Photo - Asian Tour
SUB-CONTINENT TRIO SEEK GLORY AT HANDA SINGAPORE CLASSIC
Singapore: A supremely talented trio of golfers who have enjoyed rags-to-riches tales on the Asian Tour are gunning for more success at the inaugural Handa Singapore Classic next week.
Bangladesh’s history-maker Siddikur and Indian duo S.S.P. Chowrasia and C. Muniyappa will headline the Asian Tour’s newest US$400,000 tournament alongside Asian Tour number one Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand at the Orchid Country Club from September 9-12.
The trio have enjoyed inspiring victories and are determined to write a new chapter in their colourful resume in the Lion city.
Siddikur, a former ball boy at the Kurmitola Golf Club in Dhaka, became the first Bangladeshi to win on the Asian Tour at last month’s Brunei Open.
“I’m now a step higher in my career and for golf in my country. It made me proud to be the first Bangladeshi to play on the Asian Tour and win a title. It is a big achievement and I hope to continue to make my country proud,” said the 24-year-old Siddikur.
The slightly built Siddikur, who grew up in humble surroundings, has come a long way since playing the game with a makeshift seven iron club and will be determined to fly his country’s flag high in Singapore.
Muniyappa’s stunning rise which saw him claim a popular victory at the Hero Honda Indian Open last year marked a turning point in his career where he won US$223,269 on the Asian Tour last season.
Like Siddikur, he also came from humble beginnings. As a seven-year-old he earned one rupee working as a caddie at the Karnataka Golf Association golf course and learned his golf swing by observing club members.
He has struggled to reproduce his winning form this season and revealed that the pressure has been pilling since his surprise victory. “After winning the Indian Open, I planned on buying a house but until now, I haven’t managed to buy it yet. That has distracted me from golf but I hope a few good finishes or a victory will change that,” said last season’s Rookie of the Year.
Chowrasia, the son of a greenkeeper, produced a career breakthrough two years ago when he won the Indian Masters. The 32-year-old, nicknamed Chip-putt-sia for his short game prowess, is counting on his putting magic to lead him to a title assault at the Handa Singapore Classic.
“I’ve put in a lot of work in the last few years and changed my swing a bit. I’ve improved on my ball striking but my putting is not so good now. I’ve been missing a few short putts. My strong point is gone. I hope it’ll come back soon,” said Chowrasia.
Other top Asian Tour stars competing at the Orchid Country Club include Marcus Fraser of Australia, currently ranked second on the Order of Merit, and local star Lam Chih Bing.