Dhaka, Bangladesh: A new name will be inscribed onto the Faldo Series Bangladesh Championship trophy next week.
With past champions Mohd Rasel and international team-mate Mohd Akber Hossain no longer eligible to compete among the juniors, attention at the fourth edition of the Bangladesh event will focus on a host of other young home-grown golfers seeking to stamp their mark in the game.
Lieutenant Colonel Md Abdul Bari (Retired), Co-ordinator at the Bangladesh Golf Federation, said: “Golf in Bangladesh is becoming an increasingly popular sport. Our Junior Division, in particular, has made tremendous progress with our players regularly participating in tournaments both at home and abroad.
“The Faldo Series has been instrumental in developing junior golf in Bangladesh. Since its introduction in Bangladesh in 2014, the number of junior golfers has increased many fold and has acted as a morale-boosting factor for them.
“It has also helped in raising standards and improving the performances of our top players in the tournaments in which they compete.”
Never was that better illustrated than during the 11th Faldo Series Asia Grand Final at Laguna Lăng Cô in Danang, Central Vietnam, in March. There, Rasel stunned his rivals from around the region by topping the leaderboard after an opening five-under-par 66.
He eventually finished in fourth place overall, behind only Thai Napat Paramacharoenroj, Indonesian Jonathan Wijono and Australian Daniel Gale – the best effort to date by a Bangladeshi golfer in the Faldo Series Asia Grand Final.
Six-time Major champion Sir Nick Faldo, Britain’s most successful golfer, said: “I was hugely impressed by Mohd Rasel’s performance. For a player who comes from a country where there are only 12 courses and a golfing population of less than 10,000, it was an outstanding effort. He has now set the benchmark for players from Bangladesh in the coming years.”
One of the highlights on the annual local golfing calendar, this year’s 54-hole Faldo Series Bangladesh Championship forms part of The R&A’s World Amateur Golf Ranking and will include representatives from all of the country’s golf clubs, attempting to emulate Rasel.
In the absence of Rasel and Akber Hossain, Md Sumon and Md Jahangir Alom are among the up-and-coming players tipped to challenge for top honours in the eighth leg of the 2017-18 Faldo Series Asia season.
All age group winners at Kurmitola Golf Club will earn themselves tickets to the 12th Faldo Series Asia Grand Final, to be hosted by Sir Nick, in March, 2018.
Founded in the 1950s, the Kurmitola club moved to its present location in the heart of the capital during the 1960s. It’s the best-known course in Bangladesh.
The 2017-18 Faldo Series Asia season is supported by The R&A and endorsed by the Asian Tour and the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation. The International Junior Golf Academy is a partner of the Faldo Series.
As well as two events in China, India and Thailand, championships are being staged in Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Chinese-Taipei, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam.