Lee Westwood may have the world No 1 spot in mind, but on the opening day of the Indosian Masters, Siddikur Rahman ruled the roost.
He shot an opening six-under-par 66 yesterday to lead and has the world No 2 Westwood trailing by two. According to the Asian Tour website, Siddikur fired two superb chip-ins in ideal scoring conditions to hold a one stroke lead over the chasing pack at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club.
Siddikur, starting from the 10th tee, said he was lucky to take the lead after holing out from 15 and 30 feet on holes 10 and two respectively.
“I was hitting and putting very well and it has been like this for a few weeks now. I’m getting more confidence every week and that’s why I’ve been playing so well,” said the 2010 Brunei Open winner.
The first Bangladeshi to play and win on the Asian Tour, Siddikur has continued to shine with commendable performances. He finished in eighth place at the Maybank Malaysian Open last week and was placed second at the SAIL Open in India last month, losing only by one stroke to Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand.
His eighth place finish in the Malaysian Open meant he was placed above 2011 Masters Tournament champion Charl Shwartzel and world No 1 Martin Kaymer of Germany.
Despite his success in Asia, Siddikur admitted he was feeling nervous playing with world number two Westwood.
“I saw the draw yesterday and was feeling a bit excited playing with one of the best players in the world. I have to admit I felt a bit shaky this morning playing with him,” he said.
Englishman Westwood, the hot favourite to win this week, was among seven players tied in eighth place on identical 68s. If he wins this week and Luke Donald does not in the United States, Westwood will regain his world number one spot from Kaymer.
He is determined to focus on the Indonesian Masters and is unperturbed by the fact that he has a chance of regaining the world number one spot this week.
“I’ll let things take its course and see what happens at the end of the week. Like I said before, I’m here to win a golf tournament,” said Westwood, Europe’s number one in 2000 and 2009.
Westwood struggled to get his putter on fire early in the round but birdied his closing two holes to place himself two strokes from the lead.
“I played solidly but I was a bit frustrated out there. It has been the story for me so far, hitting it great from tee to green and giving myself a lot of chances but not taking it,” added the Englishman.
FIRST ROUND SCORES
66 – Siddikur Rahman (BD).
67 – Park Hyun-bin (KOR), Lam Chih Bing (SIN), Antonio Lascuna (PHI), Prayad Marksaeng (THA), Hwang Inn-choon (KOR), Thongchai Jaidee (THA).
68 – Rory Hie (INA), Thitiphun Chuayprakong (THA), Ben Leong (MAS), Lee Westwood (ENG), Darren Beck (AUS), Mo Joong-kyung (KOR), Shaaban Hussin (MAS).
69 – Simon Griffiths (ENG), Iain Steel (MAS), Peter Gustafsson (SWE), Kiradech Aphibarnrat (THA).
Courtesy of The Daily Star