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Golf: Siddikur, Kim in early Philippine Open lead

Bangladesh's Siddikur Rahman sank a five-foot birdie on the last hole to share a six-under-par opening round lead with American Chan Kim at the Philippine Open on Thursday.

MANILA: Bangladesh's Siddikur Rahman sank a five-foot birdie on the last hole to share a six-under-par opening round lead with American Chan Kim at the Philippine Open on Thursday.

Siddikur, the first Bangladeshi to play and win on the Asian Tour, and Kim both fired 66s at the Wack Wack Golf and Country Club course.

Siddikur, who was part of the Asian team that tied with Europe in the inaugural EurAsia Cup earlier this year, was delighted to rediscover his putting touch on the tricky Wack Wack greens.

"This is not an easy course. It is a tight and narrow course with small greens. Every shot counts here. I was not disappointed with my form before today because my stats were still good except putting," added the two-time Asian Tour winner.

Kim took advantage of a small change in his swing tempo to share the lead with Siddikur after trading seven birdies against one bogey.

He had missed the halfway cut by one shot on the same venue at another Philippine tournament last year.

"Last year, I shot one-over for the first round and thought, well that's not a bad score. Then in the second round, I shot a seven on the famous (par three) eighth hole," said Kim, who made par there on Thursday.

Little-known Rolando Marabe, a former caddy who turned professional in 1997, led the Philippines' charge after shooting a 69 to tie with four-time Asian Tour winner Chawalit Plaphol of Thailand in third place.

India's current Asian Tour Order of Merit leader Anirban Lahiri struggled with a disappointing 75.

Leading scores:

66 - Chan Kim (USA), Siddikur Rahman (BAN)

69 - Rolando Marabe (PHI), Chawalit Plaphol (THA)

70 - Park Byung-joo (KOR), Prayad Marksaeng (THA), Michael Tran (VIE), Settee Prakongvech (THA), Marcus Both (AUS)

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