It was a disappointing start for Indian golfers Shubhankar Sharma and SSP Chawrasia at the inaugural NBO Oman Open as they opened the week with a matching one-over 73 in Muscat on Thursday.
Shubhankar got off to a great start with a birdie on 10th and an eagle on 12th, but in between he bogeyed the 11th. Then he lost his momentum and just managed one birdie against four bogeys in his next 12 holes. He finished with three pars and rued three three-putts.
Chawrasia starting from the first had 10 straight pars, but over the next holes, he had a colorful card.
He had four bogeys, three birdies and just one par and ended at 73.
Shubhankar, who played alongside Alex Levy (71) and Andy Sullivan (67), said: “I am disappointed. I was two-under after 3 holes, but lost my momentum after that. The positive is that I am hitting good, so a good score of 4 or 5 under is possible. The three-putts cost me.”
Englishmen Paul Waring and Mathew Southgate took the first round lead with cards of seven-under 65 each and they led Dutchman Daan Huizing (66), who is a well-known player in local circles.
Al Mouj Golf is hosting a European Tour event for the first time this week but five Challenge Tour events have been held at the Muscat layout, with Huizing playing four of them and finishing in the top ten at the NBO Golf Classic Grand Final in November.
Australian Sam Brazel, Welshman Oliver Farr, France’s Matthieu Pavon, Paraguayan Fabrizio Zanotti, Englishman Jordan Smith and Matteo Mannassero were at four under.
Chilean Felipe Aguilar, Frenchman Julien Guerrier, Spaniard Adrian Otaegui and England’s Matt Wallace were then all three shots off the lead.
Slow start for Aditi
Aditi Ashok will face an uphill task to stay for weekend action after carding a four-over 76 in the first round of the ISPS Handa Womens Australian Open in Kooyong on Thursday.
The 19-year-old Bengaluru golfer is lying way down in 110th place and would need a solid showing on Friday.
Aditi, who gave herself a decent start in 2018 with a T-7 in Canberra, opened with a bogey but that was neutralized when she birdied the very next hole. A birdie on ninth meant she turned in one-under.
But the Indian went through a rough patch over the next six holes as she bogeyed the 10th and then had four more bogeys in a row from 12th to 15th.
The latest star from Korea, Jin Young Ko grabbed a two-shot lead over fellow Korean Jiyai Shin (67). She fired a sizzling seven-under 65 that included three birdies against no bogeys on the front nine and then she added six more birdies against two bogeys on the back nine. Jin Young Ko is ranked 20th in the world and a winner of 10 KLPGA tournaments.