Siddikur hopes to enjoy historic ride

Wed 20 Nov 2013

Siddikur hopes to enjoy historic ride

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Melbourne, VIC, November 20: Siddikur Rahman will remember his 29th birthday for a very long time.
The Asian Tour star will enjoy the honour of becoming the first Bangladeshi player to tee up at the ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf which starts tomorrow and he intends to enjoy the walk at Royal Melbourne Golf Club with a strong showing.
“It’s nice to be in my first World Cup on my 29th birthday today. I’m really excited and I’m glad to play in this tournament. I’m proud with what I have achieved. I have received a lot of messages from my fans and friends on Facebook and emails and they are encouraging me to play well and it’s good for me and good for golf in Bangladesh,” said Siddikur.
Two weeks ago, he won the Hero Indian Open for his second Asian Tour title which will ensure he finishes in the top-10 of the Order of Merit for the third time in the last four years, an impressive feat for a player who hails from a nation with very little golfing culture.
Siddikur hopes his historic ride at the ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf, which is offering US$7 million in the individual category and US$1 million in the team category for nations which have two players in the event, will accelerate the growth of golf in his country.
“In the past, some people may not follow golf but now, more and more people are following golf especially when I have managed to play well. They are now cheering me on which is quite inspiring,” said Siddikur, who grew up as a ball boy at a local club in Dhaka and played the game with a makeshift seven iron head stuck on a metal rod.
“Honestly, I never ever thought about being a good professional golfer on the Asian Tour or play in the World Cup or in the Olympics. It wasn’t even in our dreams. But now, the dream has come true and it’s the first time I’m participating in the World Cup and I’m expecting I can qualify for the Olympics as well (in 2016) as the qualifying system is similar. One by one, the dream is coming true and it’s happening nicely. It feels really good.
“Since I’m doing well now on the Asian Tour, golf is now becoming more popular in Bangladesh. Many young potential players are coming through. The government is also thinking about golf and taking more initiatives to support the game. Nowadays, I see young potentials coming up and I do hope they will become better than me,” added Siddikur.
With his confidence still high following his Indian Open victory a fortnight ago, Siddikur, one of the straightest hitters on Tour, knows he must master the tricky greens at Royal Melbourne to mount a title charge.
“This kind of greens, it’s my first experience playing on them. I played really good (at the Australian Masters last week) but it took me a long time to learn about them. I absolutely had no idea about these greens but I’ve practiced a lot on the greens the past few days and I think I’m doing good now. It’s the first time I’m playing on such fast and tricky greens in my life,” he said.
“My confidence is still there. Even though I missed the cut last week, everything is still good, I just need to putt better. I missed some putts last week but I guess it takes time to learn. I hope if I can I putt well, I can be amongst the leaders this weekend with some good scores. The key will be to manage my game well on the greens.”
Tickets to witness the ISPS HANDA World Cup are on sale now from www.ticketmaster.com.au.
About ISPS
ISPS is a ‘General Incorporated Association’ based in Tokyo.  ISPS was founded by Japanese philanthropist Dr Haruhisa Handa in 2006 to support charitable causes throughout the sporting world.  ISPS has fostered partnerships with golf governing bodies worldwide to help develop the game at every level and promote blind and disabled golf.  ISPS’s heritage in supporting blind and disabled golf and Dr Handa’s interest and philanthropic contribution in golf has formed the foundation of its wider mission for golf to become a Paralympic sport. Visit www.ispsgolf.com
About Melbourne
Known as one of the world’s most liveable cities, it is Melbourne’s sophisticated, yet edgy style combined with super-friendly people that gives the city its personality. With an impressive calendar of high profile international events, including The Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, Melbourne Food and Wine Festival and The Australian Open Tennis Championships, Melbourne is a leader in staging major events and providing a world-class welcome to international visitors.
With inner-city precincts ranging from the infamous city centre laneways to the beachy, bayside chic of the south and eclectic northside cool – Melbourne is a city of constant discovery where fashion, food, sport and entertainment, shopping, heritage, the arts and good living all come together to creative a lifestyle envied by many around the world. Food and wine lovers in particular will be in food heaven in gourmet Melbourne. Eating experiences range from award-winning celebrity chef restaurants to farmers markets selling locally sourced wines and fresh produce.
As one of the most compact regions in Australia, Victoria offers a huge variety of landscapes and experiences within a few hours of Melbourne. Whether its deserts, alpine ski resorts, mighty rivers, great lakes, wildlife, or the unparalleled spectacle and beauty of the world renowned Great Ocean Road, Victoria is all about quality experiences.
Many of the state’s regional attractions, including valleys of vineyards and international surf beaches, are less than a two-hour drive from Melbourne. But with more time to spare, the entire state offers a variety of scenic routes ideal for self-drive and personalised tours.
About the International Federation of PGA Tours
The International Federation of PGA Tours was formed in 1996 by golf’s five world governing bodies – The European Tour, Japan Golf Tour Organisation, PGA TOUR, PGA Tour of Australasia and Sunshine Tour (South Africa PGA Tour) with the purpose of providing a forum for the world’s professional golf organizations to discuss issues of mutual importance and, together, develop and promote the game of golf on a global basis.  As part of its mission, the Federation initiated the World Golf Championships in 1999.  The Asian Tour joined the International Federation of PGA Tours in November 1999, while the Canadian Tour and the Tour de las Americas joined the Federation as associate members in 2000 and 2007, respectively.
In step with global growth of professional golf, the International Federation of PGA Tours announced an expansion and restructuring of its membership in 2009, adding the International Golf Association and additional professional golf tours, including – for the first time – women’s golf tours: China Golf Association; Korea Professional Golfers’ Association; Professional Golf Tour of India; LPGA Tour; Ladies European Tour; Australian Ladies Professional Golf Tour; Japan LPGA; Korean LPGA; and Ladies Asian Golf Tour.
About the International Golf Association
The International Golf Association (IGA) is a not-for-profit corporation, chartered in the State of New York in 1956.  IGA is governed by its seven-member Board of Directors.  Jonathan Linen is the IGA Board Chairman.  Through its association with the International Federation of PGA Tours, IGA continues its international goodwill through golf mission and looks forward to the 2013 return of the World Cup to The Royal Melbourne Golf Club, one of the world’s greatest golf venues.
About IMG
IMG Worldwide is a global sports, fashion and media business, with nearly 3,500 employees operating in 30 countries around the globe. IMG’s areas of expertise are diverse and wide ranging:  IMG College; IMG’s Joint Ventures in China, Brazil, India and Turkey; IMG Media; IMG Events and Federations; IMG Golf and IMG Tennis; IMG Fashion; IMG Models; IMG Art+Commerce; IMG Clients; IMG Academy; IMG Consulting and IMG Licensing.  More information is available at www.imgworld.com  Follow us on Twitter:  http://twitter.com/ IMG_Worldwide and Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/IMG-Worldwide/
On-site media contacts:
Georgie Cox, World Cup, PR Manager, 0419334492, georgie@coxmarketing.com.au
Nicole O’Farrell, PGA of Australia, 0439 933490, nofarrell@pga.org.au
Chris Reimer, PGA TOUR, 0432 801 047, chrisreimer@pgatourhq.com
Paul Symes, European Tour, 0466 220 285, psymes@europeantour.com
Chuah Choo Chiang, Director, Communications, Asian Tour, +6012 217 2123, chuah@asiantour.com