Siddikur Rahman blazed into a five-shot lead on the second day of the inaugural City Bank American Express Dhaka Open after carding a six-under par (66) at the Kurmitola Golf Club yesterday.
The 33-year-old, who started the round one-shot behind Shakhawat Hossain Sohel, fired seven birdies against a bogey on his home course to power into first place with an aggregate score of 10-under-par (134), leaving the chasing pack with the task of emulating his comeback over the next two rounds.
The two-time Asian Tour winner had claimed his first Asian Development Tour (ADT) title at the same venue with a dominant 12-stroke victory seven years ago. And he took full advantage of his course knowledge, from his time as a golfer and perhaps also from his experience as a ball boy at the course, and was pleased with the results.
"I've done really well over the first two days, having kept the errors out of my game under tough conditions. My putter was hot today as I made three long birdie conversions including one from just off the green on 17," said Siddikur.
He admitted that he had put himself in the driving seat, suggesting that he could win the title so long as he kept his cool over the final rounds.
"I managed to capitalise on all the four par-fives, making birdies on each one of them. I've now put myself in a good position to have a shot at the title. I'm really hungry to win in front of my home crowd once again. The key would be to keep my calm over the next two days," he added.
Siddikur also expressed his pleasure at the inclusion of the tournament on the ADT schedule, saying it was a boon for Bangladesh's golfing circuit.
"The Dhaka Open will go a long way in unearthing more golfing talent from Bangladesh. I'm really looking forward to seeing the other Bangladeshis performing well this week."
Overnight leader Sohel fell all the way down to joint-fourth after carding a one-over par, joining countryman Akbar Hossain and Sweden's Malcolm Kokocinski. Sohel hit three birdies, two bogeys and a double-bogey on the 14th.
With five-under-par (139), the Indian duo of Rahul Bajaj and Shankar Das shared second place in the US $60,000 event, tri-sanctioned by the Asian Development Tour, Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) and Professional Golfers' Tour of Bangladesh.