Bangladeshi golfing pro hails impact of Brunei Open win

Fadhil Yunus

Bangladeshi professional golfer Siddikur Rahman has hailed the impact of his victory in the prestigious Brunei Open 2010 and credited the Asian Tour-sanctioned event as the most memorable triumph in his career.

The professional golfer has reportedly told Bangladeshi news portal News Age that the maiden Asian Tour title in the Brunei Open, arguably the biggest international golf tournament the Sultanate has staged- represented his turning point in his life.

“If you ask me, I would definitely say that winning the Brunei Open in 2010 was my most memorable achievement and the turning point of my life. I never had to look back after winning that Asian Tour title,” Siddikur was quoted as saying.

Having adopted the “Tiger Woods of Bengal” moniker, the Bangladeshi added one more title three years later in the Hero Indian Open.

But, it was his first piece of silverware since turning professional that had endeared him into the continental golfing scene as a newly-crowned Asian Tour champion.

Brunei Open 2010 champion Siddikur Rahman. PHOTO: AFP

“Until that win, I was not very known person in the golfing arena. I had nothing to lose in the tournament. It’s also true that I was not thinking to win this tournament,” said Siddikur.

The Brunei Open, thought to be Brunei’s first professional golf tournament, saw Siddikur at the top of his game at the very start, prompting his peers to rate his chances of winning the event.

Having initially been content of a top-10 finish before the first tee-off, he said, “But I made a dream start as I was in first position from the opening round, looking at the leader-board counting on my score, making the next day’s game plan.”

“I was asking myself, what was going on, am I in a fantasy, is it me? Is it real? Nothing so fascinating happened in my life before,” said Siddikur, who is the first golfer from his country to win an Asian Tour event.

Siddikur, who prior to victory had just two years of experience in that level after qualifying for the Asian Tour, was engaged in a playoff battle against South Africa’s Jbe Kruger after both had been tied with a score of 268 in the final round.

An even-par in the extra hole coupled with Kruger’s bogey decided the match, cementing Siddikur’s place in Asian Tour history.

The Brunei leg of the Asian Tour was held for six consecutive years from its debut in 2005, culminating in Siddikur being crowned as a champion in the final instalment of the event.

During that period, a host of international golfers descended at the Empire Hotel and Country Club, which is home of the Brunei Open and most recently the Asian Development Tour.