12:00 AM, March 21, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 21, 2018

Chittagong Open tees off today

Bangladesh's Jamal Hossain Mollah (4th from L) and India's Syed Sakib Ahmed hold the trophy alongside hosts, organisers and sponsors of the City Bank American Express Chittagong Open at the Bhatiary Golf & Country Club in Chittagong yesterday. PHOTO: COLLECTED

The second edition of the City Bank American Express Chittagong Open gets underway today at the pristine Bhatiary Golf & Country Club (BGCC), with 115 players including six amateurs taking part.

Co-sanctioned by the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) and the Bangladesh Professional Golfers Association (BPGA), the 72-hole strokeplay event has a prize purse of 50 lakh taka on offer.

Out of the 115 players, 58 professionals and six amateurs are from the BPGA while 51 professionals are from the PGTI.

Although local hero Siddikur Rahman will not be available to defend his title due to other engagements, the tournament will feature some of the top names of the South Asian region, including the Bangladeshi trio of Jamal Hossain Mollah, Shakhawat Hossain Sohel and Dulal Hossain.

The Indian challenge will be led by the likes of Shamim Khan, Shankar Das, Honey Baisoya and Syed Saqib Ahmed, while Sri Lanka will also be well-represented by Anura Rohana, Mithun Perera and N Thangaraja. South African Damian Naicker is also a prominent foreign name on the field.

Jamal, a two-time winner on the PGTI tour, thanked the sponsors and organisers for hosting the event in Chittagong. “I would like to thank the BPGA and the PGTI for bringing the tournament back to Chittagong. I would also like to thank the title sponsor City Bank American Express and other sponsors. I'm really looking forward to performing well in front of my home crowd.”

Syed Saqib Ahmed, one of India's leading players on the field, said, “I really enjoyed playing at the challenging Bhatiary Golf & Country Club last year and am delighted to be back for the second edition of the City Bank American Express Chittagong Open. I thank the sponsors, BGCC and PGTI, for bringing back the event on the PGTI calendar. I've had a great start to the 2018 season and am hopeful of continuing my good form by achieving a top finish in Chittagong this week.”