Mardan Mamat of Singapore held his nerve in his closing four holes to return with a four-under-par 67 and seize the second round clubhouse lead on Thursday.
The four-time Asian Tour winner produced six birdies against two late dropped shots for a nine-under-par 133 total to hold a one-shot advantage over Carlos Pigem of Spain, who also shot a 67 at the Kurmitola Golf Club.
Thailand’s Panuphol Pittayarat charged into contention with a fine 66 while little known Dulal Hossain, a former ball boy at Kurmitola, shot a sparkling 63 to trail Mardan by three shots at the US$300,000 Asian Tour event.
The 47-year-old Mardan was dominant on his front nine when he turned in 31 before an hour 30-minute weather suspension in the afternoon stopped his momentum as he returned to the course to shoot two birdies and two bogeys on holes 15 and 16.
“When you go in and out of the golf course, you might lose a bit of momentum. That happened to me today so hopefully the weather will be kind to us,” said Mardan.
“You need a lot of patience here. The weather is out of our control and it can be really frustrating with the rain suspensions. I’m still feeling good with my game and I’ve been in this situation four times so I should be able to handle myself very well,” he smiled.
Pigem, who has yet to miss a single cut this season, took advantage of the relatively calm morning conditions to continue his fine form as he searches for a first Asian Tour victory.
“I feel very confident with my game and I hope that I can stay confident in the next two rounds. I’ve been playing well and when you play well, you feel confident. I look forward to challenging for the title,” said the 24-year-old Pigem.
The 22-year-old Panuphol took advantage of a new putter as he negotiated the Kurmitola course in 25 putts highlighted by a 30 foot birdie on the par three 16th hole.
“I haven’t played well since last year. This week is a great tournament for me to gather confidence and move on to the other tournaments. I haven’t holed a lot of putts. I got a new putter this week. I’ve been looking for the perfect putter,” he said.
Unheralded Dulal produced the low round score thanks to seven birdies and charged into the title mix thanks to a 20-foot eagle putt on the 14th hole.
Similar to Siddikur Rahman, the 25-year-old Dulal started his career at Kurmitola as a ball boy before joining the Bangladeshi national golf team. He turned professional two years ago and is determined to shine in his biggest challenge yet.
“This is the first time I’m shooting eight-under on this course, which is also my home course. I hope I will have a chance to win. This is my home course so I think I will have a big chance,” said Dulal.
The second round of the Bashundhara Bangladesh Open was suspended due to darkness at 7pm. A total of five players will return on Friday at 6.30am to resume their round. The projected cut is currently at three-over-par 145.
Scores after round 2 of the Bashundhara Bangladesh Open 2015 being played at the par 71, 6579 Yards Kurmitola GC course (am – denotes amateur):
133 – Mardan MAMAT (SIN) 66-67.
134 – Carlos PIGEM (ESP) 67-67.
135 – Panuphol PITTAYARAT (THA) 69-66, Janne KASKE (FIN) 68-67.
136 – Dulal HOSSAIN (BAN) 73-63.
138 – Berry HENSON (USA) 71-67.
139 – Khalin JOSHI (IND) 71-68, Unho PARK (AUS) 72-67.
140 – Soomin LEE (KOR) 70-70, Rattanon WANNASRICHAN (THA) 67-73, Chirat JIRASUWAN (THA) 71-69, Mithun PERERA (SRI) 74-66.
141 – Pawin INGKHAPRADIT (THA) 71-70, Chinnarat PHADUNGSIL (THA) 74-67, Sam CYR (USA) 72-69, Hyungjoon LEE (KOR) 72-69, Chiragh KUMAR (IND) 72-69, Amardip MALIK (IND) 67-74, Rizal AMIN (MAS) 72-69, Thammanoon SRIROJ (THA) 69-72, Chapchai NIRAT (THA) 73-68, Himmat RAI (IND) 73-68, Anura ROHANA (SRI) 74-67.