Cautious Higa stays in the lead at BTI Open

Wed 25 Apr 2018

Cautious Higa stays in the lead at BTI Open

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Dhaka, April 25: Kazuki Higa of Japan stayed in the lead at the halfway stage of the inaugural BTI Open after taking a careful approach on Wednesday. 

After opening with a brilliant 62, Higa took the safe approach as he returned with a two-under-par 70 to lead on 12-under-par 132 at the US$60,000 Asian Development Tour (ADT) event.

Bangladeshis Zamal Hossain Mollah and Md. Sajib Ali kept up their chase for a first ADT victory after returning with a 68 and 67 respectively to trail Higa by fours shots at the Kurmitola Golf Club.

Malcolm Kokocinski of Sweden carded a 70 to sit in fourth place on a 137 total while ADT Order of Merit leader John Catlin (66) of the United States and Argentina’s Miguel Carballo (71) were a further shot back in fifth place.

Higa, who is playing in only his second tournament as a professional, was happy with the day’s work of three birdies against one bogey as he only had 30 minutes to warm-up.

“I played very safe today. Before I teed off, I didn’t have enough time to warm up because the 5am bus was too early for me and I wanted to have breakfast in the hotel. I usually warm up about an hour and 15 minutes so I will go earlier in the next two rounds!” Higa smiled.

“Yesterday my iron shots were really good but today I struggled so I didn’t have many birdie chances. I just did enough to lead the tournament. I don’t want to think about the final two days yet. I’ll continue to play like how I did and see what happens,” he added.

Higa, who turned 23 on Monday, hopes to continue his fine form in his first appearance in Bangladesh after missing out on an Asian Tour card by a single shot in January.

Siddikur Rahman, who won the Dhaka Open on the ADT earlier this year, posted a 69 to trail by seven shots.

The halfway cut was set at two-over-146 with a total of 53 players qualifying for the final two rounds.

The BTI Open is the second ADT event to be staged in Bangladesh this year. The tournament will be afforded Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points with the winner receiving six OWGR points while the top-six players and ties earn points on a sliding scale.

For more information on the ADT, please visit www.asiandevelopmenttour.com.

Leading second round scores:

132 - Kazuki HIGA (JPN) 62 70

136 - Zamal Hossain MOLLAH (BAN) 68 68, Md. Sajib ALI (BAN) 69 67

137 - Malcolm KOKOCINSKI (SWE) 67 70

138 - John CATLIN (USA) 72 66, Miguel CARBALLO (ARG) 67 71

139 - Siddikur RAHMAN (BAN) 70 69, M DHARMA (IND) 68 71, Aman RAJ (IND) 73 66

140 - Andrew PARK (USA) 68 72, Shivendra Singh SISODIA (IND) 70 70

141 - Mithun PERERA (SRI) 68 73, Johnson POH (SGP) 71 70, Josh SALAH (USA) 69 72, Tapy GHAI (IND) 71 70, Dulal HOSSAIN (BAN) 69 72, Vikrant CHOPRA (IND) 70 71

142 - Raju ALI (IND) 73 69, Shamim KHAN (IND) 70 72, Anura ROHANA (SRI) 71 71

143 - Md. Ismail (BAN) 71 72, Janne KASKE (FIN) 72 71, Abhishek JHA (IND) 72 71, CHOO Tze Huang (SGP) 69 74, Shakhawat SOHEL (BAN) 68 75, Digvijay SINGH (IND) 72 71, Arjun PRASAD (IND) 71 72, Jeremy WENDELKEN (USA) 74 69, Sujjan SINGH (IND) 72 71, Jesse YAP (SGP) 69 74

About Asian Development Tour

The Asian Development Tour was launched in 2010 with the aim of creating a career pathway for professional golfers in Asia. Sanctioned by the Asian Tour, the Asian Development Tour will ultimately create a new playing platform for emerging stars from across Asia and around the world. Through the Asian Tour Qualifying School, players will qualify for the Asian Development Tour and enjoy the opportunity to hone their games and talent through a secondary circuit in Asia. Designed in the same structure as the Web.com Tour in America and European Challenge Tour, the Asian Development Tour is a stepping stone to the Asian Tour and the exciting world of international golf. The Asian Development Tour has been structured to ensure the best opportunities for its members. The leading five players on the Asian Development Tour will earn coveted Asian Tour cards for the following season, ensuring a proper career pathway for aspiring professionals. All ADT events receive Official World Golf Ranking points.

Ends.