April 04, 2019: Tour rookie Sadom Kaewkanjana of Thailand stole the limelight after carding his personal-best round of a nine-under-par 62 to storm to the top of the leaderboard, seizing the halfway lead at the Bangabandhu Cup Golf Open on Thursday.
The 20-year-old Thai, who came through the 2019 Asian Tour Qualifying School last December, fired an eagle and eight birdies against a bogey to grab a three-shot lead with his 15-under-par 127 total at the highly-rated Kurmitola Golf Club.
Sadom’s commendable round saw him set the lowest 18-hole and 36-hole scores in the National Open of Bangladesh. His three-shot advantage is also the largest halfway lead recorded in the tournament, which is celebrating its fifth edition on the Asian Tour this week.
In-form Rashid Khan of India returned with a bogey-free 64 in the afternoon to grab second place on his own while overnight leader Maverick Antcliff of Australia slipped six shots off the pace to third following a battling 70 at the US$350,000 Asian Tour event.
“It was a good round. The way I started was great. I missed the greens on my first three holes but managed to make up and downs for pars. Made a really long putt for birdie on fifth. I think it’s about a 20-footer. I carried on that good momentum and birdied sixth and seventh and made another one on ninth to turn in four-under.
I made some good putts after the turn. Just rolled past the hole. I hit it to about two-feet on the 13th and made another birdie there. Made up and down for birdies on 14th too. Overall, it’s a good round. I made a lot of up and downs and I holed some putts. Hit one or two bad shots but I recovered really well.
I tried my best today. Just three shots back now so I think it will be a good fight over the next two days. I have never played well on this course. This is my best round here. I took out my three-iron and put in a gab-wedge today. That’s the only difference compared to yesterday.
I felt good coming back to Bangladesh. I won a tournament here about three weeks ago, although on a different course. I played good golf there and I shot 24-under total to win by seven shots. I felt the good vibes coming back to Bangladesh. It has given me a lot of confidence.
It’s been awhile since I last won on the Asian Tour. It’s always been at the back of my mind, to win on the Asian Tour again. I will just play the same tomorrow, give myself chances and keep trying my best.” said Rashid.
Local hero Siddikur Rahman emerged as the highest-placed Bangladeshi on the leaderboard after posting a 68 to share fourth place with Japan’s Mikumu Horikawa (67) and Viraj Madappa of India (66) on matching 134s.
Starting from the 10th, Sadom reeled in two straight pars before a birdie on the 12th sparked a hot streak which saw him go five-under in the next four holes. He dropped a shot on the 17th hole but would gain it back swiftly with a birdie on 18th to turn in 30.
Sadom went on to add three more birdies on his back nine to cap a superb round, which saw him navigate his way around the greens in only 24 putts, including a 13-footer for eagle on the par-five 14th hole.
A total of 70 players, including a record number of 12 local professionals, survived the halfway cut set at one-over-par 143.
The Bangabandhu Cup Golf Open 2019 welcomed a new title sponsor in the National Bank Ltd, a public limited bank in Bangladesh. The tournament has been named in honour of the father of the nation of Bangladesh, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.