New Delhi, 09-11-2013

Siddikur establishes four-shot lead, Chowrasia in second position

Bangladesh’s Md Siddikur Rahman continued to dominate the Hero Indian Open when he shot a flawless third round five-under-par 67 to extend his lead at the 50th Hero Indian Open by four shots over India’s S.S.P. Chowrasia on Saturday.

There is a strong Indian flavor in the top-10 with five Indians in that zone.

While Siddikur, who honed his skills on the PGTI, is trying to break the jinx of top-10s and top-5s at Delhi Golf Club by winning his second Asian Tour title, Chowrasia hopes to feed off good memories from his 2008 Indian Masters to win the hero Indian Open, a tournament he has been a runner-up on two occasions but never won.

The Bangladeshi hit a sublime chip from the greenside bunker on hole 18 for an easy tap-in birdie to put himself in prime position to win his second Asian Tour title since 2010 at the US$1.25 million Asian Tour event.

Chowrasia, a two-time Asian Tour winner, closed with two birdies for a 66 while Rashid Khan of India, who lost a play-off at SAIL-SBI Open on Asian Tour at the same venue, and Filipino Angelo Que shot a 65 and 67 respectively to share third on 204.

Siddikur, who has only dropped two shots in 54 holes, said that he is playing his best golf since turning professional in 2007.

“It has been a great week. This is the best I’ve played in my career. I’m putting and hitting the ball so well. Mentally I’m strong and I’m very focussed,” said the Bangladeshi, who leads with a three-day total of 17-under-par 199.

“When I won in Brunei, I had to play safe because I wanted to save my Asian Tour card and make some money to survive on the Tour. Now, I’m not playing for money. I’m hungry for achievements so that’s my target.”

Chowrasia, who finished second at the Indian Open in 1999 and 2006, struggled with wayward tee shots early in his round but bounced back with four birdies in his closing five holes.

“My hitting wasn’t very accurate to begin with as I kept hitting it left and right. I feel I really got going from the 14th hole onwards as I started finding the centre of the fairway. I have very good memories on this course and I would like to use that to my advantage in the final round,” said Chowrasia.

“Siddikur has been playing some top quality golf. He has also done well at this venue in the past. I’ll have to shoot somewhere in the region of seven-under to put up a stiff challenge on the final day,” he added.

The straight-hitting Siddikur, the first Bangladeshi to play and win on the Asian Tour, will continue playing aggressively after trading his safe approach game with more attacking flair.

“I didn’t read the lines properly or my score would have been lower. It is a big advantage for me now. If I can play like how I’ve been playing, then I think I can easily win,” said Siddikur, who started playing golf with a makeshift seven iron head attached to a metal rod.

Rashid, who is looking for his maiden Asian Tour title, said, “I was playing aggressively. I need a really big score to win it. I’ll give myself. I lost here in a playoff at the SAIL-SBI Open to Anirban this year. I hope I don’t go into a play-off again! Anything can happen in DGC. I hope I can get a good round again.

About PGTI:

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