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Trio make India's strong presence felt across the border

Vivek Bhandari, Uttam Singh Mundy and Rahul Ganapathy are all tied third at the end of day one of the Pakistan Open golf event.

india Updated: Jan 20, 2007 12:31 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

Vivek Bhandari, Uttam Singh Mundy and Rahul Ganapathy ensured a strong Indian presence on the leaderboard as they were all tied third at the end of the first day of the Pakistan Open at the Karachi Golf Club on Saturday.

They were joined in the top-10 by youngsters Amardip Malik and Asian Games silver medallist Gaganjeet Bhullar, both bringing home three-under 69 each to be tied for ninth place.

The leader after first round was local hero Muhammad Shabbir, who was in full flow as he carded a flawless bogey-free six-under-par 66 to grab the early lead.

Shabbir is coming back after sustaining an injury to his lower back last year.

One shot behind Shabbir was Malaysia's Airil Rizman Zahari, who spent the off-season working on his game. He had six birdies against a lone bogey at the USD 300,000 event.

Bhandari, who has been struggling to find the kind of form that made him a regular on Asian Tour some years back, got off to a solid start with five birdies and his only bogey came on seventh after starting from the tenth.

Uttam Singh Mundy was cruising at five-under with five birdies and no bogeys till he dropped a shot on 18th to finish at 68.

Rahul Ganapathy began with two birdies on first two holes and then dropped a double on eighth to come back to par. He went on a birdie spree from 11th as he holed three in a row and added a fourth on 15th.

He had a bogey on 16th, but got that back with a birdie on 18th to finish at 68.

First Published: Jan 20, 2007 12:31 IST