Siddikur signals rise of Bangladeshi golf with victory

Rahman Siddikur celebrates after his 12-stroke victory in the 2011 Grameenphone Bangladesh Masters.

Rahman Siddikur celebrates after his 12-stroke victory in the 2011 Grameenphone Bangladesh Masters.

DHAKA, Bangladesh – Rahman Siddikur may be a big-time presence on the Asian Tour, but he won’t ever forget his home country.

Siddikur completed a wire-to-wire victory at the Grameenphone Bangladesh Masters on Sunday and vowed to spearhead golf’s growth in the country.

Playing the Asian Development Tour event for mostly ceremonial reasons, Siddikur (19-under 269) ran away with the title by 12 shots at the Kurmitola Golf Club.

LEADING FINAL-ROUND SCORES

269 – Rahman Siddikur (BAN) 66-65-69-69

281 - Milon AHMED (BAN) 72-69-68-72

284 - Jakir Jakiruzzaman* (BAN) 71-75-70-68, Yosuke TSUKADA (JPN) 70-71-69-74

285 - Zamal Hossain MOLLAH (BAN) 72-68-74-71

286 - Rezaul KARIM (BAN) 74-70-75-67, Hirotaro NAITO (JPN) 70-70-72-74

287 - Justin BRINK (IRE) 71-72-75-69, Ross CANAVAN (ENG) 71-72-69-75

288 - Javed INAYAT (PAK) 73-74-67-74, Liton HOWLADER (BAN) 69-71-71-77

289 - Takafumi KAWANE (JPN) 73-71-75-70

“I want to dedicate my victory to Bangladesh,” said Siddikur, who won US$13,125. “This is the first time the Asian Development Tour (was) organized here, and it was great exposure to the professional golfers in Bangladesh.”

Milon Ahmed of Bangladesh secured second with a 281 total. Amateur Jakir Jakiruzzaman, who won gold for Bangladesh at the 2010 South Asian Games, and Japan’s Yosuke Tsukada shared third place at 284.

Since his victory at the Brunei Open last season, Siddikur has continued to fly the Bangladeshi flag high on the international stage.

“This victory will help me prepare for the Asian Tour season, and it will give me more confidence when the new season starts,” he said.

Ahmed, who started his golf career alongside Siddikur as a ball boy at Kurmitola, hopes to one day emulate his close friend.

“There are bigger things ahead for golf in Bangladesh, and we are all inspired to follow the path of Siddikur. . . . maybe one day I will join him on the Asian Tour,” said Ahmed, who partnered with Siddikur at the 2009 World Cup Asian Qualifier in Malaysia.

The Bangladesh Masters was the curtain-raiser for the five-event 2011 Asian Development Tour. The top three players on the money list at the end of the season will earn 2012 Asian Tour cards.

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