Panchkula, Nov 26 (IANS) Mysore golfer Rahul Ganapathy shot a solid four under 68 to establish a one-stroke lead after round one of the HUDA-GTPL-Unitech Haryana Open at the Panchkula Golf Club here Wednesday.
Ganapathy, currently second on the PGTI Order of Merit, is one stroke ahead of Mukesh Kumar and Gaganjeet Bhullar, both of whom came up with scores of three under 69.
Ganapathy's round was punctuated by six birdies and a double bogey. He had a poor start to his round as he four-putted on the par three second to make double bogey. He then picked up consecutive birdies on the sixth and seventh to be back at level par. On the back nine, Ganapathy fired three successive birdies on the 10th, 11th and 12th and another one on the 15th to finally close at four under.
'The only disappointment was the double bogey on the second. My best moment today came on the 10th when my sand wedge approach shot stopped just one foot short of the pin. The course is not playing very easy even though the greens are nice and soft,' said Ganapathy, a three-time winner on the PGTI in the 2007-08 season.
Mukesh Kumar began with a birdie on the first and further consolidated when he holed his sand wedge approach shot on the sixth from 100 yards out to make eagle. He then bogeyed the seventh and birdied the ninth to make the turn at three under. The professional from Mhow came up with another birdie on the 11th but lost a stroke when he bogeyed the 13th after missing a two feet putt for par.
Mukesh, the current leader on the PGTI Order of Merit, said: 'I was very satisfied with my eagle on the sixth but at the same time I regret having missed some easy putts. The par three holes are going to hold the key during this tournament. The par three holes here are very long and challenging and even making par on these holes would be quite creditable.'
Kapurthala's Gaganjeet Bhullar also shot three under 69 to join Mukesh in tied second place. Bhullar made six birdies and dropped three bogeys. Delhi golfers Dinesh Kumar and Chiragh Kumar carded scores of two under 70 to share fourth place.
The Chandigarh quartet of Ajeetesh Sandhu, Sujjan Singh, Gurbaaz Mann and Randhir Singh Ghotra shot identical scores of one under 71 to share sixth place with five other professionals. Mohammed Siddikur Rahman of Bangladesh and Bangalore's C. Muniyappa are both tied 19th as they shot matching 73s. Chandigarh's Harendra Gupta fired a two over 72 to lie tied 29th.
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