Siddikur Rahman of Bangladesh continued his remarkable rise from a ball boy to one of Asia’s best golfers by winning the Negeri Sembilan Masters Invitational in electrifying fashion on Sunday.
The 26-year-old from Madaripur soared to victory with two eagles on the back nine at Seremban International Golf Club.
He fired a final round seven-under-par 65 for a four shot victory over Malaysia’s top golfer Danny Chia, who came in with a 70.
Malaysia’s Rashid Ismail and Shaabah Hussin finished a stroke further back after carding rounds of 68 and 70 respectively.
The Negeri Sembilan Masters Invitational boasts prize money of $165,000 and is the most lucrative tournament on the ASEAN PGA Tour.
The top seven players from the ASEAN PGA Tour Order of Merit gain spots in the $6 million Barclays Singapore Open in November and so the leading finishers this week
are well on their way to playing at the lucrative event.
Siddik finished with a four-round aggregate of 17-under-par 271 and earned a cheque for $26,230 (Tk 19 lakh).
‘Winning this week was my target and I am very happy to have done that. This tournament means a lot to me as it was the first tournament I played in Malaysia as a professional three years ago. They have invited me every year and I am very grateful for that,’ said Siddik, who is currently in second place on the Asian Tour Order of Merit.
He started the day three shots behind leader Airil Rizman from Malaysia. While Rizman fell back with a 74 Siddik got stronger and stronger as the round went on.
Siddik pulled away from the pack on the back nine with an eagle on par-five 11th, where he hit a five wood to 30 feet, and a birdie at the 14th.
He was comfortably in the lead but there was no let-up as he nailed an eagle on the par-five 18th where his five-wood approach just missed the green. He chipped in from the edge from 10 yards.
‘I was in India last week with my coach Pritam and we have been working very hard on physical training. I have been working on my stamina so that I don’t get tired over four rounds. It is really paying off and I feel a different golfer from what I was a year ago,’ added Siddik.
He finished one stroke short of the four round record set by Malaysia’s S Sivachandran last year.
Chia made five birdies and three bogeys to record his best finish in the tournament which was inaugurated in 2005.
271 (-17) Siddikur Rahman (BAN) 69-68-69-65
275 (-13) Danny Chia (MAS) 66-71-68-70
276 (-12) Rashid Ismail (MAS) 70-66-72- 68,
276 (-12) Shaaban Hussin (MAS) 68-69-69-70
-With New Age input