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This Blyth is no myth

No sooner had he dropped his second consecutive shot, than Arjun Singh make a statement to the sparse crowd on the 2nd hole, reports Robin Bose.

other Updated: Oct 09, 2009 03:02 IST
Robin Bose

No sooner had he dropped his second consecutive shot, than Arjun Singh make a statement to the sparse crowd on the 2nd hole. The ensuing chuckle underlined the veteran's sentiment: “If you can't laugh at yourself, then who can you laugh at?” Two withdrawals in the past month and the focus on nursing a damaged left knee, Arjun had summed up his expectation prior to the Indian Open. “Zilch.”

Atop the leaderboard, form was farthest on Adam Blyth's mind. Billed one of the brightest prospects on the Asian Tour, the 27-year-old Aussie would have run away with the title at this year's Maybank Malaysian Open but for the final day blues that saw him settle for the 10th spot.

Blyth went into the lead early and held on to end Thursday a stroke ahead of South Korea's Lee Sung with an eight-under 64, a shot shy of the course record.

C Muniyappa may have taken the tough route (via the Q- School) to the Asian Tour, but playing with the big boys has smashed several barriers for this 32-year-old from Bangalore. Gone is the uncertainty that was seen during last year's Johnnie Walker Classic here and in its place is an air of quiet confidence. The pain of missing quite a few cuts on the Tour still rankles but carrying on the string of strong performances at home and away meant the caddy-turned-pro was the best Indian on view.

“The Asian Tour card has rid me of the nervousness and that made a difference today,” he said of the tied third finish.

Returning to Arjun, such has been the obsession with the torn ligament that the swing's gone awry. And irrespective of the outcome at the DLF Golf & Country Club, he will be seeing coach Claude Harmon in Dubai to rectify the flaw. The four-under 68 and the resultant tied eighth spot, which placed him in the league of fellow countrymen Digvijay Singh and Harinder Gupta, left Arjun amused. “After bogeying the 2nd, I told myself things are going to the plan. But thereafter, I surprised myself,” he said. It was also a commendable effort from Digvijay who teed off despite a wrist injury.

Probably, what made the 40-year-old Arjun work his way up the leaderboard was the relief of escaping the surgeon's knife. “I've just got back from the US and being told that surgery is not required has lifted a load off me,” he said.

Like his namesake, Arjun Atwal started with the motive of enjoying himself. But a triple bogey on the fifth hole took out the fun element and he finished three-over at tied 102. Gaganjeet Bhullar, the other Indian hope, fared slightly better and was joint 66th at one-over.