10-under Higa sets KGC ablaze
Three Bangladeshi golfers started the BTI Open within the top ten positions after the opening day at the Kurmitola Golf Club yesterday, but the highlight of the round was a blistering 10-under-par (62) from Japan's Kazuki Higa.
The Okinawa native, who celebrated his 23rd birthday on Monday, shot 10 birdies to take a commanding five-shot lead over Argentina's Miguel Carballo and Sweden's Malcolm Kokocinski at the 60,000-dollar event, jointly sanctioned by the ADT, PGTI and BPGA.
Bangladesh's Shakhawat Hossain Sohel and Jamal Hossain Mollah shared the fourth position with M Dharma of India, Mithun Perera of Sri Lanka and Andrew Park of USA with matching 68s.
Dulal Hossain was the third Bangladeshi player in the top-10, in ninth position with 69, while two-time Asian Tour winner Siddikur Rahman was tied for 15th with a score of two-under-par (70).
Higa is playing in only his second tournament since turning professional in November last year but he showed no signs of nerves after dropping a 25-foot birdie putt on the second hole.
The 23-year-old went six-under through 13 holes and ended the day on a high note by sinking four straight birdies from the 14th hole.
“I wasn't feeling too well yesterday but I rested and I felt great this morning. When I played a practise round, I saw that the course was very narrow so my plan was to find fairways and try to make birdies which I did very well today,” Higa told Asiantour.com.
Former PGA Tour player Carballo was delighted with his opening round 67 in what is also his first visit to Bangladesh.
“I felt comfortable on the course and every time you play good, you feel more relaxed. The course is very good. It is short but narrow so if you hit it straight, you will have more birdie chances,” said the 39-year-old Carballo.
ADT regular Kokocinski, who is ranked second on the Order of Merit, continued his fine form as he searches for a first ADT victory.