Md Siddikur Rahman's journey is one of those inspirational tales, which send a tingle down the spine. The absence of resources early on meant he had to strike a balance between supporting himself and pursuing his first love at Dhaka's Kurmitola Golf Club. With most of the earnings as a ball boy going towards funding his studies, Siddikur's first club was created out of a broken seven-iron head stuck on a metal rod.
Since then, the voyage to "stardom" has witnessed several highlights, including a watershed 2010 on the Asian Tour, but the passage of time has failed to dim the ability to adapt. His driving abilities in sync with the short stature, the tight and winding topography of the Delhi Golf Club covered up for the "deficiency". All he needed to do was to ensure the short game was in place.
The 26-year-old, who prefers to be called on Tour by the middle name as "I prefer it that way", did what was necessary and came away with a share of the SAIL Open lead. The nine-under 135, made up by rounds of 68 and 67, had two critical components --- accurate tee shots and sound putting. "Everything seems to be falling in place and on a challenging course, where every shot is important, I'll need to repeat the same things," he said.
Playing three-ball with Aussie Marcus Both and Gaganjeet Bhullar, who returned another strong performance to be in a three-way tie for the fourth spot with Ajeetesh Sandhu and Thai Prom Meesawat, Siddikur found an able ally in the putter. Overnight T5, he started to pull away with three birdies on his front nine. The act was repeated and but for the blemish on the 9th, brought about by a "silly mistake", it could have been a spotless card.
The responsive putter was a source of joy and had him gushing over the "two long putts on the 10th (from 15 feet) and 1 (10 feet)".
An austere front nine, he teed off from the 10th, which saw a lone birdie, overnight leader Anirban Lahiri was hurt by a double bogey on the 4th which negated the effects of making birdie on the 3rd and 8th. A stroke adrift of Bhullar, Lahiri lay sole seventh at seven-under 137.
Tiger woods cancels japan visit
Tokyo: Golf star Tiger Woods cancelled his visit to Japan next month, following the quake-tsunami tragedy, his sponsors Nike said on Wednesday.
The stop-off was to be part of Nike's Asian "Make it Matter" tour, promoting golf among young fans, which will still visit China and South Korea, starting on April 12. The 9.0-magnitude quake and tsunami that devastated the country left nearly 21,000 dead or missing along Japan's eastern Pacific coast. Many foreign companies and embassies have relocated their employees to Osaka, 400 kilometres from the capital, as a precaution.