Japan’s Kazuki Higa set the fairways and greens of Dhaka’s Kurmitola Golf Club ablaze with his blistering 10-under-par 62 to take a five-shot lead on day one of the $60,000 BTI Open.
Argentina’s Miguel Carballo and Sweden’s Malcolm Kokocinski occupied tied second place at five-under-par 67 at the event tri-sanctioned by the Asian Development Tour, Professional Golf Tour of India and Bangladesh Professional Golfers Association.
Higa, the man from Okinawa who celebrated his 23rd birthday Monday, gave himself the perfect birthday gift Tuesday as he made 10 birdies, including four in a row from the 14th to the 17th, and didn’t make a single error.
An ecstatic Higa said, “This is unbelievable. I couldn’t have asked for a better start to the week. I really enjoyed myself at the KGC. It’s a fantastic golfing venue.
“I had a shaky start as my approach shot on the first hole missed the green. But the birdies on the next two holes really lifted my confidence. I felt I was in the groove at that point and the birdies just kept coming for me thereafter. The four consecutive birdies were special as they helped me open up a significant lead.
“My ball-striking and putting were both exceptional in round one. It’s now all about being patient and capitalising on this brilliant start.”
Miguel sank an eagle and six birdies at the cost of three bogeys in his round of 67 that gave him a share of second place along with Malcolm, who made six birdies and a bogey Tuesday.
The five players tied for fourth at four-under-68 included the Bangladeshi duo of Mohammad Zamal Hossain Mollah and Mohammad Shakhawat Hossain Sohel, India’s M Dharma, as well as Sri Lanka’s Mithun Perera.
Dharma was six-under-par through 10 holes having made four straight birdies from the third to the sixth. However, Dharma, the lone Indian in the top-10 on day one, slipped to four-under-par as he dropped a bogey and a double bogey in exchange for a lone birdie over the last eight holes.
Mohammad Dulal Hossain was the third Bangladeshi in the top 10. He shot a 69 to be placed tied ninth.
The host nation’s premier golfer Mohammad Siddikur Rahman was placed tied 15th with a score of two-under-par 70.