Bangladesh on Wednesday announced to host its first professional golf tournament of Asian circuit, the Grameenphone Bangladesh Masters, in Dhaka from January 26-29, 2011.
The announcement came in less than two months after Siddikur Rahman, a former ball boy of the Kurmitola Golf Club course, became the first Bangladeshi to win a professional tournament in Asia – the Brunei Open – in August.
Grameenphone, the leading cell phone operator of the country, which has been patronising Siddik since 2003, has come forward to sponsor the event, which will have $75,000 in prize money.
The tournament at the Kurmitola Golf course, an Asian Development Tournament, will feature 150 participants from 20 countries and the top three finishers will earn an entry into prestigious Asian Tour, the Bangladesh Golf Federation said at a press conference at the Radisson Hotel.
‘We hope that the launching of this Asian Development Golf Tournament will lift the profile of the sport in Bangladesh,’ said Mirza Baker Sarwar Ahmed, general secretary of the federation.
Bangladesh, with around 35 professional golfers, has been hosting professional golf tournament of Indian circuit for the last two years, but for the first time it is going beyond the regional boundary.
All professional golfers of Bangladesh will be allowed to compete in the tournament and the winner
will be awarded cash prize money of $13,150. Some amateur golfers, who play for the national side, can also participate, though they will not get any prize money even if they get cut a good result, said the officials.
The Asian Development Tournament was launched in 2010 with the aim of creating a pathway for professional golfers in Asia
Designed in the same structure as the Nationwide Tour in America and the European Challenge Tour, the Asian Development tour is a stepping stone to Asian Tour, said the officials.
Htwe Hla Han, a senior director of Asian Tour, Brigadier General (retd) Abidur Reza Khan, chairman of the tournament committee, and Kazi Monirul Kabir, chief communications officer of Grameenphone, also spoke at the press conference.