Rio-bound Siddikur ready to impress at King’s Cup

Siddikur RahmanPattaya, Thailand: Bangladeshi Siddikur Rahman is determined to wrap up his final warm-up for the Olympic Games with a good showing at the King’s Cup presented by PTT Group this week.

Siddikur became the first ever Bangladeshi to qualify for the Olympics Games on merit after cementing his status as one of the top 60 players for next month’s tournament in Rio de Janeiro.

But before departing for Brazil, Siddikur, who will be the flagbearer for Bangladesh at the Games’ opening ceremony, is hoping for a slice of personal glory at the King’s Cup which starts at the Phoenix Gold Golf and Country Club on Thursday.

“I want to do well at the King’s Cup so that I’ll head into the Olympics with a lot of confidence.

“That’s why this is also a very important week for me,” said Siddikurm who will leave for Rio next Tuesday.

While Siddikur is looking forward to a good showing at the King’s Cup, he is also cautious of aggravating his back which has been his Achilles heel for a long time.

“My back is good and I’m really managing myself well. I struggled a bit a few years back but now, it’s good.

“So far, there has been no problem, I’m enjoying my golf and I really want to thank god for that,” said Siddikur.

Fellow Olympian Miguel Tabuena of the Philippines is also using the King’s Cup as his last preparation event before he heads to the world’s greatest sporting spectacle.

“I’m very excited about going to Rio next week. It’s always an honour to represent my country.

“I always represent my country whenever I play but it’s a bit more special now as this is the Olympics and it’s the biggest sporting event in the world,” said Tabuena.

Tabuena, who is currently fourth on the Asian Tour Order of Merit, has been enjoying a rich vein of form since his maiden breakthrough on home soil last year.

He already has two top-five finishes in Singapore and Malaysia this year and made his dream debut at the U.S. Open after topping the sectional qualifiers last month.

“I never join a tournament thinking that I cannot win. This is my last tournament before the Olympics.

“My game is in a really good place now. It would be nice to win this week as that would give me a huge confidence boost in Rio,” said Tabuena.

Thailand’s Thaworn Wiratchant can meanwhile scupper Siddikur and Tabuena chances of winning the King’s Cup as he is ready to mount a stout defence of his title.

Thaworn’s 18th Asian Tour victory at the King’s Cup in 2014 was also his last and he makes no bones about returning to the winner’s circle again.

“The King’s Cup is a very special event. It’s the pride of Thailand which we are fighting for and this will further motivate me to play well.

“I want to win the trophy again and keep it on home soil again,” said the 49-year-old.

For the first time in the history of the King’s Cup, the tournament will be sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour and local viewers will get the chance to catch all four days of live action on the TrueVisions network in Thailand.

The field for the King’s Cup will comprise of 90 players from the Asian Tour, 25 from The European Tour, 25 from Thailand PGA and 16 invite spots.

Prize money earned from the tournament will count towards the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit and also on the Race to Dubai ranking on The European Tour.