Rain and gloom on opening day
There was a familiar faltering of local golfers in the opening day of the AB Bank Bangladesh Open, which started amid rain and thunder, at the Kurmitola Golf Club yesterday.
None of the Bangladeshi golfers have been able to threaten to take the title of the 300,000-dollar Asian Tour event in its first three editions except for Siddikur Rahman, who finished second in the third edition, ending four strokes behind the eventual winner.
That pattern is seemingly set to continue as the best effort of the local golfers came in the form of Mohammad Robin, Mohammad Razu and Delwar Hossain on one-under, with only the last one having completed his round while the other two stranded midway through.
Rattanon Wannasrichan of Thailand, who played in the morning batch, took the clubhouse lead with a healthy score of six-under-par (65).
The day's play was called off due to bad light at 6:30pm after lightning and rain sliced off four hours of play -- play remained suspended from 12:15pm to 4:15pm -- as only half of the 144 golfers could complete the day's play.
All 72 players in the afternoon session will return to complete their opening rounds at 6.20am today with the second round slated to start at approximately 8.00am.
Baby-faced Rattanon rode on a hot putter to sign for a solid opening round, seizing the clubhouse lead by one shot.
The 22-year-old Thai, who enjoyed a top-five result in the last edition, got his campaign off to a great start after firing seven birdies against a bogey to take his place atop the leaderboard.
Indian stalwart M Dharma and Tour rookie Jack Harrison of England posted matching 66s to share second place while Asian Development Tour (ADT) graduate John Catlin of the United States settled two shots off the pace in fourth following a 67.
American Berry Henson, highest-ranked player in ninth place on the Habitat for Humanity Standings, grabbed a share of seventh place following a 69 while local hero Siddikur Rahman carded a 72 to tie in 58th position.
Rattanon was happy to have finished the day's play without having been disrupted by rain, and obviously for having taken the lead.
“My game was really good today. I made a great par save on the par-five 14th hole. That was the highlight of the day for me. I hit my driver out of bounds and missed the green with my fourth shot but I managed to chip it in from about 20 yards to save par. It was amazing,” the Thai golfer told Asiantour.com.