Gaganjeet Bhullar was set a tedious ask even before he could take to his irons, courtesy Rahil Gangjee. Despite three bogeys, Gangjee, the local lad, sunk an incredible 10 birdies and an eagle on the 16th hole to finish the first round of the PGTI Players Championship leading at nine-under 61 at the Tollygunge Club on Tuesday.
"I beat my record of nine birdies in a practice round," Gangjee, who had an early morning tee-off, said. Former Asia No.1 Jyoti Randhawa was tied second with Rashid Khan at six-under 64, with eight birdies.
"I did nothing special today. All I did was putt well since it's important to keep it in play," said Randhawa, who is eyeing a good show to prepare for next week's Avantha Masters, a European Tour event, at the DLF Golf & Country Club in Gurgaon.
The 38-year-old hasn't had a good time of late but he said taking a month-long break helped him get his mind and body in sync. "I'm more focused now," said Randhawa.
Bhullar, who had won the last week's PGTI event at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club, bogeyed at the first hole after a late start but hit four birdies to end tied eighth at three-under 67. Defending champion Mukesh Kumar ended tied 11th at two-under courtesy three successive birdies on the 14th, 15th and 16th holes.