Siddikur on a mission at HSBC Champions

As one of the shortest hitters on the Asian Tour, Siddikur reckons the Mission Hills Golf Club's Olazabal course will suit the bombersat this week's WGC-HSBC Champions.

Golf News: Siddikur

However, he is counting on his renowned short game to help him stay competitive in the US$7 million championship which has attracted seven of the world's top-10 players including the leading stars from Asia.

"It's a great golf course but for me, it's a bit long. It'll be a good experience for me to play on a course like this. It's also very undulating and it'll be a good challenge. You've got to have distance off the tees to have a chance to make a score. The short game has to be good on this course. My short game is now better and I think it'll be okay," said Siddikur.

The first man from Bangladesh to win on the Asian Tour, the 27-year-old has been a model of consistency where he has finished in the top-10 of the Order of Merit for the past two seasons. He qualified for his second HSBC Champions by being in the top-10 of the rankings as well.

"I keep to my routine, it's like a job. I practice regularly, follow my routine well. Those are the things that have helped me stay consistent. It is hard work but that's what I do," he said.
He also played in Malaysia last week in the co-sanctioned event with the PGA Tour but finished at the wrong end of the leaderboard with poor driving costing him numerous dropped shots.

"I had 19 birdies last week but finished level par for the tournament. My driving was not good, it was going everywhere but I fixed my alignment which was too far right and I think I have corrected it," said Siddikur.

"I'm excited to play in the HSBC Champions. It's going to be a good experience. It is an opportunity to learn something from this event. We have a lot of world class players here and you can learn a few things. I'm still learning. I consider myself a new pro and these guys have been playing for a long time. To see them and how they play, it will be good for me.

"I played Scott Piercy who shot 15-under the last two days in Malaysia to finish high on the leaderboard. He was very good. His game was very long and straight. To see their swing inspires me. I need to catch up with them. It's good to play with good players. I didn't expect the winning score to be so low. It was a good lesson."

The Bangladeshi has mapped out a game plan with his caddie, which is to play percentage golf at the Olazabal course.

"I told my caddie let's not think about the score. Let's think of fairways and 18 greens in regulation. If I can do that, I think I will be able to make some good scores. It's a long course but I have confidence to play well here," he said.

But Siddikur is not discounting the fact that surprises do happen in the game and will not rule out contending for the top prize of US$1.2 million this week. "It's golf, anything can happen. You need one good week. It depends on how you feel after the first day. It can happen," he said.

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