Rashid Khan completes domination with final round heroics at Bhatiary; Rashid becomes first Indian to capture City Bank American Express Chittagong Open title

Rashid Khan WinnerIndia’s Rashid Khan completed his domination of the City Bank American Express Chittagong Open 2019 with his final round heroics at the Bhatiary Golf & Country Club (BGCC) on Saturday. The 28-year-old Rashid (65-66-70-63), the third round leader by two shots, produced a sizzling nine-under-63, the tournament’s best round, on day four, to win with a record total of 24-under-264 and an impressive seven-shot victory margin.

Khan thus became the first Indian to capture the City Bank American Express Chittagong Open title as the first two editions of the tournament were won by Bangladesh’s Md Siddikur Rahman and Sri Lanka’s N Thangaraja. Interestingly, Rashid’s last round 63 was just one short of compatriot and close friend Kapil Kumar’s course record from last year.

Khan’s 24-under-264 total happens to be the lowest ever winning score achieved at the BGCC. The previous best was N Thangaraja’s 22-under-266 recorded at the second edition of the City Bank American Express Chittagong Open last year.      

Rashid’s victory at the BDT 47.40 lakh (INR 40 lakh) event, accounted for his 11th success at the professional level. He had won his last tournament in December 2018 at Mumbai where he ended a two-year title drought.

Eighteen-year-old rookie Kshitij Naveed Kaul of India bagged his career-best finish as he claimed the second position at 17-under-271 after the fourth round of 68. Kaul, playing only his sixth event as a professional, now has two back-to-back top-5 finishes on the PGTI.

The Delhi-based Rashid, who led the tournament in all three previous rounds, was relentless from the very start on day four as he opened the day with a birdie on the first and followed that up with three more on the front-nine. Khan then made three consecutive birdies on the 10th, 11th, and 12thto all but seal the title. The two-time Asian Tour winner finally achieved the lowest ever winning score at BGCC with birdies on the 16th and 17th.

Rashid said, “I got off to a great start this morning and just kept the momentum going. The putts rolled in for me today and I also capitalized on the par-5s, unlike yesterday. My week can be summed up by the fact that I dropped only one bogey in the whole tournament. It’s great to win two events in quick succession. I feel my confidence and game are back on track.”

India’s Honey Baisoya (67) secured third place at 16-under-272.

Last year’s champion N Thangaraja of Sri Lanka registered a fifth-place finish at 13-under-275.

Md Sajib Ali had the best finish among the Bangladeshi golfers. He ended tied sixth at 12-under-276.