February 2: Young Thai talent Jazz Janewattananond continued his dominant form by carding a four-under-par 67 to lead by one shot at the halfway stage of the Bashundhara Bangladesh Open on Thursday. Overnight co-leader Shubhankar Sharma of India slipped to second place following a 68 but took consolation that he achieved his two-day target which allowed him to keep chase for a breakthrough win in the tournament where he finished third last year.
Starting the round with a two-shot advantage thanks to an opening 64, Jazz fired seven birdies against three bogeys to grab the outright lead on 11-under-par 132 total at the Kurmitola Golf Club.
The 21-year-old Thai, who lived as a monk for two weeks back home in Bangkok last December, credited his experience for strengthening his mental game and putting him in position to chase for a maiden Asian Tour title at the US$300,000 event.
Thailand’s Rattanon Wannasrichan signed for a flawless 64 highlighted by seven birdies to share third place on 134 with countryman Panuphol Pittayarat, who returned with a 68, at the full-field Asian Tour event.
Home hero Siddikur Rahman kept the local hopes alive after carding a 66 to trail by six shots in fifth place alongside American Dodge Kemmer, who also returned with a bogey-free 64, in what is the third leg of the Asian Tour schedule this season.
A total of 73 players made the halfway cut set at three-over-par 145 at the Bashundhara Bangladesh Open, which is celebrating its third consecutive edition on the Asian Tour this season.
Interesting facts of the day:
- Jazz experienced life as a monk at the Wat Benchamabophit Dusitvanaram in Bangkok for two weeks last December. It was a mark of respect for his parents and the late king of Thailand Bhumibol Adulyadej. Jazz said the experience has made him feel very peaceful, not only on the golf course but also in his life.
- Jazz first played his way into the history books of the Asian Tour in 2010 when he became the youngest ever player to make the halfway cut at the 2010 Asian Tour International in Bangkok at the age of 14 years and 71 days.
- Sharma’s last five rounds on the Asian Tour are all in the 60s.
- Siddikur’s two-day total of 137 is his best 36-hole score in the Bashundhara Bangladesh Open. He was tied in 43rd position on 144 after two rounds in 2015 and tied in 27th on 139 in 2016.
- Rattanon and Kemmer returned with the day’s lowest score of 64. They are the only two players who signed for bogey-free rounds today.
- The leading top-four players, Jazz (21), Sharma (20), Panuphol (23) and Rattanon (21), are all in their early 20s.
- A record total of 10 local players, including two amateurs, made the halfway cut set at three-over-par 145 at the Bashundhara Bangladesh Open. Six made the cut in 2015 and five made the cut last year.
131 – Jazz JANEWATTANANOND (THA) 64-67.
132 – Shubhankar SHARMA (IND) 64-68.
134 – Rattanon WANNASRICHAN (THA) 70-64, Panuphol PITTAYARAT (THA) 66-68.
137 – Dodge KEMMER (USA) 73-64, Siddikur RAHMAN (BAN) 71-66.
138 – Sutijet KOORATANAPISAN (THA) 70-68, Chiragh KUMAR (IND) 68-70.
139 – LIU Yan-wei (CHN) 69-70, Ryan MCCORMICK (USA) 70-69, Sihwan KIM (USA) 70-69, Richard T. LEE (CAN) 74-65, Khalin JOSHI (IND) 69-70, Wolmer MURILLO (VEN) 69-70, Casey O’TOOLE (USA) 71-68, Peradol PANYATHANASEDH (THA) 70-69, Udayan MANE (IND) 71-68.
140 – Brian JUNG (CAN) 71-69, Brett MUNSON (USA) 74-66, Rashid KHAN (IND) 73-67, Youngjea BYUN (KOR) 69-71.