Pune Open Golf: Dwivedi registers an eight-under 63 to take crucial lead on day 1
Samarth Dwivedi from Ahmedabad enjoyed a phenomenal start to the Pune Open Golf Championship at the Poona Club Golf Course, ending round 1 with a score of eight-under 63 to take the lead on day one.
Jaibir Singh and Trishul Chinnappa, both from Bengaluru, are currently second and third with scores of seven-under 64 and six-under 65 respectively.
Dwivedi was certainly the surprise package on the first day as he went through eighteen holes without a single bogey.
After a tricky 2018, it was imperative that he started this tournament on the right note and that is precisely what the 26-year-old did, playing some exquisite strokes down the fairway.
He began with a par on each of his first five holes before hitting birdies on the sixth and seventh to quickly race into the lead.
In his own admission, he felt that the first four holes were tricky and not bogeying at any of them gave him the motivation to play a few more risky shots as the day progressed.
“It was just great to play bogey-free. For starters, I knew to get through the first four holes, the toughest stretch of this course, without any damage, would be half the battle won.
“I managed to do that successfully with pars on the first four holes. That gave me some confidence,” said Dwivedi
The 30-year-old came out all guns blazing after the break after nine holes and hit birdies on each of his following four holes to edge ahead of Chinnappa who could only manage pars from hole 10 to 13 while Singh’s bogey on hole 10 saw him playing catch-up until the end of the day.
However, the highlight of the day came on hole 14 when Singh hit an eagle and also landed it within five feet of the pin on several occasions.
Pune’s Rajiv Datar and Australia-based Kunal Bhasin were part of the leader Dwivedi’s group and were in awe of his performances from the very first hole.
Their performances on day 1 were ordinary with Bhasin tabling a four-over 75 while Datar could only manage a mediocre six-over 77.
Speaking about how it was to be part of the leader’s group, Datar said, “We were clapping for him so we forgot about our individual performances. In fact, he missed quite a few small puts and could have easily reached ten or eleven under.”
“I wasn’t hitting it well off the tee and was putting very badly too. However, Samarth played really well. I didn’t even realise he scored an eight-under. I thought it was a six-under,” said Bhasin, reflecting on the contrasting performances between him and the day’s leader.
There was a bit to cheer for the local fans in the city as Pravin Pathare and Pratik Nirmale were the best-placed Pune golfers, tied at 25th with both having shot scores of even-par-71.