Mollah wins Bangladesh Open golf

January 31st, 2009 - 10:04 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, Jan 31 (IANS) Bangladesh’s latest golfing sensation, amateur Mohamed Jamal Hossain Mollah, produced a tenacious even par 72 at the Kurmitola Golf Club to win the City Bank Dhaka Bank Bangladesh Open golf here Saturday.Mollah (68, 67, 68, 72) rounded off an excellent week as he took home the trophy after finishing five strokes ahead of nearest challengers, Indian professionals Harendra Gupta, Shamim Khan and Sanjay Kumar.

Chandigarh’s Gupta prevailed in a playoff against Shamim Khan and Sanjay Kumar to finish as the best professional. The trio had earlier finished with totals of eight under 280 after the regulation 72 holes.

Mollah, the winner of a couple of amateur events in India and Bangladesh last year, gave the home fans a lot to cheer about on the final day of the tournament. He outplayed the more experienced professionals playing alongside him and did not lose control of the situation at any stage.

An elated Mollah said: “It is an amazing feeling to win one of the biggest tournaments ever to have been staged in my country. This whole week has been like a dream for me. I was little nervous at the start today when Shamim made a birdie on the first. Nevertheless, I was quite relaxed by the time we got to the second green. I played my natural game from then on and did not bother about how the others were playing.”

Even as Shamim (67, 69, 69, 75) dropped from overnight 11 under to eight under, Gupta (69, 72, 71, 68), in the meantime, helped by his bogey-free 68 in round four, crept up from overnight four under to eight under to join Shamim in tied second. Sanjay Kumar (69, 69, 71, 71) also ended the regulation 72 holes at eight under to be tied second. In the final round, Gupta birdied the fifth, 12th, 13th and 14th while Sanjay made three birdies against two bogeys.

Gupta, Shamim and Sanjay were then involved in a playoff for the highest prize money amount. The three Indian professionals birdied the first playoff hole to be all square once again. The second playoff hole proved to be decisive. Gupta birdied the second playoff hole to finish as the best professional and be second in the overall standings at the tournament. Shamim found the water hazard and Sanjay made par on the same hole.

Gupta thus took home the highest amount of prize money (Rs.323,300) from the tournament. Mollah did not receive any prize money despite winning the tournament because he participated as an amateur.

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