Mardan dominates, Dulal keeps hope alive

Our emerging professional golfer Dulal Hossain who stunned everybody on round two claiming the 5th spot, could hold the best place for home side in tied seventh place following a 72 after concluding the third round on the second day of four-day ‘Bashundhara Bangladesh Open 2015’, the first ever Asian Tour golf tournament in the country, at Kurmitola Golf Club (KGC) in the capital on Friday.

At the end of round three, Mardan Mamat of Singapore birdied the last hole to pull three shots clear after shooting a three-under-par 68 in the third round of the US$300,000 Bashundhara Bangladesh Open on Friday.

Bashundhara Group, the country’s leading business conglomerate, is the title sponsor of the international golf event.

The little known Dulal Hossain, a former ball boy at Kurmitola, who teed off his third round game from front nine no 1 hole at 9.30 am, finished a five-under-par72  to claim the 7th spot after earning five birdies though two double bogeys made him lag behind, but still he has a little hope today.

Dulal shared the seventh spot with Hyungjoon Lee from Korea and Om Prakash Chouhan of India while country’s ace golfer Siddikur Rahman stumbled to a disappointing six over par 75 could manage 64th spot.

The 47-year-old Mardan, who won three out of his four Asian Tour titles after leading for three rounds, totalled 12-under-par 201 to continue his dominant form.

Young talents Khalin Joshi of India and Lee Soomin of Korea charged into contention on matching 65s to trail Mardan by three and four shots respectively as they chase for a first Asian Tour win.

Playing in his first ever Asian Tour event, Janne Kaske of Finland had to battle hard before returning with a 72 to lie in fourth position on a 206 total. After opening with two birdies, Mardan had to dig deep into his reserves to hole a 10-foot birdie on the last hole after running low on energy due to humidity.

“I lost my concentration on the back nine because of the heat. I ate and drank a lot of water to regain my focus. I do not think I will practice. I will take rest. It has been a long day and I was exhausted in the last three holes,” said tired Mardan.

Mardan will not take a three-shot advantage for granted on the challenging tree-lined Kurmitola course.

Earlier, former Bangladesh President and Jatiya Party chairman Hussain Mohammad Ershad thanked Bashundhara Group and Bangladesh Golf Federation (BGF) for organising such an international golf event for the first time in our country while he was witnessing the third round event of four-day meet at KGC’s Bashundhara Hospitality Box on Friday morning.

Meanwhile, the JP Party chairman moved forward to golf course and witnessed the Bangladesh representatives’ golf game.  Adviser of Bashundhara Group Maj Gen (retd) Mahbub Haider Khan and Bashundhara Group Adviser (PR) and Head of AHR Lt Col (retd) Khandaker Abdul Wahed were also present on the occasion.

“People think this is a game of rich men but now this idea is going away day by day as lots of people are joining here. Young golfers are coming up. Siddikur was a golf caddy in KGC but he shone rapidly and is considered country’s ace golfer. Now Siddikur is one of the main attractions in any international tour. I hope many Siddikurs will rise from our nation in future.” former Bangladesh President told Daily Sun.

However, the four-day meet will come to an end today in a mega prize giving ceremony where the chief-of-staff of Bangladesh Army and Bangladesh Olympic Association (BOA) president General Iqbal Karim Bhuiyan will attend as chief guest. The chairman of Bashundhara Group Ahmed Akbar Sobhan will also be present and give away the prize money to the winners as special guest.

Among others, Additional Managing Director of Bashundhara Group Safwan Sobhan, Associate Director, Business Development, Asian Tour, Irfan Hamid, Asian Tour Development Manager Mohammad Shariz, Adviser of Bashundhara Group Maj Gen (retd) Mahbub Haider Khan, Bashundhara Group Adviser (PR) and Head of AHR Lt Col (retd) Khandaker Abdul Wahed, Bangladesh Tourism Board CEO Akhtaruz Zaman Khan Kabir, Senior Vice-President of Bangladesh Golf Federation Maj Gen Mizanur Rahman Khan, Brigadier general Abul Fazal Mohammad Sanaullah the secretary general of Bangladesh Golf Federation and Bangladesh Golf Federation’s Junior Division President Maj Gen Md Masud Razzak will also be present.

Country’s golf ace Siddiqur Rahman aside, a total of 150 Asian professionals from 25 nations, including 31 Bangladesh golfers, are taking part in the four-day world-class golf meet.

The winner of Asian Tour will secure approximately 18% of the amount totalling US$300,000. Some 65 players will receive prizes money in sliding scale.