Young Thai talent Jazz Janewattananond continued his dominant form by carding a four-under-par 67 to lead by one shot at the halfway stage of the Bashundhara Bangladesh Open on Thursday.

Starting the round with a two-shot advantage thanks to an opening 64, Jazz fired seven birdies against three bogeys to grab the outright lead on 11-under-par 132 total at the Kurmitola Golf Club.

The 21-year-old Thai, who lived as a monk for two weeks back home in Bangkok last December, credited his experience for strengthening his mental game and putting him in position to chase for a maiden Asian Tour title at the US$300,000 event.

Overnight co-leader Shubhankar Sharma of India slipped to second place following a 68 but took consolation that he achieved his two-day target which allowed him to keep chase for a breakthrough win in the tournament where he finished third last year.

Thailand’s Rattanon Wannasrichan signed for a flawless 64 highlighted by seven birdies to share third place on 134 with countryman Panuphol Pittayarat, who returned with a 68, at the full-field Asian Tour event.

Home hero Siddikur Rahman kept the local hopes alive after carding a 66 to trail by six shots in fifth place alongside American Dodge Kemmer, who also returned with a bogey-free 64, in what is the third leg of the Asian Tour schedule this season.

A total of 73 players made the halfway cut set at three-over-par 145 at the Bashundhara Bangladesh Open, which is celebrating its third consecutive edition on the Asian Tour this season.

Interesting facts of the day: 

  • Jazz experienced life as a monk at the Wat Benchamabophit Dusitvanaram in Bangkok for two weeks last December. It was a mark of respect for his parents and the late king of Thailand Bhumibol Adulyadej. Jazz said the experience has made him feel very peaceful, not only on the golf course but also in his life.
  • Jazz first played his way into the history books of the Asian Tour in 2010 when he became the youngest ever player to make the halfway cut at the 2010 Asian Tour International in Bangkok at the age of 14 years and 71 days. 
  • Sharma’s last five rounds on the Asian Tour are all in the 60s.
  • Siddikur’s two-day total of 137 is his best 36-hole score in the Bashundhara Bangladesh Open. He was tied in 43rd position on 144 after two rounds in 2015 and tied in 27th on 139 in 2016.
  • Rattanon and Kemmer returned with the day’s lowest score of 64. They are the only two players who signed for bogey-free rounds today.
  • The leading top-four players, Jazz (21), Sharma (20), Panuphol (23) and Rattanon (21), are all in their early 20s.
  • A record total of 10 local players, including two amateurs, made the halfway cut set at three-over-par 145 at the Bashundhara Bangladesh Open. Six made the cut in 2015 and five made the cut last year. 

Key quotes: 

Jazz JANEWATTANANOND (THA) – Second Round 67 (-4), Total 131 (-11) 

It was a mixed round. I wasn’t thinking much out there. I just told myself to enjoy my game. It was really cold this morning. I didn’t bring a jacket with me to Bangladesh. I didn’t expect it to be this cold.

I walked here from my hotel for about 20 minutes in the cold this morning. I didn’t have much time to warm up and prepare. It was a bit of a rush but I still managed to par the first couple of holes. I am happy with that.

I will try and get as much rest as I can today and I should be ready for the weekend charge. I lost my card last season and didn’t make the mark at the Qualifying School but it’s alright. I always tell myself to do my best in every event I play in.

After playing my last tournament of 2016 at the Asian Development Tour’s Boonchu Ruangkit Championship in December, I went to become a monk for two weeks. Right after that, I went to Q-school. I didn’t get to practice at all during that period.

It was a good experience. I prayed and chanted every day in the temple. I felt really peaceful, even till now. I seem to take things a lot easier now. Golf used to be everything for me but now I’m just happy that I get to play in tournaments.

I find myself a lot happier now when I just focus on enjoying the game rather than the results. It’s not a must for all Thai boys to become a monk actually. I did it for my parents and my late King. It is mark of respect for them.

Shubhankar SHARMA (IND) – Second Round 68 (-3), Total 132 (-10) 

The round wasn’t as smooth as it was yesterday but it was still a good round. I hit the ball decent although I would like it to be better. Other than that, I played pretty well to hang in there.

I started well today. I made a chip-in birdie on 10 which was my first hole today. It was just off the green from about 25 feet. I made a 30 footer on 12 for birdie as well. On the 14, my ball was plugged in the bunker but I hit it out to just one foot from the pin. It was a good birdie there as well.

My target was to shoot -10 for the first two rounds and I managed to do it. I am looking forward to the next two rounds. I was still in a good position. I hope I can continue my good form and do the same things I have done in the last two rounds.

Rattanon WANNASRICHAN (THA) – Second Round 64 (-7), Total 134 (-8) 

I hit a lot of fairways and greens and gave myself a lot of opportunities to putt for birdies. It was a bogey-free round for me. I made a long putt on hole 12 from about 20 feet. That’s the highlight for me.I played solid today. I played my three-wood really good. I started with three straight birdies and it gave me a lot of confidence. I was just riding on the good momentum out there. I will keep to the same game plan tomorrow, try to hit as many fairways and greens as I can.

Panuphol PITTAYARAT (THA) – Second Round 68 (-3), Total 134 (-8) 

I had chip-in for eagle from about 20 yards beside the green on seventh. That was the highlight for me today. There were a lot of up and downs in my round today. It was a lot drier this afternoon. It was disappointing to three putt 17 for bogey on the way back but I am still happy to be in a good position for the weekend. I would like to come back and fix the fault tomorrow and see what happens.

Siddikur RAHMAN (BAN) – Second Round 66 (-5), Total 137 (-5) 

I hit the ball good and made a few putts today. My ball striking was a little off yesterday. On the third hole, I hit a really bad drive to the right rough but from there, I hit a five wood onto the green and made a 50-feet putt for birdie.

I am very happy to see my fans out here this week. I am really thankful for their support. It gave me a lot of motivation and inspiration to play well. I felt like I had a lot of energy to do well. I really appreciate that. It’s awesome.

This is my best position so far after two rounds in this tournament. I will try to follow what I did today for the next two rounds. It has been one of my best experiences so far playing in this tournament. The past two years I was feeling the pressure from the home support. But this year, I’m taking it really well.

Dodge KEMMER (USA) – Second Round 64 (-7), Total 137 (-5) 

I got a lot of good bounces instead of bad ones today. I really did get lucky quite a bit. I hit it well and the fairways I missed I got lucky with my shots and managed to make birdies from there. I made a few good putts in my last three holes which was great.

On the 15th hole, I hit it way left into the trees and hooked a nine-iron out to right in front of the green and chip it in for birdie. I thought I hit it into the water off the tee so it was a really good birdie there for me.

This is my second time here in Bangladesh. It’s really different from what I am used to but it has been interesting to learn about their cultures here. I love the food and the people are really friendly. I hope I can get as lucky as I did today in the next two rounds.


Scores after round 2 of the Bashundhara Bangladesh Open 2017 being played at the par 71, 6637 Yards Kurmitola GC course (am – denotes amateur):

131 – Jazz JANEWATTANANOND (THA) 64-67.

132 – Shubhankar SHARMA (IND) 64-68.

134 – Rattanon WANNASRICHAN (THA) 70-64, Panuphol PITTAYARAT (THA) 66-68.

137 – Dodge KEMMER (USA) 73-64, Siddikur RAHMAN (BAN) 71-66.

138 – Sutijet KOORATANAPISAN (THA) 70-68, Chiragh KUMAR (IND) 68-70.

139 – LIU Yan-wei (CHN) 69-70, Ryan MCCORMICK (USA) 70-69, Sihwan KIM (USA) 70-69, Richard T. LEE (CAN) 74-65, Khalin JOSHI (IND) 69-70, Wolmer MURILLO (VEN) 69-70, Casey O’TOOLE (USA) 71-68, Peradol PANYATHANASEDH (THA) 70-69, Udayan MANE (IND) 71-68.

140 – Brian JUNG (CAN) 71-69, Brett MUNSON (USA) 74-66, Rashid KHAN (IND) 73-67, Youngjea BYUN (KOR) 69-71.

141 – Yikeun CHANG (KOR) 72-69, Itthipat BURANATANYARAT (THA) 69-72, Nicolas PAEZ (USA) 69-72, Suradit YONGCHAROENCHAI (THA) 71-70, Dulal HOSSAIN (BAN) 71-70, Micah Lauren SHIN (USA) 69-72, Simon GRIFFITHS (ENG) 71-70, Mardan MAMAT (SIN) 72-69, Raththee SIRITHANAKUNSAK (THA) 71-70.

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