SSP Chawrasia tied 18th on Day 1 in Kolkata Classic Golf Championship
SSP Chawrasia was three points behind the leader, Delhi’s Chiragh Kumar, after the end of day 1 of the Kolkata Classic Golf Championshipother sports Updated: Mar 21, 2017 22:10 IST
The first day of the Kolkata Classic Golf Championship, which ended at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club (RCGC) with S Chikarangappa and Delhi’s Chiragh Kumar sharing the lead with four-under 68, meant different things to different people.
For Arthur Horne, the first from Swaziland in a PGTI Tour event, it was about knowing a world away from home and readying for more difficult battles in India later in the season.
SSP Chowrasia, for whom this course is an extension of home, used Tuesday to return to his day job after a staycation following his second successive Indian Open win. He went one-under and, brushing aside thoughts of being mentally drained after his exploits in Gurgaon, said being tied 18th was all right with three days to go.
There was Viraj Madappa, 19, who rated his seven-over card in his first professional event at home as being part of the learning experience, one he hoped would translate into winning “at least one event and finishing in the top 15” in his rookie year with “the guys I would till recently watch only on TV.”
For Om Prakash Chouhan, tied third with three-under 69, it was about putting behind a bad 2016 in the Kolkata Classic and the season-ending PGTI championship here. And drawing inspiration from fellow-MHOW resident Mukesh Kumar, who too is tied third, being the oldest winner on the Asian Tour last December.
The leaders hit eagles on the 15th but had different takeaways and contrasting days. Delhi’s Chiragh Kumar wore fluorescent green pants to the course but put in a no-frills shift that had four birdies and an eagle from an over 200-yard shot sandwiched between bogeys on the second and the 18th . It showed that he had carried his ‘decent’ form in the Asian Tour to his first stop on the PGTI circuit this year.
Chikarangappa soldiered through a mid-day slump of four straight bogeys by bookending it with birdies on the first, second, fourth, 12th, 13th, 17th and 18th holes and a 75-feet eagle conversion on the 15th. The Bengaluru pro attributed a large part of that to going back to the putter that won him all his 10 previous professional titles. “All the good memories come back when I use that putter,” he said. From missing four successive cuts on the Asian Tour, it’s been some turnaround but ‘Chikka’ knows that the job’s only one-fourth done.
Leaderboard after Day 1: 68: S Chikarangappa and Chiragh Kumar; 69: Mukesh Kumar, Ikramuddin Shah, Feroz Singh Garewal, OP Chouhan