Siddikur looks for maiden Asian Tour winBy IANS
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
KUALA LUMPUR - An improved Siddikur of Bangladesh believes an elusive Asian Tour victory is now within reach after he claimed a career first top-10 finish at the Queen’s Cup in Thailand.
Siddikur has come a long way since growing up from a poor family where he had to fund for his school fees by working at a local golf club as a forecaddie and ball boy at the age of 10.
He holds the distinction of being one of the first players recruited for the Bangladesh national team and wrote a slice of history when he became the first Bangladeshi to earn his Asian Tour card through Qualifying School in 2009.
Sidikur, whose first club was a makeshift seven iron head stuck to a metal rod, enjoyed three top-20s in his rookie season and after a commendable performance last week, he has set his sights firmly on a maiden Asian Tour win.
“It would be exciting to win on the Asian Tour and that is my target now. I have won four times in India so it is time to win in Asia,” said Siddikur.
Despite finishing six strokes behind the newly crowned Queen’s Cup champion Tetsuji Hiratsuka of Japan Sunday, Siddikur revealed that he is now more experienced after playing alongside the best from the Asian Tour.
“I learnt something from Prayad (Marksaeng). I’m a short hitter but Prayad hits it so long. It was a good experience to play with him and Thaworn (Wiratchant) as they are famous players on the Asian Tour.
“I need to increase my distance which is my weak point. If I can improve on my distances, I will have a better chance of winning. I was an average of 30 yards behind Prayad. I’m working with a trainer in India to improve on my physical condition so hopefully it will get better,” said the 25-year-old.
Siddikur is delighted with the opportunity handed by the Asian Tour to enhance his game and he hopes to inspire more golfers from Bangladesh to follow his footsteps.
“I feel I have improved a lot as I get to play with a lot of good players on the Asian Tour. I have gained from the experience and everyone who comes through the Asian Tour will certainly become better players. It is very effective to play on the Asian Tour,” he said.
Siddikur’s first ever top-10 on the Asian Tour pushed him to 65th place on the Order of Merit where Ballantine’s Championship winner Marcus Fraser of Australia continues to lead with earnings of $496,970.
South Korea’s Noh Seung-yul, winner of the Maybank Malaysian Open, trails in second place on $484,437 while Australia’s Andrew Dodt sits in third position on $382,199.
Asian Tour honorary member K.J. Choi of South Korea lies in fourth place on $222,220 while Hiratsuka, fresh from claiming his second Asian Tour title, moved to fifth position with earnings of $212,463.
Welshman Rhys Davies and Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat are in sixth and seventh place respectively.
The Asian Tour travels to Brunei Darussalam for the 2010 Brunei Open from July 29 to Aug 1.