Jyoti Randhawa and Himmat Rai were the best-placed Indians on the weather-hit opening day of the Barclays Singapore Open at the challenging Serapong Golf Course here.
The duo shot two-under 69 each and were three behind the clubhouse leader, the 41-year-old Dane Thomas Bjorn, who
has 13 wins but none in Asia.
With rain and thunderstorm almost a part of folklore at the Singapore Open, it was no different on Day 1 as play abandoned with the entire second half of the field yet to finish their rounds.
Behind Bjorn were Chinnarat Phadungsil of Thailand, Simon Khan of England and Spaniard Pablo Martin, all of whom shot 67.
Both Randhawa and Rai expressed satisfaction with their cards on an energy-sapping day and were tied for ninth.
Anirban Lahiri was two-under through 11 holes which included an eagle.
Randhawa, who had a birdie-birdie start, is one of the four former champions playing this field. He dropped two bogeys on fifth and ninth, where he missed the fairways, but made up with birdies on 16th and 17th before agonizingly missing another one on the 18th.
Himmat, whose many mannerisms on the course seem to be modeled on Randhawa, one of India's top stars, also had four birdies, two on either side of the turn. His bogeys came on eighth and ninth.
Jeev pulls out
Only five of the 11 Indians in the fray had finished their first round, and that included Jeev Milkha Singh, who was forced to pull out after aggravating his finger injury.
Struggling to play his full shots, he carded six-over 77 and then decided to pull out of the tournament. He will take a decision on next week's Hong Kong Open in the next few days.
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