Players on front foot at Faldo Series Bangladesh Championship
Dhaka, Bangladesh (October 21): Young home-grown golfers will seek to wrest some publicity from the country’s superstar cricketers when the third edition of the Faldo Series Bangladesh Championship tees-off next week.
The South Asian nation is currently in the throes of cricket fever with an on-going Test series against a touring England side capturing the imagination of the sporting public.
Inspired by the battling efforts of their cricketing compatriots, the cream of Bangladesh’s junior golfing crop is preparing to illustrate the improvement players from the country have made in recent times.
According to Brigadier General Mohd Obaidul Haque (Retired), Joint Secretary of the Bangladesh Golf Federation, a high turnout is expected at the Kurmitola Golf Club for what will be the 13th leg of the record-breaking 2016-17 Faldo Series Asia season.
One of the highlights on the annual local golfing calendar, upto 100 boys and girls, representing all 14 of the country’s golf clubs, will line up in the 54-hole stroke play event that forms part of The R&A’s World Amateur Golf Ranking.
Six-time Major winner Sir Nick Faldo, Britain’s most successful golfer, said: “This is the third year that we’ve staged the Faldo Series Bangladesh Championship and it’s a credit to everyone who’s involved with the event that we’re seeing a field of close to 100 players.
“When we launched the championship in 2014, I didn’t imagine it would catch on quite so quickly. That we have so many juniors participating is a positive sign for the future of the game in Bangladesh.”
This will be the first time since the tournament’s inception that Mohd Akber Hossain will not be in the field. After being edged out in a play-off in 2014, Hossain triumphed last year. He is now too old to compete with the juniors.
His absence will raise the hopes of Afnan Mahmud Chowdhury, Mohd Shomrat Sikder and Shafique Bagha, three of the country’s top-ranked juniors.
Chowdhury was the winner of the Boys’ Under-18 category last year, while Shafique placed third in the Boys’ Under-21 segment.
All age group winners at Kurmitola will qualify for the 11th Faldo Series Asia Grand, to be hosted by Faldo at Laguna Lăng Cô in Danang, Central Vietnam, in March, 2017.
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 endorsed by the Asian Tour and the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation, the 2016-17 Faldo Series Asia campaign stretches over 11 months.
As well as two events in China, India and Thailand, championships will be staged in Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Chinese-Taipei, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam.
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, both multiple Major winners.