Golf: Rashid Khan leads by four strokes
Bangalore, Aug 7 (IANS) Rashid Khan of Delhi fired a five-under-67 in extremely windy and overcast conditions to take the clubhouse lead in round one of the PGTI Players Championship presented by Prestige Golfshire Club, here Tuesday.
Six golfers out of 125 could not finish their rounds as play was suspended due to fading light. The Bangalore duo of Anirban Lahiri and Abhishek Jha were tied second at one-under-71 along with Sri Lankan Anura Rohana.
Rashid Khan came out firing on all cylinders. He bogeyed the second, but birdied six of the last 10 holes. He chipped-in for birdie on the ninth and followed that up with an excellent approach shot from 140 yards to set up another birdie on the 12th.
Khan, the Asian Games silver medalist, added four more birdies on the 13th, 14th, 16thand 17th while sinking a 20-footer on the 14thand 15-footer on the 17th.
"I've been working on my swing for the last two weeks and that has paid off. One needs to control the shots here and therefore I did not use my driver but instead laid-up with irons. I hit 16 regulations today and did well to avoid the rough.
"The conditions were tough due to the wind and the lines on the greens are difficult to read, but I'm thrilled with the start I've made despite all these factors," said the 21-year-old Khan.
Local lad Lahiri, fresh from his dream debut at the British Open last month, made five birdies and four bogeys to be four strokes off the lead in joint second place.
Lahiri said: "I hit it extremely well, but had a poor run with the putter. I missed five putts inside six feet. I could've shot a three to four under today with some consistent putting.
"The highlight of my round was sinking a 25-footer for birdie from just off the green on the second. I have to convert all my opportunities since scoring is going to be tough over the next three days."
Abhishek Jha and Anura Rohana were also joint second as they had a good hitting day and kept the ball in play. Both Jha and Rohana made four birdies and three bogeys.
Keshav Kapoor of Delhi made a hole-in-one on the sixth, but shot a nine-over-81 to be tied 74th.
67: Rashid Khan. 71: Anura Rohana, Anirban Lahiri, Abhishek Jha. 72: Abhinav Lohan, Himmat Singh Rai, Ajeetesh Sandhu, Kunal Bhasin. 73: Randhir Singh Ghotra, Mithun Perera, Vinod Kumar. 74: Manish Goyal, C Muniyappa, M Dharma, Naman Dawar, Akshay Sharma.
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