Higa earns breakthrough in first ADT appearance at BTI Open

Fri 27 Apr 2018

Higa earns breakthrough in first ADT appearance at BTI Open

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Dhaka, April 27: Japan’s Kazuki Higa won his maiden Asian Development Tour (ADT) event in his very first attempt with a final round two-under-par 70 at the inaugural BTI Open on Friday.

It was a wire-to-wire victory for the 23-year-old Japanese as he closed with a winning total of 17-under-par 271 to emerge triumphant at the US$60,000 ADT event which was held at the Kurmitola Golf Club. 

Bangladeshi Zamal Hossain Mollah signed off with a 70 to finish in second place while Sweden’s Malcolm Kokocinski shared third place with Argentina’s Miguel Carballo on 276 total. 

“This is truly a special week for me in Bangladesh. It started with my birthday celebrations on Monday and I would end the week with my first ADT win here. It is even more memorable as this is my first ADT event,”said Higa.

Victory for Higa was also a redemption of sorts for the Japanese as he missed out on his Asian Tour card at Qualifying School by a single shot in January.

“After Qualifying School, I just told myself not to give up and try to do better the next time. I’m glad I didn’t have to wait too long for my first win,” said Higa, who graduated from Tohoku Fukushi University which counts Hideki Matsuyama as one of its famous alumni.

Starting the day with a three-shot cushion, Higa began with a conservative approach until the fourth hole where his advantage was wiped out. The Japanese then decided to change his game plan which eventually paid off.

“I did not feel much pressure at the start of the day as I thought I had a good lead. I was playing it safe until the fourth hole when Zamal caught up with me.

 “That was when I decided to drop the safe approach and become more aggressive. It worked out well and I’m so happy now,” said Higa.

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

Leading fourth round scores:

271- Kazuki HIGA (JPN) 62-70-69-70

274- Zamal Hossain MOLLAH (BAN) 68-68-68-70

276- Malcolm KOKOCINSKI (SWE) 67-70-69-70, Miguel CARBALLO (ARG) 67-71-68-70

277 - Josh SALAH (USA) 69-72-68-68

279 - Siddikur RAHMAN (BAN) 70-69-71-69, Md. Sajib ALI (BAN) 69-67-73-        70

280 - Divyanshu BAJAJ (IND) 72-73-67-68, Md Nazim (BAN) 71-74-67-68, John CATLIN (USA) 72-66-71-71

281 - M DHARMA (IND) 68-71-71-71

282 - Udayan MANE (IND) 74-70-70-68, Dulal HOSSAIN (BAN) 69-72-70-71, Shakhawat SOHEL (BAN) 68-75-66-73

283- Shinichi MIZUNO (JPN) 71-75-69-68, Sujjan SINGH (IND) 72-71-74-66, Mithun PERERA (SRI) 68-73-71-71

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.