Dhaka - Tour rookie Sadom Kaewkanjana of Thailand stole the limelight after carding his personal-best round of a nine-under-par 62 to storm to the top of the leaderboard, seizing the halfway lead at the Bangabandhu Cup Golf Open on Thursday.
The 20-year-old Thai, who came through the 2019 Asian Tour Qualifying School last December, fired an eagle and eight birdies against a bogey to grab a three-shot lead with his 15-under-par 127 total at the highly-rated Kurmitola Golf Club.
Sadom’s commendable round saw him set the lowest 18-hole and 36-hole scores in the National Open of Bangladesh. His three-shot advantage is also the largest halfway lead recorded in the tournament, which is celebrating its fifth edition on the Asian Tour this week.
"My goal today was just to shoot under-par. I didn’t expect to play so well. I am really happy. My putting is very good. I got off to a solid start. I had a great run from the 12th hole. I was just hitting fairways and greens and then making putts," said Sadom who won his maiden ADT title in the Thongchai Jaidee Foundation in February.
"I am really excited now. It’s been a good journey so far since I turned professional. I don’t think there’s much difference being a pro and an amateur. I just want to enjoy and not think so much about making money. Just play my game and be happy on course," added Sasom
"Winning on the ADT has given me a lot of confidence in my game. It feels good to be in the lead after two rounds in my first Asian Tour start this season too. I hope to continue my good form over the next two days and see how it goes," said Sadom who secured his 2019 Asian Tour card in his first attempt at the Qualifying School last December.
In-form Rashid Khan of India returned with a bogey-free 64 in the afternoon to grab second place on his own while overnight leader Maverick Antcliff of Australia slipped six shots off the pace to third following a battling 70 at the US$350,000 Asian Tour event.
Local hero Siddikur Rahman emerged as the highest-placed Bangladeshi on the leaderboard after posting a 68 to share fourth place with Japan’s Mikumu Horikawa (67) and Viraj Madappa of India (66) on matching 134s.
Starting from the 10th, Sadom reeled in two straight pars before a birdie on the 12th sparked a hot streak which saw him go five-under in the next four holes. He dropped a shot on the 17th hole but would gain it back swiftly with a birdie on 18th to turn in 30.
Sadom went on to add three more birdies on his back nine to cap a superb round, which saw him navigate his way around the greens in only 24 putts, including a 13-footer for eagle on the par-five 14th hole.
A total of 70 players, including a record number of 12 local professionals, survived the halfway cut set at one-over-par 143.
The Bangabandhu Cup Golf Open 2019 welcomed a new title sponsor in the National Bank Ltd, a public limited bank in Bangladesh. The tournament has been named in honour of the father of the nation of Bangladesh, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.