Super Siddikur surges ahead in Macau

Fri 18 Oct 2013

Super Siddikur surges ahead in Macau

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Macau, October 18: Bangladeshi Siddikur produced a blazing finish to snatch the second round lead at the US$800,000 Venetian Macau Open on Friday as he eyed a dream final day showdown with the tournament’s top draw, Ernie Els.
The slightly built Siddikur, the first man from his country to win on the Asian Tour in 2010, birdied three of his last four holes for a five-under-par 66 at the tricky Macau Golf and Country Club to edge one shot ahead of Korea’s Baek Seuk-hyun (65), Filipino Elmer Salvador (66) and rookie Ben Campbell of New Zealand (68).
Four-time Major Els moved one behind Siddikur after a brilliant 65.
With five top-10s this season, Siddikur is eyeing a second career victory at the Venetian Macau Open after finishing tied third in last year’s edition. With its tight fairways, the 29-year-old believes the course fits perfectly to his straight-hitting game.
“It was a great round. Lovely weather and I felt good. My ball striking was perfect, especially my putting as it all went in,” said Siddikur, who is currently 10th on the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit.
“This is a placing course which I like very much. I finished third here last year and I had good thoughts coming back. I’m hitting it good. I’m in good shape. Same thing tomorrow, fairways and greens which is always my goal.”Venetian Macau Open - Round One
The Bangladeshi trailblazer has not finished lower than 17th on the rankings in the past three seasons, saying that the Brunei victory provided the launchpad for his burgeoning career which has made him a household name in Dhaka.
“I won long ago, the 2010 Brunei Open. After that, I had a couple of seconds, thirds and fifths. After winning, I got good confidence and I don’t have any problem. I can follow up on my rhythm. That was the key to come further up in my career,” said Siddikur, who has taken only 25 putts in the last two rounds.
“Golf is getting popular back home. It wasn’t that popular six or seven years ago, but now it’s getting popular. Nowadays, I get recognised everywhere when I’m back in Dhaka. I enjoy being recognised. It’s a proud feeling and it gives me energy.”
He hopes to get a chance to tee up alongside Els in the weekend rounds. “Ernie is my idol. I’ve been waiting for a long time to play with him. Last few years, I’ve missed playing with him so hopefully this week.”
The burly Baek continued to ride on his rich vein of form as he charged up the leaderboard with a seven-birdie round which included three chip-ins. He has finished top-10 in four of his last tournaments, moving up to fifth on the Order of Merit.
“I’m really happy with the score. It’s my best on this course. I got really lucky on so many holes. I chipped in on three holes and made some long putts, 20 feet or so. Today, my putting and chipping was very good,” said the 23-year-old.
The Korean is desperate to land his first Asian Tour victory after contending on numerous occasions but reckons he has put too much pressure on himself to enjoy his career breakthrough.
“Every time, I’m getting nearer. I’m trying my best. I’m just going to enjoy my game and play my game. Every time I try to go for it, I didn’t do it. This time, I just want to enjoy my game and play my own game,” said Baek.
“I started working with my old golf coach since end of last year. Beginning of this year, my irons and swing have become much better than last year and I have more confidence to play. My putting is so good right now and I’m getting a lot of good results,” added Baek, who needed only 20 putts for his round.