Dhaka: The Bangladeshi trio of Md Dulal Hossain, Md Siddikur Rahman and Md Sajib Ali dominated round one of the inaugural BTI Open as they occupied the top three places on the leaderboard at their home course, the Kurmitola Golf Club in Dhaka.
While Md Dulal Hossain seized the lead with a sparkling seven-under-65, Md Siddikur Rahman and Md Sajib Ali were a shot behind in tied second at the INR 35 lakh event.
Bengaluru’s Udayan Mane and Delhi’s Pratap Atwal led the Indian charge on day one with promising scores of five-under-67 that placed them tied fourth.
Dulal mixed nine birdies with two bogeys on Wednesday. Dulal came up with four straight birdies from the fifth through the eighth to set the tone for the day.
Dulal said, “I got off to a good start with a birdie today and that put me in a good frame of mind. I just took all my opportunities thereafter. The four consecutive birdies gave me a lot of confidence that translated into a solid back-nine. There’s a long way to go with three rounds remaining and a lot of good players are up there in the top-10. It’ll be all about capitalizing on the good start from here on.”
Two-time Asian Tour winner Siddikur Rahman, who has been struggling for form on the Asian Tour this year, produced his best score of the season so far, a six-under-66, to live up to his reputation of being one of the pre-tournament favourites. Rahman put up an outstanding display of ball-striking coupled with some consistent putting to make three birdies each on either side of the turn.
His longest putt of the day was the 20-feet birdie conversion on the 13th while the highlight of his round was the birdie chip-in on the 14th.
“It’s great to start the week with a bogey-free round. I’m delighted to have shot such a low score after a long time. I’ve not been playing too well of late but would love to turn it around with a good performance this week,” said the 31-year-old Siddikur.
He added, “I won’t put too much pressure on myself this week and will just treat every round like practice. My driving was the best part of my game today. It set up the early birdies for me. The chip-in on 14 was my best birdie today and gave me the momentum going into the second round.”
Md Sajib Ali joined Siddikur in tied second thanks to a round punctuated by nine birdies and three bogeys.
Udayan Mane, the 2015 PGTI Emerging Player of the Year, armed with a hot putter, strung together six birdies and a lone bogey during his opening round of 67. Mane’s round featured four straight birdies from the 14th to 17th. The 25-year-old sank four putts from a range of 15 to 25 feet on Wednesday.
“I made some changes in my swing at the start of the season and I feel those changes might just begin to produce the desired results soon. I feel I was expecting a bit too much from myself at the start of this season after a fabulous rookie season last year. But I’ve now decided to just enjoy myself on the course and not think too much about the results,” said Mane, a two-time winner on the PGTI in 2015.