Hossain on a high at Faldo Series Bangladesh Championship
Dhaka, Bangladesh (November 2): Victory in the second edition of the Faldo Series Bangladesh Championship tasted especially sweet for Mohd Akber Hossain.
Twelve months ago, Hossain suffered the disappointment of losing out to Mohd Rasel on the first extra hole at Kurmitola Golf Club.
Driven on by that loss, Hossain returned to the same venue and emerged a worthy winner in the most prestigious event on Bangladesh’s amateur golfing calendar.
With rounds of 73, 67 and a closing 74, Hossain posted a total of two-under 214 in the 54-hole event that is included on the World Amateur Golf Ranking schedule.
In the overall standings, that was two strokes clear of second-placed Sonya Akhter and eight ahead of Mohammad Farhad andAfnan Mahmud Chowdhury in joint third.
As well as underscoring Hossain’s status as his country’s foremost amateur exponent, his success at Kurmitola has ensured him a place in the 10th anniversary Faldo Series Asia Grand Final, to be hosted by Sir Nick Faldo at Mission Hills China next March.
Joining Hossain there will be Chowdhury [Boys’ Under-18 champion], Ahnaf Saadman [Boys’ Under-16 champion] and Sonya Akhtar [Girls’ Under-21 champion], who serves in the Bangladesh Army.
Conspicuous by his absence, however, will be Mohd Rasel. Last year’s Faldo Series Bangladesh Championship winner struggled to reproduce his magical form of 2014 and ended tied for fourth in the Boys’ Under 21 category.
In contrast, Hossain sped out of the blocks, building a commanding lead that allowed him the luxury of being able to coast home despite four successive bogeys to close out his final round.
Hossain also had difficulty coming to terms with Kurmitola’s testing par-threes. As well as being four-over for three days at the 152-yard second, he carded two double-bogeys at the 178-yard eighth and bogeyed the 135-yard 11th on all three days.
Those setbacks, though, were offset by a glut of birdies. Hossain took a particular liking to the second, sixth, ninth, 10th and 12th, holes at which he picked up strokes on all three days.
Six-time Major winner Sir Nick Faldo, Britain’s most successful golfer, said: “My thanks and congratulations go to everyone at the Bangladesh Golf Federation for organising such an outstanding tournament.
“For the second year in succession we had more than 80 players in the starting field. That such support is forthcoming is an encouraging sign for golf’s future in the country.
“My hope is that the Faldo Series Bangladesh Championship can act as a catalyst to help golf take root in Dhaka and across the country.”
Founded in the 1950s, the Kurmitola Golf Club moved to its present location in the heart of the capital during the 1960s. It’s the best-known course in Bangladesh.
Supported by The R&A and Mission Hills and endorsed by the Asian Tour and the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation, the 2015-16 Faldo Series Asia campaign stretches over 11 months and will include a minimum of 21 events in 17 countries including, for the first time, Australia.
Recognised as the only global amateur series for boys and girls, the Faldo Series was established in 1996, expanding to Asia in 2006.
Today, 40 Faldo Series tournaments take place in 30-plus countries worldwide, touching more than 7,000 golfers each year. Past winners include Tseng Ya-ni and Rory McIlroy, who took his tally of professional Major titles to four with his wins at last year’s Open Championship and US PGA Championship.
Faldo Series Bangladesh Championship, leading final scores:
214 – Mohd Akbar Hossain (73-67-74)
222 – Mohammad Farhad (76-73-73)
225 – Mohd Shafique (76-72-77)
222 – Afnan Mahmud Chowdhury (72-73-77)
236 – Md Liton Mondal (76-78-78), 236 – Snk Md Shahabuddin (80-78-78)
234 – Ahnaf Saadman (84-77-73)
235 – Md Nabi Hossain (73-85-77)
237 – Md Jahangir Alom (84-77-76)
216 – Sonya Akhtar (74-72-70)
225 – Liza Akhtar (75-76-74)
226 – Nasima Akhter (77-77-72)
For full scores and results from the Faldo Series Bangladesh Championship please visit www.faldoseriesasia.info/tic/tmtic.cgi. You can also follow the Faldo Series on Facebook at www.facebook.com/faldoseries and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/faldoseries.