Bangladesh’s trailblasing golfer Siddikur Rahman signed for a flawless five-under-par 67 and stayed a one-shot behind to grab the lead with Thai player Suradit Yongcharoenchai after the opening round of the US$400,000 Panasonic Open India (POI) on Thursday.
The 33-year-old Siddikur, a two-time Asian Tour (AT) winner, returned with a bogey-free round highlighted by five birdies and shared the second slot with local hopes Ajeetesh Sandhu and Tapy Ghai.
Siddikur has an impressive track record at the par-72 in a 6935-yard Delhi Golf Club course where he won his second AT title in 2013, finished inside top-10 on four occasions of his five attempts in the POI and secured six top-10s in other AT events.
“It was an excellent day out there. I hit the ball good and my putting was great as well… I don’t think there’ll be any changes in my game plan moving forward. I hope to continue playing the same way I did today,” said Siddkur.
“I’ve a lot of great memories on this golf course. I won on this course five years ago and I’ve played well here on several other occasions. I always think about all these good memories whenever I come to play here. It always inspires me,” the star golfer of Bangladesh added.
Placing 97th on the latest Habitat for Humanity Standings, Siddikur needs to put together a strong showing at the POI to boost his Merit rankings where he needs to finish inside top-60 at the end of the season to retain his playing rights for 2019.
Among other Bangladesh’s golfers, Shakhawat Hossain Sohel — won PGM Miri Championship in September in Malaysia for his maiden Asian Development Tour (ADT) title – and Zamal Hossain Mollah – the joint 7th place finisher in an ADT event AB Bank Bangladesh Open at home in May – carded matching even-par 72 opening to share the 46th place with 14 other golfers.
Another Bangladesh player, Dulal Hossain, carded four-over-par 76 to share the 104th place with four other golfers. unb