Open Championship International Final Qualifying - Asia: Siddikur and Hideki Matsuyama lead race for Muirfield
Last Updated: March 1, 2013 2:50pm
Siddikur: Hoping to be the first player from Bangladesh to play in The Open
Siddikur and Hideki Matsuyama share the lead after day one of Open Championship International Final Qualifying - Asia.
The Bangladeshi, who is aiming to become the first player to represent his country in the Open Championship, birdied five of his first six holes before signing for a six-under 66.
That score was matched by Matsuyama, who is a two-time Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship winner and the first Japanese amateur to play in the 2011 Masters Tournament.
China's Hu Mu, Australian Scott Barr and Singaporeans Quincy Quek and Lam Zhiqun were a further shot back in the two-day qualifier where the top-four players qualify for the year's third major at Muirfield in July.
Siddikur, who is the first Bangladeshi to play and win on the Asian Tour, was in a similar position in the 2011 IFQ-Asia but he was disqualified on the last day when he failed to write a score for the final hole. He insists he will not repeat the same mistake again.
"There are no excuses for me (two years ago). I just didn't play well after shooting a 66 on the first day. I was so excited but unfortunately I couldn't keep up. My score would have been three-over if I wasn't disqualified," said Siddikur.
"I'm very confident and my game is good. If I can play my game, I'm quite confident I'll be able to qualify for the Open Championship."
Japanese amateur Matsuyama is hoping to make amends for last year's heartbreak when he dropped six shots in the last three holes to miss the play-off for the fourth and final Open ticket.
He said: "I've forgotten about that and have already moved on. I'm looking forward to the last day and if I can keep playing like how I did, then I'll be able to earn a place in the Open Championship."
Guan Tianlang - the 14-year-old Chinese golf prodigy, who has qualified for this year's Masters at Augusta - has it all to do after a one-over 73 left him seven behind.