Indian golfer Jeev Milkha Singh continued his strong comeback from injury with a fine four-under 67 to be tied 11th after the opening round of the Asia-Pacific Panasonic Open in Hyogo on Thursday.
Also shooting a fine opening round of 67 was Shiv Kapur.
Kapur and Singh, forced into rest for a few weeks because of an injury on his trigger finger, was five short of the leader, Japanese star Yuta Ikeda who shot a sensational nine-under 62 for the opening round.
Jeev was tied 11th on a low-scoring opening day when five other Japanese players were tied for second at 64 each. Korean Kim Do-Hoon carded 65 and three more Japanese players were at 66 each.
Among other Indians, Chiragh Kumar (69) was tied 41st, while amateur Angad Cheema, Jyoti Randhawa and Anirban Lahiri were tied 80th at 72.
Others in danger of missing the cut were Gaganjeet Bhullar and SSP Chowrasia who carded 74 each to be tied 110th and further down at 75 were Digvijay Singh and Himmat Rai in 120th place.
Despite playing with an injured finger, Singh was inspired by the presence of his father, a former Olympic sprinter and his wife, who cheered him on for 18 holes.
“They walked with me and that was nice. They will be with me for five weeks. They walked full 18 and I’m impressed with my father. He is 82 and walked on this hilly course!” said Singh, a six-time Asian Tour champion.
“The finger hurt a bit because the rough is thick but I can manage. I’m taking care of it (finger) and nursing it well. I’m putting a lot of balm and doing other stuff to make sure it does not swell,” added the golfer, who won the Scottish Open in July.
Ikeda, a nine-time winner in Japan, opened up a two-shot lead over veteran golfer Hiroyuki Fujita, a two-time Asian Tour winner Yusaku Miyazato, who finished tied 20th at the Asian Tour Qualifying School in January, Katsumasa Miyamoto, Koumei Oda and Kazuhiro Yamashita at the Higashi Hirono Golf Club.