Local lad Md Akbar Hossain of Bangladesh set the early pace with an opening round of five-under 67 at the Mujib Borsho Chattogram Open 2022, here on Wednesday.
Hossain thus enjoyed a one-shot lead over compatriot Md Razu (68) at the magnificent Bhatiary Golf & Country Club which is staging the third event of the 2022 TATA Steel PGTI season and the first Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) event in Bangladesh in three years.
Harshjeet Singh Sethie was the highest-placed Indian golfer as he occupied third place at three-under 69.
Md Akbar Hossain, a 10th tee starter, made early inroads with birdies on the 11th, 12th and 13th. Akbar then picked up two more strokes on the 16th and 18th to go five-under at the turn. He then had a relatively quiet front-nine making a birdie and a bogey each.
Akbar, who earned his full card on the PGTI this season after finishing inside the top-40 at the Qualifying School, said, “I hit it close throughout the day today. My iron shots were very accurate and helped me set up short birdie putts. I had 15 greens in regulation and landed it within three feet on three occasions.
“I’m riding on the confidence of having performed well at the PGTI Qualifying School where I earned my card for the season after finishing tied 25th in the Final Stage. I’ll look to build on this going ahead by capitalizing on my good ball-striking form.” Md Razu enjoyed an error-free day with an eagle-two on the 10th and two birdies to be hot on the heels of the leader.
Harshjeet Singh Sethie began the day with three straight birdies on the 10th, 11th and 12th but dropped two bogeys on the back-nine. The six-feet six-inch tall Sethie, who turned professional in 2020, added four more birdies to his card on the front-nine in exchange for two bogeys.
There was a three-way tie for fourth place at two-under 70 between Md Rasel of Bangladesh, India’s Shankar Das and Sri Lanka’s N Thangaraja.
Bangladesh’s premier golfer Md Siddikur Rahman, one of the pre-tournament favourites, was among the 16 players bunched in tied seventh place at 71.
Md Zamal Hossain Mollah, another prominent name from Bangladesh, was in tied 34th position with a score of 74.