SAIL-SBI Open Rd 4 - What they said

Sat 01 Mar 2014

SAIL-SBI Open Rd 4 - What they said

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RASHID KHAN (IND) - FINAL ROUND 71 (-1), TOTAL 270 (-18)
You know it feels awesome. It’s my home course and winning here is always special. I really want to thank DGC who gave me the facilities to practice here. It’s amazing. I lost this event here last year. It was important and the way I started with the first day (61), it was amazing.
I don’t like play-offs. I played some seven play-offs in the last 14 months and I won only three. I lost my last play-off at the Bilt. It’s a lottery.
On 17, I was only trying to get on the green. I had to do it as Siddikur had hit it to 15 feet. I was hoping to get the chance to make birdie. I actually hit a bad shot, hit it right, but I don’t know how my ball pitched over the bunker and rolled to one and a half feet to the flag. I was shocked. It was really lucky.
I had to be aggressive in the play-off. I had to go for it. I took out the driver and hit a good shot in the middle of the fairway. Had about 269 yards to the flag. I went with a three wood and hit a really good shot there. That was one of the best shots I’ve hit. That was a good three wood. Just pin high and right side of the flag. Only needed a two putt to win the tournament.
It means a lot to get the Asian Tour exemption. You can’t imagine how important this was. Even last year, I didn’t have a country exemption and didn’t have an Asian Tour card. Losing in a play-off last year was really heartbreaking. I had to make my card in five tournaments and I played really good golf last year. Finished number one on the Indian Tour and made my card on the Asian Tour. I was really confident of doing well this year. I was hoping to win a tournament this year on the Asian Tour and to happen in the first tournament on my home course is incredible.
I didn’t play the par fives too well in the final round, making only pars. It was important to hit birdie in regulation on 18. I was one shot behind going into 17 and had a lucky shot into 17. On 18, hit a good shot into four feet for birdie. I had some pressure on me as I wasn’t hitting my sand wedge well.
I’m going to play on the Asian Tour now. I’m just going to go all those tournaments that I can get myself into.
I’ve think I’ve progressed as a golfer. It’s been an exciting journey in the past few years. Finished fourth, second and first on the PGTI Tour. When I turned pro, a lot of things were expected of me.
My uncle Makbur is a club pro here. He was the one who asked me to try golf. I played cricket as I was a boy. You had no idea what golf is as I was just taking out the bat to the park to hit some balls. He was the one who introduced the game to me. I started the game in 2000.
SIDDIKUR RAHMAN (BAN) – FINAL ROUND 69 (-3), TOTAL 270 (-18)
It was a good play-off. I played my game but I should have played driver. I used my three wood which wasn’t sufficient in the play-off for birdie. I have used three wood in the first four rounds and made birdie there but not in the play-off.
Rashid played extremely well as the first day, he shot 11 under. He deserves the win. He’s a talented player. It was nice to play with him. I saw his game and he’s a really good player.
It’s going to help me for the EurAsia Cup. It’s my first event of the 2014 season. I have played twice in the Indian circuit the past few weeks and I think it’ll help me in the EurAsia Cup. The way I’m hitting the ball now, I’m quite happy. My short game is going good and I hope to help Team Asia. I also made some mistakes, couldn’t hole my putts from 10 feet. Missed some chances and if I had holed some, I could have won. But it’s okay, there has to be a winner and a loser.