New Delhi, 07-11-2013

Gangjee and Siddikur share the lead along with four others

Shankar Das one shot behind in seventh place

Rahil Gangjee ensured an Indian presence on a crowded leaderboard as he shared the lead with five others at six-under 66 on the opening day of the Hero Indian Open on Thursday. Gangjee, who has been focusing on the Asian tour after losing his card on Tour in the United States, has had a decent season and is placed 31st on the Asian Tour Order of Merit. 

Gangjee shared the lead with Siddikur of Bangladesh, who after adopting an aggressive style of play, fired a flawless six-under-par 66. The other four were Mardan Mamat of Singapore, winner of the 2004 Indian Open, Asian Tour rookie Carlos Pigem of Spain and Thai duo Pariya Junhasavasdikul and Chapchai Nirat.

Indian presence in the top-10 was enhanced by Shankar Das of India placed seventh on 67. Shamim Khan of India was a further shot back in tied eighth at the US$1.25 million Asian Tour event staged at the Delhi Golf Club.

SSP Chowrasia, Chiragh Kumar and Rashid Khan carded 69 each after looking good to go further lower earlier on.

Gangjee was the toast of the Indian camp, where Jyoti Randhawa (70) and Anirban Lahiri (71) were among those under par, while big names like Arjun Atwal (73), Shiv Kapur (75) and Gaganjeet Bhullar (77) had a struggle on the first day.

Gangjee, who won his only title on the Asian Tour nine years back, said, “My longest putt was on the eighth hole from 20 feet. I kept it going, I didn’t stop making birdies. I lost track of my score, which is a good thing! Sometimes when you go low then it happens. I was aware of what I was doing but I just lost track of my score.

I had no idea that Siddikur was on six-under. It is still too early in the tournament to bother me. I had a good feeling at making par on the last hole (9th hole). I’ve done it so many times here after getting in trouble here. I had good confidence in that putt.”

Siddikur of Bangladesh fired a flawless six-under-par 66 to share the opening round lead at the Hero Indian Open on Thursday after adopting a more attacking style of play.

Siddikur traded his conservative approach with a more attacking flair after playing and learning from Major champions Keegan Bradley and Bubba Watson at the CIMB Classic in Malaysia a fortnight ago.

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