Aug 15, 2017: Bangladeshi hero Siddikur Rahman is planning to adopt a relaxed attitude as he tees off for the tri-sanctioned Fiji International at the Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course on Thursday.
Although the 32-year-old is enjoying a rich vein of form of late, he is not setting himself any targets in his maiden appearance at the the A$1.5 million (approximately US$1.14 million) event on the holiday isle of Fiji.
Siddikur came close to securing his third Asian Tour title on home soil before setting for a runner-up finish in February. He notched another top-10 result in Japan before hogging the limelight again with a tied-third place finish in Germany last month.
Like Siddikur, Indian stalwart Rahil Gangjee is also entering the week in good form. He hopes to make up for a lackluster first half of the season, where he made only two cuts in eight starts, with a strong showing at the Fiji International.
“I am pretty happy with the way I am playing right now. It was not that great in the first half of the season so I worked out on my short game a little bit. It’s getting better now. It’s my first time in Fiji and it’s been phenomenal. It reminds me of Mauritius and it’s amazing”, said Rahil.
China’s Liu Yan-wei, who is playing on a sponsor’s invite this week, hopes to make the most of his opportunity as he chases for a breakthrough in his burgeoning career.
From being ranked in 1092nd position on the Official World Golf Ranking at the start of the season, Liu has moved to his current 587th place, thanks to three top-three results on the Asian Development Tour, one top-10 finish on the Asian Tour and a tied-11th place on the European Tour at the Shenzhen International in April.
Did you know?
- Siddikur has enjoyed a relatively good season so far, claiming two top-10 finishes and missing only three cuts in nine starts on the Asian Tour. He sits in 17th place on the current Order of Merit.
- Siddikur impressed with a tied-third result at the Porsche European Open in Hamburg, Germany last month. It was his career-best result in an event sanctioned solely by the European Tour.
- Siddikur came in runner-up after Jeunghun Wang pipped him to the title at the 2016 AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open, the first tri-sanctioned event to be held on the Asian Tour.
- Siddikur became the first sportsman from his country to qualify for the 2016 Olympics on merit and was accorded the honour of being the flagbearer for Bangladesh during the opening ceremony in Rio de Janeiro.
- Gangjee, a one-time winner on the Asian Tour but not since 2004, hopes to continue his good form this week. He finished tied-15th at the Queen’s Cup in June and tied-eighth at the TAKE Solutions Masters on home soil two weeks ago.
- Liu Yan-wei is the only player in the field from China this week.
- Siddikur, Gangjee, Liu and Poom are all making their debut appearances in the Fiji International, which was inaugurated in 2014, this week.
- The Fiji International is tri-sanctioned by the Asian Tour, the European Tour and the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia for the first time.