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Golf: Bangladesh Open fifth new event added to 2015 Asian Tour

Siddikur Rahman was once a ball boy at the Kurmitola Golf Club, which will host the Bangladesh Open. Photo: Asian Tour.

Siddikur Rahman was once a ball boy at Kurmitola Golf Club, which will host the Bangladesh Open. Photo: Asian Tour.

April 24, 2015: The Bashundhara Bangladesh Open will be held on the Asian Tour from May 27-30, marking the fifth new tournament added to the continental circuit this year.

 

The True Thailand Classic, AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open, Vascory Classic in Malaysia and Ho Tram Open in Vietnam were previously added to this year’s Asian Tour.

 

The Bangladesh Open will offer a prize fund of US$300,000 at the Kurmitola Golf Club, with local hero Siddikur Rahman headlining the tournament on home soil.

 

The Asian Tour has signed a three-year agreement with the Bangladesh Golf Federation to stage the Bangladesh Open. Title sponsor Bashundhara Group is one of the country’s largest industrial conglomerates.

 

Officials believe the introduction of the Bangladesh Open on the Asian Tour, a full member of the International Federation of PGA Tours, will provide the catalyst for expansion for golf in Bangladesh following the exploits of Siddikur, who is the country’s first Asian Tour winner.

 

General Iqbal Karim Bhuiyan, President of the Bangladesh Golf Federation, said: “Our partnership with the Asian Tour is a massive development for the sport in Bangladesh and we hope it will herald the dawning of a new era for golf in our country.

 

“Siddikur Rahman has played a massive role for the game to gain greater recognition here and I believe the staging of the Bashundhara Bangladesh Open on the Asian Tour will propel golf onto the next level. This timely development will also play a big role in our bid to have other home-grown talents join Siddikur in the Olympic Games next year.”

 

Kyi Hla Han, Chairman of the Asian Tour, lauded the partnership with the Bangladesh Golf Federation and expressed his appreciation to Bashundhara Group for its sponsorship.

 

“The Asian Tour is looking forward to visiting Bangladesh for the first time in May through this landmark agreement with the Bangladesh Golf Federation,” Han said.

 

“It is our mission to invigorate the growth of golf in emerging countries that host Asian Tour tournaments and it is our hope the Bashundhara Bangladesh Open will inject greater interest and participation from golfers and corporations from within Bangladesh.

 

“We are extremely proud to witness the rise of Siddikur Rahman on our Tour. With a golfing journey that began as a ball boy at the Kurmitola Golf Club, Siddikur is certainly a wonderful role model for young Bangladeshis to chase their golfing dreams.

 

“It is also fantastic that the Bashundhara Bangladesh Open will become the fifth new tournament in 2015, which is a great testament to the support that we enjoy from ‘Corporate Asia’.”

 

The Kurmitola Golf Club is more than 60 years old and has hosted many domestic and regional golf tournaments, including the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) Tour. It also held an Asian Development Tour event in 2011.

 

Siddikur became the first Bangladeshi champion on the Asian Tour when he won the 2010 Brunei Open and subsequently added a victory at the 2013 Hero Indian Open. The 30-year-old finished in the top 10 on the Order of Merit in 2010, 2011 and 2013, and was 36th last season after his year was curtailed by a back injury.

 

He also featured prominently in Team Asia’s fantastic fightback to draw with Europe in the inaugural EurAsia Cup in Malaysia, contributing two points from out of three including a convincing 4&3 singles victory over Ryder Cup player Stephen Gallacher. Siddikur is also in the running to qualify for next year’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

 

Source: Asian Tour (www.asiantour.com); Editing by SportAsia

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