Aadil Bedi and Aman Raj were the two Indians who along with three Thailand golfers ended the first day of the $300,000 Classic Golf & Country Club International championship, an Asian Tour event, in Gurgaon.
They are in pursuit of leader Rory Hie of Indonesia on Thursday.
Hie shot eight-under 64, including a five-under 31 on the back nine of the course, while three Thais – Sattaya Supupramai, Suradit Yongcharoenchai and Kwanchai Tannin – were on six-under 66s at tied-second place.
The two Indians, Aadil Bedi and Aman Raj, along with Swede Andras Gronkvist were lying tied-fifth with scores of 67 each.
After Aman Raj and Bedi, the next highest placed Indian players were Rashid Khan, 44-year-old veteran Ranjit Singh, Abhijit Chandha and Himmat Rai. They all shot four-under 68s and were part of a 10-strong group in tied eighth spot.
On Thursday, Hie started with a series of five pars before finding his first birdie on the sixth hole. But after that there was no stopping him. He birdied eight of the remaining 13 holes and had no bogeys. At one stage he had birdied five in a row from the eighth to the 12th holes and picked a shot on three of the four Par-5s.
Hie said, “This is probably like the most enjoyable round I have had all year. I felt like I was in the zone for most of the round and everything just worked to my favour. I sent a text to Lawrie Montague, who is the national golf coach for Indonesia asking him about my game. And he told me to just accept my mistakes and play with what I’ve right now. That’s exactly what I did today.”
In the morning, Gareth Paddison of New Zealand was on fire as he raced through the back nine of the course in seven-under, before he had a triple bogey on the first, his 10th hole of the day. He ran out of birdies and also bogeyed the Par-5 ninth to finish three-under after being seven-under at one stage.
In the afternoon, Indian veteran Amandeep Johl turned the clock back with a five-under 31 on back nine, and then had five more pars to be five-under through 14 holes. He dropped four shots, a double on Par-5 sixth and then bogeys on eighth and ninth to finish at one-under.
The top 65 and ties will make the cut.
India’s Shubhankar Sharma shot a hat-trick of birdies on his second nine to card two-under 70 in the first round of the KLM Open in Amsterdam on Thursday.
Sharma, playing in Europe for the first time since the 148th Open in July, had six birdies against four bogeys to lie Tied-22nd, even as a lot of golfers were still out on the course.
Other Indian golfers in fray, Gaganjeet Bhullar (72) was Tied-66th and SSP Chawrasia was even par after 13 holes
Meanwhile, Callum Shinkwin had taken the lead with six-under 66 in the opening round.
Two weeks after securing his card through the Korn Ferry Final Series, Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri started the new PGA Tour season with a three-under 69 at ‘A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier’ in White Sulphur Springs on Thursday.
Lahiri had an eagle and two birdies and just as it looked he might have a clean card, he bogeyed the ninth, his last hole of the day.
He did not get his chip right and ended bogeying the hole, though he could easily have added a couple of more birdies.
Starting from the tenth, the highlight of the first day for Lahiri was an eagle on the Par-5 12th.
He hit his tee shot to 340 yards and then from there he hit to 95 feet from the flag. He holed his third shot from there for an eagle.
He also birdied 16th and then first hole to be at four-under but a last hole bogey meant he was Tied-15th even though a good part of the field, including India’s other player in the field, Arjun Atwal were yet to start.
Robby Shelton and Hank Lebioda were both six-under with six holes and eight holes to go respectively.
Four others, including Harold Varner III, were at five-under, but none of them had finished their rounds.