Siddikur ends title drought

Siddikur Rahman proudly holds the BTI Open 2016 trophy after beating compatriot Sajib Ali in a play-off on the final day at the Kurmitola Golf Club yesterday.

Bangladesh's ace golfer Siddikur Rahman ended a long drought of international success with a thrilling play-off victory in the inaugural BTI Open at the Kurmitola Golf Club in Dhaka yesterday. The two-time Asian Tour winner showed all his experience to stave off the challenge from his younger compatriot Sajib Ali in the play-off after both of them had finished 72 holes with matching scores of 15-under-par (273).
While Sajib, playing only his second international tournament since turning a pro a year ago, fluffed his chance for a birdie to take the play-off to the next hole, Siddikur managed to keep his calm and use his wealth of experience to convert a difficult putter for the title.
The 630,000-taka winner's cheque of this event, co-sanctioned by Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) and Bangladesh Professional Golfers' Association (BPGA), might not seem as much in monetary terms, but it will certainly be a much-needed confidence boost for the golfer, whose career had taken a downward spiral since the Hero Indian Open triumph in November, 2013, owing to a persistent back injury coupled with a loss of form.
The 31-year-old golfer said he was relieved to have finally broken the title-drought at his home course. “Feeling really delighted to win on home soil and winning a very important title after a long time. Everyone knows I struggled a bit during this time due to injury and lack of confidence. This was a big challenge for me and the field was not that easy either. So hopefully this win will augur well for me in international circuit in future,” the two-time Asian Tour winner told reporters.
The veteran golfer also reserved praise for Sajib. “I sincerely wished Sajib would win the title, because it would have helped his game a great deal and he also played outstandingly well. But I guess it wasn't to be. Probably my experience made the difference in the end,” said Siddikur.
27-year-old Sajib rued the missed chance, but was nevertheless happy to see the trophy stay at home. “I am obviously disappointed at not making it after coming so close. A win here would have earned me a three-year exemption at the PGTI. But I'm happy anyway that Siddikiur bhai won it and that the title remained in Bangladesh,” said Sajib.
Siddikur, who began the final round as the joint-leader along with India's Sujjan Singh, managed just two birdies against a bogey on the front-nine and briefly conceded the sole lead to Sujjan for a stretch of three holes. However, he kept it tight on the back-nine with a birdie and a bogey to take the match into a playoff as Sujjan fluffed his chance on the final hole of regulation play.
 
India's Ajeetesh Sandhu secured fourth place at 12-under-par (276) while his compatriot Deepinder Singh Kullar came in fifth. Bangladesh's Dulal Hossain finished tied sixth while Mohammad Nazim and Jamal Hossain Mollah tied at eighth.

source : the daily star

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