12 May, 2018: Sweden’s Malcolm Kokocinski secured an inspiring victory after closing with a six-under-par 65 to win by three shots for his first Asian Tour title at the Bangladesh Open on Saturday. Honey Baisoya shot 69 to finish in T6 while M Dharma ended a good week in T9.
A 74 in the final round dropped Divyanshu Bajaj to T14. Rashid Khan shot 73 to earn a top twenty finish. Veer Ahlawat scored a brilliant 67 to move up to T26. Viraj Madappa and Khalin Joshi finished in T43 and T48 respectively. Sanjeev Kumar brought up the rear for the Indians in T56.
Kokocinski, a regular on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) where he leads the current Order of Merit, overturned a three-shot deficit after returning with his best efforts of the week to cap a winning total of 14-under-par 270 at the Kurmitola Golf Club.
The 26-year-old Kokocinski, who is based in Thailand, takes home a winner’s prize purse of US$54,000, courtesy of his breakthrough win on the Asian Tour, which also marked his second professional victory since joining the play-for-pay ranks in 2012.
Overnight leader Jack Harrison of England endured two closing bogeys for a 71, settling for a share of second place with fellow Qualifying School graduate Ben Campbell of New Zealand, who carded a 69, in the US$300,000 Asian Tour event.
American John Catlin capped back-to-back top-10 finishes on the region’s premier Tour after closing with a 66 to finish five shots back in tied-fourth place with Zamal Hossain Mollah, who emerged as the highest-ranked local player following a 69.
The Bangladesh Open welcomed a new title sponsor in AB Bank, leading bank in Bangladesh, in its fourth consecutive edition on the Asian Tour this week. The highly-acclaimed Kurmitola Golf Club, which hosted two other events on the ADT this season, continues to provide top-class hospitality as the home of the Bangladesh’s National Open.
Did you know?
- Malcolm Kokocinski is the second Swede to win in three weeks on the Asian Tour, following Alexander Bjork at the Volvo China Open.
- Kokocinski also became the third consecutive first-time winner at the Bangladesh Open, following Thailand’s Thitiphun Chuayprakong and Jazz Janewattananond in 2016 and 2017 respectively.
- Kokocinski missed only three fairways and needed only 25 putts on the greens for his closing round of 65.
- After missing the mark at the Asian Tour Qualifying School earlier in January, Kokocinski returned to ply his trade on the ADT and has enjoyed a superb season on the secondary circuit, although without a win.
- The 26-year-old Swede leads the current ADT Order of Merit with a season’s haul of US$25,026, thanks to five top-10s in six starts this season.
- He claimed two of his five top-10s on the ADT at the Kurmitola Golf Club. He came in runner-up at the Dhaka Open in January and finished tied-third at the BTI Open two weeks ago.
- Kokocinski becomes the seventh player following American Berry Henson, Chan Shih-chang of Chinese Taipei, Thailand’s Pavit Tangkamolprasert and Poom Saksansin, as well as Malaysian duo Gavin Green and Nicholas Fung, to win on the Asian Tour after enjoying successes on the ADT, which was inaugurated as the gateway to the Asian Tour in 2010.
- Kokocinski missed the cut in his first attempt at the Bangladesh Open in 2015. He finished tied-14th in 2016 and did not play in the last edition.
- Kokocinski first came to Asia in 2013 where he played on the ADT after failing to make the mark at the Asian Tour Qualifying School. He came through the Qualifying School for the first time after finishing fifth in 2016 but failed to retain his card for the following season after ending the season in 71st place on the Order of Merit.
- His best finish on the Asian Tour, prior to his breakthrough win, came at the 2016 Shinhan Donghae Open where he came in tied-fourth.
- Jack Harrison secured his Asian Tour card for the 2018 season after finishing tied-15th at the Asian Tour Qualifying School, which was played over five rounds (90 holes) across two courses in Thailand earlier in January. It was his second attempt at the Qualifying School since 2013.
- Harrison, who turned professional in 2011, is playing in his first start as an Asian Tour rookie this week. He also plays on the Sunshine Tour, where he enjoyed a tied-sixth place finish at the Cape Town Open in February.
- Like Harrison, Ben Campbell also came through the Asian Tour Qualifying School earlier in January to earn his card for the 2018 season. It was his first time making the mark in four attempts since 2011.
- The 26-year-old Campbell is making his third start on the Asian Tour this season but playing in his first attempt at the Bangladesh Open this week.
- John Catlin is a two-time winner on the ADT. He finished third on the 2017 ADT Order of Merit to earn his Asian Tour card for the 2018 season.
- Zamal Hossain Mollah is playing on his home course this week. He secured his best ever result in his National Open after finishing tied-fourth this week. His previous best result was a tied-seventh place finish in 2016.
Asian Tour Release