On a bright and sunny day at the KGA course, James Morrison of England and Scotsman Richie Ramsay scorched the greens in the opening round of the Hero Indian Open golf championship.
Both carded five-under 66 to enjoy a slender one-stroke lead over India’s Shiv Kapur and six others, who share the second spot shooting four-under.
Gaganjeet Bhullar recovered well from early hiccups and finished strongly with a three under, as did with Angelo Que of Phillippines, American Jason Knutzon and India’s Shankar Das.
“It was a good start...and am happy,” said cricketer-turned golfer Morrison, who had a early start and finished much before the sun blazed down.
“The course is tricky…but a great one, indeed. And, with the cross-winds blowing, the fairways became narrower. And as long as one does not hit the roughs and the trees, it becomes easier,” said the 27 year old Englishman.
Richie Ramsay was keen on catching up on his sleep on Tuesday.
And with a late tee-off this morning, the Scot looked rested and relaxed.
“The ball did a horse-shoe in a birdie-putt on the 17th, but I will take it,” said the 29 year old Ramsay.
Shiv Kapur, out to put up a good show this time, said: “I will take this score — four under 67 — for a start. But, yes…though my hitting and driving were good, my putting was not on mark.
“But I’ll build on this start over the next three days.”
Myanmar’s Zaw Moe did threaten to snatch the lead in a late afternoon blitz, but frittered the advantage with a double bogey on the final hole to finish on four-under.
There were some interesting long putts and impressive approach shots.
But the first day blues seemed to hit even the likes of Swede Peter Hanson and Anirban Lahiri, both of whom shot one-under.
For most the focus on Friday will be to make the cut and then put their best foots forward in the business end of the championship.
The scores (Top 10):
James Morrison, Richie Ramsay 66; Javi Colomo, Shiv Kapur, Zaw Moe, Panuphol Pittayarat, Kalle Samooja, Jaakko Makitalo, Chapchai Nirat 67; Shankar Das, Gaganjeet Bhullar, Angelo Que, Jason Knutzon 68.