Siddikur's global ambitions put to test

Wed 02 Oct 2013

Siddikur's global ambitions put to test

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Tamsui, Chinese Taipei, October 2: Bangladesh’s Siddikur will face a stern test of his title credentials when he steps up to the tee at the US$600,000 Mercuries Taiwan Masters which begins at the Taiwan Golf and Country Club on Thursday.
With over 30 Tour champions and players representing 20 countries from the region’s premier Tour in the starting field, Siddikur knows a good result against the best will be the perfect tonic for a series of high profile events coming up.
“I lost in the play-off in 2010 and hopefully I can get the job done this year. My form was a little off a couple of weeks ago, but I’m getting back to my best. It will be a great confidence boost especially with the exciting run of events coming up,” said Siddikur.
The 28-year-old will become the first player from his country to compete in the ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf next month and he is ready to face the acid test at the richest Asian Tour event to be staged in Chinese Taipei this season.
“There are many good players this week and it would be a true test of my abilities if I can get a good result. We play against each other every week and it’ll be good fun playing against them again,” said the Bangladeshi trailblazer.
Siddikur’s stocks have been on the rise since he created history by becoming the first man from Bangladesh to win on the Asian Tour at the 2010 Brunei Open. He continued to prove his worth by finishing in the top-10 of the Order of Merit in 2010 and 2011 and 17th last season.
With his last chance to break into the top-10 and secure his place in the lucrative CIMB Classic in Malaysia this week, Siddikur knows the stakes are getting higher as well.
The Mercuries Taiwan Masters is also the penultimate event for leading players on the Order of Merit vying for a place in the WGC-HSBC Champions in China.
“I try to put that out of my mind for now and focus on playing my own game first. I know I’ve the ability to do well and if I can do so, the rest will take care of it by itself,” said Siddikur.
Siddikur will have to look no further than Thailand’s Thaworn Wiratchant as one of his fiercest rivals this week as the reigning Asian Tour Order of Merit champion is no stranger to success in Chinese Taipei.
Having won his record 16th Asian Tour title in Chinese Taipei three weeks ago, the 46-year-old veteran is riding on a wave of confidence.
Four of Thaworn’s 16 Tour victories including the 2004 Mercuries Taiwan Masters have come from Chinese Taipei soil and the 46-year-old believes he can continue his proud record.
“I’ve always enjoyed coming to Taipei. I’ve made so many good friends over here and the hospitality they’ve given me whenever I come over is fantastic,” said Thaworn.
“I’m back again and it’s definitely a good feeling to be able to compete in one of my favourite cities in the world. Obviously, with those good memories, it helps to puts me into a positive frame of mind,” said Thaworn.
Thaworn’s long-time friend, Lin Wen-tang of Chinese Taipei will hoping to put a dent to his title aspirations as he will also be looking for another home win again.
“As professional golfers, there’s bound to be some form of rivalry between us. However we also have lots of mutual respect for each other,” said Lin.
“The competition is always there when we go out to the course but at the end of the day, we always congratulate the best golfer who wins,” added Lin.
The 39-year-old is one of Chinese Taipei’s most successful players with six victories on the region’s premier Tour.
Lin, who won the Mercuries Taiwan Masters in 2009, ended a four year winless drought when he outclassed the field in the Philippines earlier this year and is looking for a repeat this week.
“It’s always nice to play in front of the cheering home fans. It gives you lots of encouragement and motivation and spurs you to do well,” said Lin.
The Mercuries Taiwan Masters has long been the mainstay of the Asian Tour Schedule and will offer a lucrative winner’s prize purse of US$120,000.
Ends.
About the Asian Tour
In 2013, the Asian Tour will celebrate a momentous milestone with its 10th season. As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Abacus (Official Apparel Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Saxo Capital Markets (Official Statistics Partner), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Srixon (Official Ball), Subway (Official Quick Service Restaurant), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf, www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf, www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf.