After opening his campaign with a flawless 67, Siddikur Rahman fired eight birdies against two bogeys to match the efforts of overnight leader Suradit, who returned with a bogey-free 67, on 11-under-par 133 total at the venerable Delhi Golf Club
Delhi expert Siddikur Rahman of Bangladesh signed for a solid six-under-par 66 to grab a share of the halfway lead with young Thai talent Suradit Yongcharoenchai at the $400,000 Panasonic Open India Friday.
After opening his campaign with a flawless 67, Siddikur fired eight birdies against two bogeys to match the efforts of overnight leader Suradit, who returned with a bogey-free 67, on 11-under-par 133 total at the venerable Delhi Golf Club.
Local hotshot Ajeetesh Sandhu carded a 67 to trail the leading duo by one in third place while his playing partner Jazz Janewattananond of Thailand, who also carded a 67, lurked two shots off the pace in fourth.
Placed 97th on the Habitat for Humanity Standing, Siddikur will have the Merit chase at the back of his mind when he bids for a third victory on the region’s premier Tour and second at the Delhi Golf Club in the weekend.
The 33-year old Bangladeshi is hopeful of turning his season around with a strong showing on his favourite hunting ground, where he holds an impeccable track record on. He needs to finish inside top-60 on the final Merit ranking to keep his card for 2019.
Suradit, who goes by his Thai nickname “Art”, has enjoyed a commendable season on the Asian Tour thus far, claiming two top-five finishes which include a joint runner-up result in India two months ago. The 19-year-old is seeking his maiden Asian Tour title this week.
A total of 74 players will progressed into the weekend rounds after making the halfway cut set at two-over-par 146 at the popular event, which is celebrating its eighth consecutive edition on the Asian Tour.
The Panasonic Open India is sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Professional Golf Tour of India and is the second leg of the 2018/19 Panasonic Swing, which is an aggregate points race that spans five events – in Thailand, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Japan.
Pos Name To Par R2
T1 Suradit Yongcharoenchai -11 67
T1 Siddikur Rahman -11 66
3 Ajeetesh Sandhu -10 67
4 Jazz Janewattananond -9 67
5 Rashid Khan -8 68
• Siddikur Rahman birdied all the four par-fives (hole one, eight, 14 and 18) today. He missed only two fairways and needed only 24 putts around the greens in his solid round of 66.
• Siddikur holds an impeccable track record at the Delhi Golf Club. He won his second Asian Tour title in 2013, finished inside top-10 in four of his five attempts at the Panasonic Open India and has secured six top-10s in other Asian Tour events there.
• Siddikur did not play in the last two editions of the Panasonic Open India. In his last appearance in 2015, Siddkur came in tied-second.
• Placed 97th on the money list, Siddikur needs a strong showing to boost his rankings and hopefully break into top-60 by the end of the season to keep his Asian Tour card for 2019.
• Siddikur enjoyed his career-best season in 2013 when he came in fourth on the Asian Tour Order of Merit. He has not finished outside top-60 on the money list in his last eight consecutive seasons on Tour since 2010.
• The 33-year-old Siddikur wrote a slice of history in 2010 when he became the first player from Bangladesh to win on the Asian Tour at the Brunei Open.