KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – Bangladesh’s Mohammad Siddikur believes a watershed career victory is within his reach – and he’s prepared to go the extra distance to achieve his ambition.
“It would be exciting to win on the Asian Tour, and that is my target now,” said Siddikur, after claiming a career first top-10 finish at the Queen’s Cup in Thailand on Sunday. “I have won four times in India so it is time to win in Asia.”
Despite finishing six strokes behind newly crowned Queen’s Cup champion Tetsuji Hiratsuka of Japan, Siddikur said the experience of playing alongside the best from the Asian Tour was invaluable.
“I learned something from Prayad (Marksaeng),” Siddikur said. “I’m a short hitter, but Prayad hits it so long.
“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.”
Siddikur, 25, hails from a poor family. He funded 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.
Siddikur, whose first club was a makeshift seven-iron head stuck to a metal rod, enjoyed three top 20s in his rookie season..
Siddikur’s first 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 US$496,970.
Korea’s Noh Seung-yul, winner of the Maybank Malaysian Open, trails in second place at US$484,437, while Australia’s Andrew Dodt sits in third position at US$382,199.
Asian Tour honorary member K.J. Choi of Korea lies in fourth place at US$222,220, while Hiratsuka, fresh from claiming his second Asian Tour title, moved to fifth position with earnings of US$212,463.
The Asian Tour’s next event is the Brunei Open from July 29-Aug. 1.