The inaugural edition's champion and Bangladesh's premier golfer Siddikur Rahman may not be available, but there will be a healthy field of local golfers, including two-time PGTI winner Jamal Hossain Mollah and one-time Asian Development Tour winner Shakhawat Hossain Sohel, when the third edition of the City Bank American Express Chittagong Open kicks off at the Bhatiary Golf and Country Club (BGCC) in Chattogram today.
Siddikur was the winner of the first edition of the event, sanctioned by PGTI and BPGA; so in his absence it is a chance for the other local golfers to step up and take charge. However, the likes of Jamal and Sohel will have to contend with a 126-man field comprised of 50 professionals from the BPGA and 70 professionals from the PGTI as well as six amateur golfers from the BGCC. The PGTI field will feature some of the region's up-and-coming stars, including defending champion N. Thangaraja of Sri Lanka alongside India's Udayan Mane, M Dharma and Aman Raj.
Co-sanctioned by the PGTI and the BPGA, the 36-hole stroke-play event will offer a prize purse of 40 lakh rupees.
A press conference in this connection was arranged at a hotel in Chittagong yesterday where the sponsors and organisers as well as two golfers spoke. The trophy of the event was also unveiled during the programme.