Bangladesh's Siddikur Rahman is part of Team Asia up against Team Europe in the inaugural EurAsia Cup starting March 27 at Glenmarie GCC in Malaysia. - Filepic
PETALING JAYA: Bangladesh’s Siddikur Rahman is determined to bury his playoff defeat in India by helping Team Asia hoist the inaugural EurAsia Cup later this month.
Siddikur was locked in regulation play with Rashid Khan of India on 18-under 270 at the Delhi Golf Club but his decision to play it safe on the first playoff hole cost him his third Asian Tour victory at the SAIL-SBI Open on Saturday.
Siddikur admitted that he must adopt a more aggressive style of play at the EurAsia Cup when he goes up against Team Europe in the match-play format at the Gardens Course at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club from March 27-29.
“It was a good playoff. I played my game but I should have used my driver more. I used my three-wood which wasn’t sufficient in the playoff for birdie. I have used three-wood in the first four rounds and made birdie there but not in the playoff,” lamented Siddikur.
He is one of the most consistent players on the Asian Tour, having finished inside the top-10 on the Order of Merit three times out of four seasons. In 2013, he enjoyed a career high third placing on the Merit list highlighted by one victory and seven top-10s.
Despite his defeat, Siddikur believes his sharp-shooting game and dazzling skills on and around the greens will give Team Asia the extra edge against Team Europe.
“It’s going to help me for the EurAsia Cup. I have played twice in the Indian circuit the past few weeks and I think it’ll help me in the EurAsia Cup. The way I’m hitting the ball now, I’m quite happy. My short game is going good and I hope to help Team Asia.
“I made some mistakes (at the SAIL-SBI Open) because I couldn’t hole my putts from 10 feet. I missed some chances and if I had holed some, I could have won. But it’s okay, there has to be a winner and a loser,” he said.
Asia will be represented by Asian Tour No. 1 Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand, Siddikur, India’s Anirban Lahiri and Gaganjeet Bhullar, who all finished as the leading four Asian players on the 2013 Asian Tour Order of Merit.
South Korean Kim Hyung-sung and Japanese duo Koumei Oda and Hideto Tanihara earned their places through the Official World Golf Ranking while Nicholas Fung of Malaysia was named earlier as a captain’s pick, followed by Prayad Marksaeng and playing captain Thongchai Jaidee.
Spanish great Jimenez is the playing captain for Team Europe, who will include Ryder Cup hero Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland, Spaniard Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, Frenchman Victor Dubuisson, Jamie Donaldson of Wales, Denmark’s Thomas Bjorn, Dutchman Joost Luiten and Scotsman Stephen Gallacher.
Jimenez’s captain’s picks are countrymen Pablo Larrazabal and Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen.
The format of play for the EurAsia Cup will see five fourball matches being played on the first day (March 27) followed by five foursomes matches on day two (March 28) and 10 singles matches on the final day (March 29).