Queenslander Maverick Antcliff got his campaign off to a flying start after carding an opening eight-under-par 63 to lead by two shots in his debut appearance at the Bangabandhu Cup Golf Open on Wednesday.
The 25-year-old returned with a bogey-free card highlighted by eight birdies to stay ahead of local hope Mohammad Muaj, Chinese Taipei’s Wang Weilun, as well as Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond, Settee Prakongvech and Sadom Kaewkanjana, at the Kurmitola Golf Club.
India’s Rashid Khan, who came off a top-10 finish on home soil last week, grabbed a share of seventh place alongside a host of players, including local hero Siddikur Rahman and Singapore’s Gregory Foo, after they signed for matching 66s at the US$350,000 event.
Malcolm Kokocinski of Sweden opened up his title defence with a flawless 67 to trail by four shots in tied-12th place at the national Open of Bangladesh, which is celebrating its fifth consecutive edition on the Asian Tour this week.
“I wanted to come and play here last year but couldn’t get my visa approved in time. It’s nice to be here finally.” – Maverick Antcliff
Antcliff, who enjoyed a tied-fourth place finish when he made his Asian Tour debut in China two years ago, was thrilled to put up a flawless display of golf and regain some confidence after missing the halfway cuts in his last two starts.
“I am really happy with the way I played today,” Antcliff said.
“I wanted to come and play here last year but couldn’t get my visa approved in time. It’s nice to be here finally. I have been working hard on my game after my first few events back home.”
Muaj, 21, emerged as the highest-placed Bangladeshi after marking his personal-best round at the highly-rated Kurmitola Golf Club, while Jazz renewed his love affair with the course by putting up a strong start to the tournament which he had won before in 2017.
The Bangabandhu Cup Golf Open 2019 welcomed a new title sponsor in the National Bank Ltd, a public limited bank in Bangladesh. The tournament has been named in honour of the father of the nation of Bangladesh, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.