Brilliant Siddikur in top form in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR – Bangladesh`s Siddikur Rahman was in top form in the six million dollar CIMB Asia Pacific Classic in Malaysia, hitting a sizzling six birdies Saturday.

The 26-year-old former caddie who went round in 65 and was 11 under for the tournament, said he enjoyed playing along PGA tour players like two-time US Open champion Retief Goosen but was never intimidated by their hitting.

"I am just enjoying the tournament. I am not scared. I feel like I`m playing with my friends," he told reporters.

Siddikur, who took up golf seriously in 1999 using improvised golf clubs, attributed his strong finish ahead of Sunday`s finals to his "extremely good drives, putting and chipping."

"I started good, par, par, birdie. My rhythm was good this morning. My driver was special today, hit it extremely good which helped me shoot six under," he added.

Siddikur, who in August became the first Bangladeshi to win an Asian tour event, said he had great fun on the course after hitting four birdies in the back nine.

"This is a major tournament for me. I am enjoying to play with PGA Tour players. I am looking forward to another good round Sunday," he said.

Siddikur, who worked on the golf course from the age of seven, said his love and passion for the sport fuelled his ambition to win.

"My father was a seasonal worker. I come from a really poor family. I got involved in a golf club to pay for my studies. I was a seven-year-old boy when I took up golf," he said.

Siddikur said he would attend the US PGA qualifying school next year in a bid to bolster his skills.

Recalling his introduction to playing the sport he said: "During that time, it was hard to get equipment as it was expensive. Golf wasn`t popular. We had to make something like that to play golf. The seven iron head was a broken club from someone. We collected the head and then made up the club. I used a metal rod and stuck it to the clubhead. That was how I started."

Bureau Report