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Indian Open: Gangjee shares first round lead with 5 others



Updated On - Saturday, 16 November 2013

7 November 2013

NEW DELHI: Rahil Gangjee set the course on fire under a laden sky with a flawless six-under 66 to lead the home challenge by sharing the top position with five others on the opening day of the 50th Hero Indian Open golf tournament on Thursday.

Shankar Das was the next best-placed Indian at the seventh spot after he carded a sizzling five-under 67, while Shamim Khan, with a four-under 68, was the other home golfer inside the top 10 bracket of the leaderboard of the $1.25 million event.

On a day when other big names such as Gaganjeet Bhullar (77), Anirban Lahiri (71), Jyoti Randhawa (70), Shiv Kapur (75) and Arjun Atwal (73), found the going tough, Gangjee led the Indian charge after Mohammad Siddikur of Bangladesh grabbed the early lead, following his blemish-free 66.

As the day went by, four other golfers -- Mardan Mamat of Singapore, the Thai duo of Pariya Junhasavasdikul and Chapchai Nirat and Spain's Carlos Pigem -- joined Gangjee and Siddikur at the top.

SSP Chowrasia, Chiragh Kumar and Rashid Khan brought home matching three-under 69s to lie at tied 11th.

Gangjee sank as many as four birdies on the front nine and two strokes on the back stretch, which included saving par on the last hole, to keep the Indian flag fluttering at the venerable Delhi Golf Club.

Starting at the 10th tee, the Kolkata-golfer picked up birdies on the 11th and 18th holes and then added four more at the first, fourth, sixth and eighth holes to join Siddikur at the top.

"My longest putt was on the eighth hole from 20 feet. I kept it going, I didn't stop making birdies. I lost track of my score which is a good thing! Sometimes when you go low then it happens. I was aware of what I was doing but I just lost track of my score," said Gangjee.

"I had no idea that Siddikur was on six-under. It is still too early in the tournament to bother me. I had a good feeling at making par on the last hole (ninth hole). I've done it so many times here after getting in trouble here. I had good confidence in that putt," Gangjee added.

"The last hole was the only hole that I got in trouble. I hit my tee shot a little to the right and it was in the rough. I had to hit a wedge out and hit my approach to about 12 feet or so," he added.

Talking about his season so far, Gangjee said: "The season has been pretty good. I had a win on the PGTI so it has been going pretty good but I want to win on the Asian Tour. That's my aim this week."

Popular Bangladeshi golfer Siddikur earlier traded his conservative style of play with a more aggressive approach after playing with Major champions Keegan Bradley and Bubba Watsonat the CIMB Classic in Malaysia a fortnight ago.

"They played very aggressively. Most players can hit the ball but not all of them can play like them. Since then, I've been trying to play more aggressively and the results seem to be showing," said Siddikur.

He hopes to sweeten his impressive track record at the Delhi Golf Club with a long-awaited second Asian Tour victory. Since 2011, Siddikur has notched six top-10 results including two runner-up finishes at the challenging course.

"I have good memories on this golf course. This is one of my favourite golf courses and I always love playing here. I like golf courses where you need to place your ball and I always do well here. I hope to keep it up," he said.

Published By: The Times Of India

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