Pune, 10 Apr 2018

Seven share lead on opening day of Kolte - Patil presents Pune Open Golf Championship 2018

Rejuvenated Digvijay Singh finds himself among the leaders after a month’s break from the game

If the first round of the Kolte – Patil presents Pune Open Golf Championship 2018 is anything to go by, then golf fans in Pune are in for a royal treat over the next three days. Round one of the Rs. 30 lakh event being played at the Poona Club Golf Course saw as many as seven players take the joint lead at five-under-66. 

The leading pack consisted of Gurgaon-based Digvijay Singh, Ahmedabad’s Udayan Mane, Chandigarh’s Feroz Singh Garewal, Delhi golfers Naman Dawar and Honey Baisoya, Om Prakash Chouhan of Mhow and Bengaluru’s C Muniyappa.

Digvijay Singh, the only one among the joint leaders to shoot an error-free round, 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 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.

“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,” said Digvijay, a former Asian Tour winner.

He added, “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. I feel I’m carrying forward the momentum from my joint runner-up finish in Chennai in early March where I shot an eight-under-62 in the final round.”

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 today but putted well to salvage the round. My round took-off with the 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 today 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.

About PGTI:

Formed in 2006, Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) is the recognised official body of professional golf in India. PGTI's objective is to promote professional golf in the country, as well as to give players an opportunity to be involved in the decision making on all aspects of the game. Headed by Mr. Gautam Thapar (President), PGTI's governing body comprises leading Indian golf professionals. PGTI currently has over 300 members.

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