Siddikur Aims for Open Championship History

Thu 28 Feb 2013

Siddikur Aims for Open Championship History

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Chonburi, Thailand, February 28: Siddikur is on track of making history when he shared the opening round lead with Japanese amateur Hideki Matsuyama on six-under-par 66 at the Open Championship International Final Qualifying – Asia on Thursday.
The Bangladeshi got off to a hot start where he was five-under after six holes to maintain his bid to become the first player to represent his country in the Open Championship.
China’s Hu Mu, Australian Scott Barr and Singaporeans Quincy Quek and Lam Zhiqun were a further shot back in the two-day qualifier where the top-four players qualify for the year’s third Major at Muirfield in July.
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Siddikur, who is the first Bangladeshi to play and win on the Asian Tour, was in a similar position in the 2011 IFQ-Asia but he was disqualified on the last day when he failed to write a score for the last hole. He insists he will not repeat the same mistake again.
“There are no excuses for me (two years ago). I just didn’t play well after shooting a 66 on the first day. I was so excited but unfortunately I couldn’t keep up. My score would have been three-over if I wasn’t disqualified,” said Siddikur.
With a hot putter in tow, Siddikur traded seven birdies and one bogey to lead the way with the talented Matsuyama, who is a two-time Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship winner and the first Japanese amateur to play in the 2011 Masters Tournament.
“I’m very confident and my game is good. If I can play my game, I’m quite confident I’ll be able to qualify for the Open Championship,” said Siddikur.
Matsuyama hopes to make amends for last year’s heartbreak when he dropped six shots in the last three holes to miss the play-off for the fourth and final ticket to the Open Championship by two shots.
“I’ve forgotten about that and have already moved on. I’m looking forward to the last day and if I can keep playing like how I did, then I’ll be able to earn a place in the Open Championship,” said Matsuyama.
Singapore’s Quek, who is aiming to become the third Singaporean after Mardan Mamat and Lam Chih Bing to play in the Open Championship, was in the lead for 17 holes but hit his tee shot into the water on nine for a double bogey.
“I’m happy to be on five-under with a double bogey! In two-day events, you have to make as many birdies as you can. I guess my focus tomorrow is to enjoy the round and put in a low number,” said the 26-year-old.
Australian Barr mixed his round with eight birdies and one eagle against a double bogey and three bogeys as he plots a return to the Open Championship where he made his debut at the Royal Troon Golf Club in 2004.
“I started to hit the ball pretty well at the start and putted pretty good. I just had a couple of soft mistakes. This is a golf course where you can get in big trouble without doing many mistakes. Overall I’m happy but I hope to hold it together,” said Barr.
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Scores after round 1 of the IFQ Asia 2013 being played at the par 72, 7419 Yards Amata Spring CC course (a- denotes amateur):
66 - SIDDIKUR (BAN), Hideki MATSUYAMA (am, JPN).
67 - HU Mu (CHN), Quincy QUEK (SIN), LAM Zhiqun (SIN), Scott BARR (AUS).
68 - Prayad MARKSAENG (THA), Anthony KANG (USA), Berry HENSON (USA), KIM Hyung-sung (KOR), PAN Cheng-tsung (am, TPE), WU Ashun (CHN), Rory HIE (INA), Kiradech APHIBARNRAT (THA).
69 - Kalle SAMOOJA (FIN), Arnond VONGVANIJ (THA), Scott HEND (AUS), Hiroshi IWATA (JPN), Yuta IKEDA (JPN).
70 - Stephen LEWTON (ENG), Nils FLOREN (SWE), Kwanchai TANNIN (THA), Prom MEESAWAT (THA), James BYRNE (SCO), Jaakko MAKITALO (FIN).
71 - Darren BECK (AUS), PARK Ju-hyuk (KOR), JOO Heung-chol (KOR), Gunn CHAROENKUL (THA), LAM Chih Bing (SIN), Niall TURNER (IRL), Daisuke MARUYAMA (JPN), Panuphol PITTAYARAT (THA), Tomohiro KONDO (JPN), Javi COLOMO (ESP).
72 - Kodai ICHIHARA (JPN), Miguel TABUENA (PHI), BAEK Seuk-hyun (KOR), Jonathan MOORE (USA), Chawalit PLAPHOL (THA), Ben FOX (USA), Grant JACKSON (ENG), Yosuke ASAJI (JPN).
Further information:
The R&A - Communications
+44 (0) 1334 460000
media@randa.org
Doyle Decosta, Media Officer, the Asian Tour
+012 699 1976
doyle.decosta@asiantour.com
About the Asian Tour
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