Chittagong: Md Siddikur Rahman, Bangladesh’s leading golfer, continued his domination at the City Bank American Express Chittagong Open thanks to a fiery five-under-67 in round three on Friday. Siddikur thus increased his lead from six to seven shots at the Bhatiary Golf & Country Club as his total stood at 14-under-202.
Sri Lankan Anura Rohana (68) occupied second place at seven-under-209 while the Indian trio of Khalin Joshi (69), Sanjeev Kumar (69) and Shamim Khan (69) were in joint third place at six-under-210.
Local favourite Siddikur (69-66-67), leading by six at the halfway stage, capitalized on the advantage with a sizzling 67 in the third round. The 32-year-old began the day with a bogey on the first but soon came roaring back with a terrific tee shot on the par-3 second where he landed it within a foot for a tap-in birdie.
The two-time Asian Tour winner added three more birdies on the front-nine thanks to some exquisite chipping. He chipped-in on the sixth and made up and down from the bunker on the fifth and eighth for his three birdies.
Siddikur went on to make his second birdie chip-in of the day on the 10th before adding three more birdies on the next eight holes at the expense of two bogeys.
Siddikur said, “I was really pleased with my ball-striking and chipping today. I’ve made three chip-in birdies so far this week including two in the third round. I also made some top-class chip-putts today. However, the highlight of my round was the tee shot on the second that stopped just a foot from the pin.
“The BGCC course is playing tough due to the windy conditions and I don’t feel that I have the advantage of local knowledge here since I’m playing at this magnificent venue after almost 16 years. The aim in the final round will be to play according to the situation by not getting too ahead of myself. I’ll follow my usual routine and not think too much about the scores,” added Rahman, who had produced the tournament’s lowest score of 66 during the second round.
Anura Rohana, who was overnight tied second, made an eagle, three birdies and a bogey en route his second round of 68, to end the day in sole second position at seven-under-209.
Khalin Joshi, Sanjeev Kumar and Shamim Khan, all of whom were also tied second at the halfway stage, slipped to tied third on Friday with matching scores of 69. Their total moved to six-under-210.
Md Zamal Hossain Mollah (77-71-69) was the second Bangladeshi player in the top-10. He was placed tied 10th at one-over-217 at the end of the penultimate round.