Shubhankar Sharma, who is leading the race to become the European Tour’s Rookie of the Year, opened with a modest 1-under 70 to be placed tied-32nd after the first round of the Turkish Airlines Open in Antalya on Thursday.

Sharma, 2-over after five holes with a wayward shot and a three-putt from 15 feet, recovered very well around the turn with three birdies in four holes. Just as he seemed set to finish at 2-under, he left a chip too short on the 18th to drop a shot to finish at 1-under 70.

The Chandigarh-based golfer, playing his sixth week on the trot, had four birdies between seventh and 13th and three bogeys on first, fifth and 18th.

The 22-year-old leading the race to become the Harry Cotton Rookie of the Year, said, “I gave away two silly bogeys early. I got one back on seventh as I was steady and played well thereafter especially between 10th and 12th where I had three birdies. The last hole bogey was a disappointment and left a bitter taste, as I hit a poor chip and missed the longish par putt.”

But he felt that he had hit the ball well and loved the course. “This course is excellent and very beautiful. The weather was fine and I just missed out a couple of shots there with errors, but it is just the first day. The greens were much faster than on practice days and after a few holes I had adjusted.”

It was a low-scoring day as 11 players shot 5-under or better and another eight were 4-under as the course at Regnum Carya yielded good scorers on firm and fast greens in ideal sunny conditions.