Beau Champ, Mauritius, 29 Nov 2018

Chikkarangappa off to a dream start at the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open, fires eight-under-64 to hold joint lead

India’s Chikkarangappa S. shot one of the best rounds of his professional career, carding an eight-under-par 64 to grab a share of the lead at the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open on Thursday.

The 25-year-old Chikkarangappa, a two-time winner on the Asian Development Tour (ADT), was brilliant from tee to green throughout the day, which led to a bogey-free round at the Four Seasons Golf Club, Mauritius at Anahita.

Chikka’s confidence is sky-high after making adjustments to his swing. The Indian golfer, who was victorious at an event on his local circuit recently, is determined to end his season on a high by winning the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open, or one of the remaining tournaments on the Asian Tour schedule.

Also in tied-first is France’s Victor Perez. He enjoyed a near flawless round, trading nine birdies against a lone bogey.

Kurt Kitayama of the United States, Masahiro Kawamura of Japan and Jaco Van Zyl of South Africa are one shot behind the leaders in tied-third.

Chikka said, "It was a 'dream come true' round today. I hit the ball great, putted really well, kept the ball on the fairway which is key to scoring here, hit 13 fairways, hit almost every green in regulation and made 25 putts. Everything was perfect today.

"I was first reserve last year and I didn’t get into the event. I had to go back home, with tears in my eyes. I was playing really solid and was eager to get the chance to play. This year, I was really looking forward to coming and I’m here this week.

"Right now, I’m looking to get a win in the remaining three events on the Asian Tour. I’m not thinking of securing my card. I’ve been through the situation last year and made it on the number, and I don’t want to go through it again. The best is just to win an event. If I win here, I’ll get a card both on the Asian Tour and European Tour, and that’s what I’m looking at.

"I’m going to stick to my same plan. Good tee shops and hole putts. The weather just needs to stay the same and the good scores will come tomorrow.

"I’ve been playing well, having won the Jeev Milkha Singh Invitational back home. I’ve changed my golf swing to the way I used to play. I wasn’t feeling comfortable and I made the changes about seven weeks back. Then I won a tournament and last week, I played really well, just that I got punished by kicks and bad lies. I know myself, that I’m playing well and hitting the ball great. This has been the best situation for the last two years."
Viraj Madappa of India also made a strong start as he fired a four-under-68 to be placed tied 13th.
Source: Asian Tour

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