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Pune Open Golf Championship 2018: Rejuvenated Digvijay Singh shares lead with 7 on opening day

Udayan Mane, who calls Pune his second home since his parents reside in city, also off to terrific start with eagle, five birdies, two bogeys.

pune Updated: Apr 10, 2018 22:02 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune Open Golf Championship,golf,pune
A participant in action during the PGTI tournament on Tuesday.(Shankar Narayan/HT PHOTO)

Seven players were joint leaders with five-under-66 during the first round of the Pune Open Golf Championship 2018 on Tuesday.

First round of the Rs 30 lakh event being played at the Poona Golf Course had Gurugram’s Digvijay Singh; Ahmedabad’s Udayan Mane; Chandigarh’s Feroz Singh Garewal; Delhi’s Naman Dawar and Honey Baisoya; Mhow’s Om Prakash Chouhan and Bengaluru’s C Muniyappa at the top.

Digvijay Singh was the only one among the joint leaders to card an error-free round. “I was straight off the tee which is the key here, especially on the first five holes. My wedge-play was top-notch and I also did well with my short irons. One doesn’t really need to drive it 300 yards on this course to score well. I just kept it in play,” said Digvijay, a former Asian Tour winner.

“I had a very good birdie on the 14th where I almost holed my second shot with the sand wedge. I also salvaged a good par on the 17th after finding the rough. The other defining moment of my round was the 18th. I didn’t have a shot there as I had to stand knee-deep in the bunker while the ball was lying just outside the bunker. I chipped-out, then hit a nine iron to three feet,” he added.

Singh returned a rejuvenated man on the PGTI after taking almost a month off from the game. He also reaped the benefits of changing his clubs at the start of the season.

“I spent time away from golf over the past one month having done some competitive shooting and skydiving. Shooting is also a target sport like golf, so one feeds off the other. The break seems to have helped me as I now resume the season with a renewed vigour. I changed my irons at the start of the season and that too has helped me achieve the desired results,” Singh said.

Udayan Mane, who calls Pune his second home since his parents reside in the city, was also off to a terrific start with an eagle, five birdies and two bogeys. His eagle on the seventh was a 25-feet conversion.

Mane, a five-time winner on the PGTI, said, “I didn’t strike it that well in the first round but putted well to salvage the round. My round took off with a hat-trick of birdies from the 11th through the 13th. I sank some tough putts from a range of 10 to 15 feet there. I’ll just be focusing on playing to the best of my abilities this week.”

Naman Dawar fired his best round of the season to take a share of the opening day lead. He made seven birdies at the cost of two bogeys.

Dawar said, “I hit a lot of fairways and greens in the first round to set up the scoring opportunities. I mostly teed off with 3-woods and Rescues. My approach shots were good as well. The fact that the wind stayed down also helped.”

C Muniyappa made an eagle-two on the 14th during his first round 66. Rashid Khan of Delhi and Chandigarh’s Karandeep Kochhar were one shot off the lead at four-under-67 and occupied tied eighth place.

Chandigarh’s Ajeetesh Sandhu, one of the pre-tournament favourites, was in tied 28th after a round of one-under-70. Defending champion Anura Rohana of Sri Lanka was tied 82nd at three-over-74.

First Published: Apr 10, 2018 22:01 IST