Photo - Asian Tour
SIDDIKUR AIMS FOR NEW PEAKS AT OMEGA EUROPEAN MASTERS
Crans Montana, Switzerland: From Dhaka to Crans Montana, Bangladesh’s Siddikur knows he has certainly come a very long way in his golf career.
The Asian Tour’s newest star is part of a 35-man contingent from Asia competing in the €2 million (US$2.8 million) Omega European Masters at the stunning Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club in the Swiss Alps and he is loving every minute of it.
From a little-known competitor, the 25-year-old is now a cult hero in his home nation after becoming the first Bangladeshi to win on the elite Asian Tour following his success at the Brunei Open in July.
“I’m very excited as it’s my first event in Europe and it’s really grand. It’s my dream to play in big tournaments and great to see so many top class players here. It’s a good experience to be here. It’s awesome,” said Siddikur today.
From playing around with a makeshift seven iron club with fellow caddies at the Kurmitola Golf Club when he was young boy, Siddikur now finds himself lining up alongside golf greats including Australian legend Greg Norman and Europe’s Ryder Cup stars Miguel Angel Jimenez and Edoardo Molinari of Italy.
The slightly built Siddikur does not feel overawed with the big occasion but knows that competing on a golf course 1,500 meters above sea level will pose a different kind of challenge compared to what he is used to on the Asian Tour.
“I think it’s a bit different. I’ll try my best and aim to play in all four rounds. It’s not a long course. If I can do well on the greens, I can do better. My form is good. I’m looking forward to the week,” he said.
Siddikur was given a hero’s welcome when he finally returned home to Dhaka last month after his Brunei Open success. “There were like 200 over media in the VIP lounge at the airport when I arrived. I had to do so many interviews but it was fun,” he said.
“I guess it was the first achievement for me and the country. It felt something like a hero’s welcome. I’m very happy that the country honoured me. It’s good for me and golf back home,” he said.
The Omega European Masters became the first tournament in Europe to be jointly sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour last year, won by Sweden’s Alexander Noren.
Top Asian Tour stars competing in Crans Montana include reigning number one Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand, current Order of Merit leader Noh Seung-yul and Indian star Jeev Milkha Singh.