The growth of international golf hosting in Bangladesh continues as the country hosts the third international event of the year, the bti Open 2018, beginning at the Kurmitola Golf Club (KGC) today.
The 600,000-dollar event is being jointly hosted by the Bangladesh Professional Golfers' Association (BPGA), Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) and Asian Development Tour (ADT). This is the second event of the year co-hosted by the PGTI, BPGA and ADT and the third to be co-hosted by the BPGA and PGTI. With an Asian Tour event coming up next month, this easily makes for the best year of golf in Bangladesh, as far as hosting international events is concerned.
The local scene is also very busy as already nine BPGA events have taken place and a few more are lined up for the rest of the season.
Arshi Haider, the chairman of bti, said that they are focused on promoting golf in Bangladesh and this is the sixth international golf tournament that they have become title sponsors of.
“A lot of golf is happening in Bangladesh. Apart from the sporting aspect, golf is promoting Bangladesh in a positive way to the rest of the world. We would like more people to follow the game and more media coverage of the game,” he said during a pre-event press briefing at the KGC yesterday.
The tri-sanctioned event will feature a total of 132 golfers collectively from the three tours of 14 nationalities, including 49 Bangladeshis, five of whom will compete under PGTI while the other 44 will represent BPGA.
Two-time Asian Tour winner Siddikur Rahman will once again be at the centre of attention as he will look to win his third ADT title on home soil. The 33-yeara-old, who won the City Bank American Express Dhaka Open title in January, has been a little out of sorts in recent times, missing three cuts out of four appearances at the Asian Tour.
“I am quite prepared for the event even though I missed the cut in the Panasonic Open earlier in the week. I feel fine physically and mentally and am looking forward to the event. There will be competition, but I am confident about my game,” said the ace golfer.
Apart from Siddikur, the Bangladeshi trio of Jamal Hossain Mollah – a two-time winner on the PGTI, Shakhawat Hossain Sohel and Dulal Hossain will lead the charge for the host nation.
The press briefing, preceded by trophy unveiling session, was also attended by PGTI CEO Uttam Singh Mundy, BPGA president Asif Ibrahim, leading PGTI golfer Honey Baisoya, leading ADT golfer Johnson Poh and other members and officials representing the organisers and hosts were present.