Local hero Siddikur Rahman grabbed the halfway lead of the inaugural Tk 50 lakh City Bank American Express Dhaka Open by five shots with a superb six-under-par 66 at the Kurmitola Golf Course on Thursday.
The two-time Asian Tour winner, who started the second round with a one-shot deficit, fired seven birdies against a bogey to move to the top of the leaderboard with a total 10-under-par 134.
Another local golfer Shakhwat Hossain Sohel, who ended the first round on top, had a poor second round as he slipped to joint fourth with a one-over-par 73 along with compatriot Akbar Hossain and Sweden’s Malcolm Kokociniski.
Indian duo Shankar Das and Rahul Bajaj carded matching 68s to share second place.
India’s Shamim Khan, Kapil Kumar and local prospect Zamal Hossain Mollah were tied in seventh place on 141 following equal rounds of 69s.
Siddik, who had claimed his first Asian Development Tour title at the same venue with a remarkable 12-stroke victory in 2011, took advantage of his course knowledge again to put up another great display on home soil.
‘I’ve done really well over the first two days, having kept the errors out of my game under tough conditions. My putter was hot today as I made three long birdie conversions including one from just off the green on 17,’ said the 33-year old golfer.
‘I managed to capitalise on all the four par-fives, making birdies on each one of them. I’ve now put myself in a good position to have a shot at the title.
‘I’m really hungry to win in front of my home crowd once again. The key would be to keep my calm over the next two days.’
Siddik has been honing his skills for the past 19 years at the Kurmitola Golf Club where he has also worked as a ball boy to support his studies before turning professional in 2007.
Siddik also lauded the launch of the tournament on the Asian Development Tour schedule.
‘The City Bank American Express Dhaka Open will go a long way in unearthing more golfing talent from Bangladesh. I’m really looking forward to see other Bangladesh players performing well this week,’ Siddik said.
The halfway cut was set at five-over-par 149 with a total of 58 players progressing into the final two rounds.
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