Bangladeshi golfer Zamal Hossain Mollah’s chance of winning his maiden Asian Tour title suffered a blow when he slipped to joint seventh place of the AB Bank Bangladesh Open with one-over-par 71 at the Kurmitola Golf Course on Friday.
Zamal, who finished the second round of the $3,00,000 event at joint top with an immaculate eight-under-par 134, was now sharing the seventh position with Divyanshu Bajaj of India with a total score of seven-under-par 206.
He will now start the fourth and final day with three shots behind of joint leaders Jack Harrison of England and Mithun Perera of Sri Lanka.
Ben Campbell of New Zealand finished the third round with total nine-under-par 204 while Malcolm Kokocinski of Sweden and Suttijet Kooratanapisan of Thailand were sharing the fourth position with eight-under-par 205.
Zamal, who played a brilliant six-under-par 65 to take the lead on the second day, made a poor start in the third round by conceding a double bogey in the very third hole.
However, he recovered well by firing two successive birdies in the sixth and seventh holes.
Zamal hit another birdie in the 11th hole but he took too much pressure in the 15th and 16th and conceded two birdies.
Zamal blamed poor tees were the reason behind his poor performance in the third round.
‘My tees were not accurate today [Friday] and I failed to put the balls in the green properly so that I had to concede one double bogey and two more bogeys,’ Zamal said after the end of third day’s play.
‘To be honest I felt no extra-pressure to keep my top position intact. I just failed to make good tees today [Friday].’
Zamal, however, didn’t lose his hope of winning the title.
‘Anything can happen on the final day as all top 10 golfers have a chance to win the title,’ said Zamal, who finished runners-up in an Asian Development Tournament at the same course two weeks ago.
‘I performed really well in the first two days and the third day was a bad day for me.
‘Look, I squandered a seven-shot lead to Perera today [Friday], who put some brilliant effort to take the top spot.
‘So in golf, there is nothing to lose until the last shot. I will try my best to make a good start tomorrow [Saturday] and I’m confident of winning the title.’
Perera, who have been playing at the Kurmitola Gold Course since 2005, said he will also give his best to win his maiden Asian Tour title.
‘It’s a familiar course for me because I had played here since 2005 and played in so many tournaments.
‘I enjoyed Bangladesh because the people are very enthusiastic over golf and they are very much supportive sometime more than Sri Lanka. So I will give my best to earn something from Bangladesh.
‘But there is no room for me to be relaxed as anyone can win the title from the top 10 and especially Zamal is hot favourite in this course. So I expect an exciting last day.’
Meanwhile, except Zamal no other local golfers including two-time Asian Tour winner Siddikur Rahman have any realistic chance of winning the title on the final day.
Siddik played a two-under par 70 in the third round to share the 19th position with Paul Harris of USA and another local golfer Badal Hossain with an equal total of two-under-par 211.