and just shoot another low number,” said Siddikur, winner of the Brunei Open on the elite Asian Tour last season.
“If I continue to play like how I did, I believe it will be very easy for me to win. I’m feeling confident and feel like I have one hand on the trophy,” he added.
Motin, who learned his golf swing by swinging with a tree branch, continued his dream run with six birdies against five bogeys. He admitted that it will be an uphill task to narrow the deficit on the number one golfer in Bangladesh.
“Siddikur is the best golfer in the country and it will be difficult to chase his score. But you never know as anything can happen in golf. I’m going to go all out and attack because I got nothing to lose. I just need to work on my iron shots,” said the 39-year-old.
Japanese Naito was disappointed with his wayward tee shots as he struggled to close in on Siddikur.
“I’m not happy with what I shot. I’m nine strokes behind Siddikur and need to be on attack mode. My iron shots and putting were working but my tee shots let me down. You need to be accurate on this golf course as the fairways are narrow,” said Naito, who finished in tied 16th place at the Asian Tour Qualifying School Final stage last month.
Thailand’s Tommy Mansuwan, who has been based in the United States for the past 23 years, was delighted to recover from his opening 76 with a second round 69 highlighted by four birdies against one bogey to place him in tied 15th place.
“I played pretty well yesterday. I hit it well, a lot better than my score but I made two costly mistakes but other than that I tried to do the same thing today. Tried not to be too greedy and it worked well for me,” said the 29-year-old who is searching for his first career victory.
A total of 58 players made the halfway cut which was set at 10-over-par 154.
The Grameenphone Bangladesh Masters is the curtain raiser for the 2011 Asian Development Tour. The top three players on the Order of Merit at the end of the season will earn their Asian Tour cards for 2012.
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 already staged in Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia and Chinese Taipei.
Leading second round scores
131 – Siddikur (BAN) 66-65
139 – Md. A. MOTIN (BAN) 68-71
140 – Hirotaro NAITO (JPN) 70-70, Md. Liton HOWLADER (BAN) 69-71, Md. Zamal Hossain MOLLAH (BAN) 72-68
141 – Md. Milon AHMED (BAN) 72-69, Yosuke TSUKADA (JPN) 70-71
142 – Md. Sayum MIAH (BAN) 70-72
143 – Justin BRINK (IRL) 71-72, Bryan SALTUS (USA) 71-72, Rizal AMIN (MAS) 70-73, Ross CANAVAN (ENG) 71-72
144 – Md. Rezaul KARIM (BAN) 74-70, Takafumi KAWANE (JPN) 73-71
145 – Tommy MANSUWAN (THA) 76-69, Masaki SAKATA (JPN) 76-69, Kenichi SAWADA (JPN) 74-71, Neil REILLY (ENG) 72-73
For further information, please contact Doyle De Costa at the media centre at +880-1740401413.
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, ETV, Srixon and Diamond World Limited. 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.