The second edition of the City Bank American Express Chittagong Open got off to a cracking start with Bangladesh’s Md Sajib Ali sharing the top spot with three other golfers after the end of first round on Wednesday.
Sajib, Indian duo of Aman Raj, Harendra and Sri Lankan N Thangaraja all ended the first day with seven-under-par 65 at the scenic Bhatiary Golf & Country Club in Chittagong.
Another local golfer, Md Ismail was one shot off the lead in fifth place at the Tk 50 lakh event.
The tournament is jointly sanctioned by Professional Golf Tour India and Bangladesh Professional Golf Association and has been approved by Bangladesh Golf Federation.
Sajib, looking to improve on his tied 38th finish achieved at the first edition of the event last year, got his round going with a 12-feet birdie conversion on the fourth hole.
Sajib sank three more birdies on the front-nine, including a 25-footer on the seventh hole.
Sajib, who plays at the Kurmitola Golf Club in Dhaka, went on to produce a near-perfect approach shot on the 10th that resulted in a tap-in birdie.
He added two more birdies with long-range putts on the 11th and 16th to end up with a career-best 65 to the delight the home fans.
The Bangladesh golfer was ecstatic after his career best performance.
‘I’m delighted to shoot my lowest score ever. My putting was the best part of my game today [Wednesday],’ said Sajib.
‘Importantly, I kept myself out of trouble by finding all fairways and 15 greens in regulation. The 25-feet birdie conversion on the seventh was the highlight of my round. I drew a lot of confidence from that putt which in turn helped me raise my game further for the remaining part of the round.
‘It’s a great start to the week and gives me a solid foundation to build on. The course is in great shape this week. Reading the greens are not going to be easy here, so that will be my focus over the next three days,’ added Sajib, who turned pro just three years back.
Harendra soared to the top on the back of two eagles.
The Chandigarh golfer was level-par till the eighth but then conjured two eagles and four birdies against a lone bogey over the next 10 holes to climb into the joint lead.
Both his eagles came as a result of five-foot conversions on the 11th and 18th.
Md Zamal Hossain Mollah, the leading Bangladeshi golfer in the field, settled for an even-par-72 on day one to be placed tied 21st.
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