Five-way tie for opening lead #PanasonicOpenIndia

Fri 02 Dec 2016

Five-way tie for opening lead #PanasonicOpenIndia

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Rashid Khan of India Rashid Khan of India
New Delhi, December 2: Home favourite Rashid Khan fired a five-under-par 67 to tie at the top of the leaderboard at the Panasonic Open India after the first round was concluded on Friday.
Jyoti Randhawa, the Asian Tour number one in 2002, Mukesh Kumar, Shamim Khan and Khalin Joshi matched Khan’s effort to share the lead at the US$400,000 Asian Tour event which was reduced to 54 holes after seven hours of play was lost over two days due to fog.
The halfway stage of the Panasonic Open India is underway but half of the field will only start the second round on Saturday afternoon as the third and final round will take place on Sunday at the Delhi Golf Club.
Chiragh Kumar of India fired a 71 to launch his title defence as he trails the leaders by four shots at the Panasonic Open India, which is celebrating its sixth edition.
Rashid, who claimed his breakthrough Asian Tour at the Delhi Golf Club two years ago, caught some glimpse of his fine form after returning with a flawless round highlighted by five birdies.
“I missed a few shorts putts but overall it was alright. I am happy with a bogey-free round. I injured my wrist earlier. I haven’t recovered fully yet but it’s getting better. I wasn’t thinking much out there. I know this course very well." - Rashid Khan

“I missed a few shorts putts but overall it was alright. I am happy with a bogey-free round. I injured my wrist earlier. I haven’t recovered fully yet but it’s getting better. I wasn’t thinking much out there. I know this course very well,” said the 25-year-old Rashid.
“I will try and keep things the same heading into the next two rounds. The season hasn’t been ideal for me. I have had a lot of injuries, including the bike accident a few months back. Hopefully things will change after this week,” Rashid added.
Jyoti Randhawa of India Jyoti Randhawa of India
Randhawa was pleased to continue his recent run of fine form for a solid start at the Delhi Golf Club, a venue where he had won four Asian Tour titles previously.
“This is one of my favourite golf courses. I have a lot of good memories. I felt good coming back here again. I had a good finish to the round which was great. The game has been feeling good. I have been playing a lot recently. I think that got me the good form,” said the 44-year-old, who enjoyed a top-five finish in the Philippines last month.
After turning in 35, Randhawa sank two birdies against a bogey before blasting with three straight birdies from 16 to cap a back-nine 32.
“I holed a long putt from 30-feet on 16 and chip-in from greenside on 17 before sinking a two-footer birdie putt on last. I hit the ball really good. I had a two-hour sleep during the fog delay and I went for a massage. It didn’t really affect me much. I felt fresh when I started the round,” added the eight-time Asian Tour winner.
Mukesh Kumar of India Mukesh Kumar of India
Kumar, a local veteran who has won over 120 professional titles in his career, took advantage of his course knowledge for his fine start.
“I was hitting it close on the back-nine and on the front-nine I managed to sink three long putts from 10 to 15 feet. I also made a good recovery from the bushes on the sixth where I drained a 15-footer for bogey,” said the 51-year-old Indian, who traded seven birdies against two bogeys.
“I believe my judgement on this course, having played here for so many years. My course knowledge worked to my advantage today. I won an event here over a decade back. The course is definitely playing longer than usual this time but you had to adapt accordingly,” Kumar added.
Title-holder Chiragh endured a frustrating day in the office but took pride in his battling performance where he sank three birdies against two bogeys.
“It was a frustrating day. I wasn’t hitting the ball particularly well but having said that, I am happy to return with a 71. I managed to grind it out so it is not too bad a score. The course is playing tough. It’s tough to make putts out there,” said the 32-year-old.
Chiragh Kumar of India Chiragh Kumar of India
“I want to have a good night rest tonight. We will see how it goes tomorrow. It’s going to be another long day again. Hopefully I can make more putts,” Chiragh added.
Ends.
Scores after round 1 of the Panasonic Open India 2016 being played at the par 72, 6935 Yards Delhi GC course (am - denotes amateur):
67 - Jyoti RANDHAWA (IND), Mukesh KUMAR (IND), Rashid KHAN (IND), Shamim KHAN (IND), Khalin JOSHI (IND).
68 - Kapil KUMAR (IND).
69 - Jazz JANEWATTANANOND (THA), Lionel WEBER (FRA), Arjun ATWAL (IND), David LUTTERUS (AUS).
70 - Sutijet KOORATANAPISAN (THA), Pratap ATWAL (IND), Ashok KUMAR (IND), Masaru TAKAHASHI (JPN), Mithun PERERA (SRI), Digvijay SINGH (IND), Akshay SHARMA (IND), Ranjit SINGH (IND).
71 - Sanjeev KUMAR (IND), Chiragh KUMAR (IND), Brett MUNSON (USA), Chikkarangappa S. (IND), M DHARMA (IND), Shankar DAS (IND), Vikrant CHOPRA (IND), Manav JAINI (IND), Gaurav Pratap SINGH (IND), Mitchell SLORACH (SIN), Michael TRAN (VIE), Shubhankar SHARMA (IND), Anura ROHANA (SRI), Sattaya SUPUPRAMAI (THA), Angad CHEEMA (IND).
72 - Abhishek JHA (IND), CHAN Yih-shin (TPE), Abhinav LOHAN (IND), Zamal Hossain MOLLAH (BAN), Simon YATES (SCO), Arie IRAWAN (MAS), Mardan MAMAT (SIN), Om Prakash CHOUHAN (IND), Rahul BAJAJ (IND), Sung LEE (KOR), Javi COLOMO (ESP), Johannes VEERMAN (USA).
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