Siddikur enjoyed a top-10 finish in Japan earlier in April and is ready to challenge for top honours after taking time off last week.
The Bangladeshi hopes to reproduce that good form, shown earlier in the year in the Land of the Rising Sun, when the tournament gets underway at the Caledonian Golf Club from September 21 to 24.
“I am still hopeful that a good result will be just around the corner for me so I am looking forward to this week. The season’s been pretty good. I had some good results on the Asian Tour and the European Tour this year. I’m riding on the confidence but there are still many more tournaments to go.” – Siddikur Rahman, 31
Malaysia’s Ben Leong, who regained his Tour card at the Qualifying School in January, is looking to continue his resurgence following a tied-17th place finish in Korea last week.
Leong has made only three cuts in seven starts so far this season. Finishing inside the top-20 on all three occasions, the 31-year-old Malaysian will be seeking to improve on that when he tees up for his first competitive event in six years in Japan this week.
From losing his playing rights at the start of the season to putting himself on track to cap his finest season on Tour, Young Thai Jazz Janewattananond hopes to add another feather to his cap with a good showing in what is the Tour’s second stop in Japan this season.
The 21-year-old Thai, who lost his 2017 Tour card after finishing outside of top-60 on the 2016 Order of Merit, regained his playing rights in style when he claimed his maiden victory in Bangladesh in February. He has notched four other top-10 finishes since.
The ¥?150 million (approximately US$1.37 million) event is co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and the Japan Golf Tour Organisation (JGTO) and features other notable players such as K.T. Kim of Korea, Yuta Ikeda of Japan, Thai veteran Prayad Marksaeng, China’s Liang Wen-chong, Jeev Milkha Singh and S.S.P. Chawrasia of India.
Players will be looking to boost their Order of Merit rankings with good results at the Asia-Pacific Diamond Cup. The leading 10 players on the money list as of October 9 will qualify for the lucrative CIMB Classic from October 12 to 15 while the top-four as of October 16 will tee up in the WGC-HSBC Championship from October 26 to 29.
Did you know?
- Siddikur enjoyed a tied-ninth finish in Japan earlier in April. It was his second top-10 result on the Asian Tour so far this season. He finished runner-up at his National Open in February.
- The 32-year-old Siddikur finished in tied-44th place at the 2016 Asia-Pacific Diamond Cup. He currently sits in 24th place on the Asian Tour Order of Merit.
- Siddikur is a two-time winner on the Asian Tour. He wrote a slice of history in 2010 when he became the first player from Bangladesh to win on the region’s premier Tour at the Brunei Open.
- Siddikur became the first sportsman from his country to qualify for the Olympics on merit in 2016 and was accorded the honour of being the flagbearer for Bangladesh during the opening ceremony in Rio de Janeiro.
- Leong is a one-time winner on the Asian Tour but not since 2008. He claimed his first Asian Development Tour (ADT) win on home soil in March.
- Leong impressed with five consecutive titles on his domestic circuit before regaining his Asian Tour card at the 2017 Qualifying School in January where he came in fourth.
- Leong last played in Japan in 2011. A back injury in mid-2012 curtailed his burgeoning career, which laid him off competitive golf for over a year and a half.
- 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.
- Jazz has enjoyed a superb season so far, claiming one victory and four other top-10 finishes to sit in seventh place on the Merit rankings. He also won a title on the MENA Golf Tour and earned a debut appearance on the PGA Tour earlier in May.