Angad Cheema fires blistering 63 for round one lead
Rashid Khan and Chikkarangappa one shot behind
Rookie Angad Cheema of Panchkula equalled the course record with a blistering seven-under-63 to grab the lead in the opening round of the CG Open 2013 being played at the Bombay Presidency Golf Club in Mumbai. Chikkarangappa S of Bangalore, another rookie, was placed tied second at six-under-64 along with Delhi’s Rashid Khan.
Angad Cheema started the tournament with birdies on the first two holes. Angad landed his tee shot within four feet of the pin on the second hole, a par-3. The lanky golfer then hit a couple of inaccurate tee shots that resulted in bogeys on the third and fifth. Between the two bogeys he had a birdie on the fourth.
The 23-year-old Cheema used his sand-wedge to great effect on the seventh, 11th and 12th where he landed his approach shots within seven feet to pick up three more birdies. It seemed to be the rookie’s day as he canned a 25-footer to gain another stroke on the 14th. Angad made birdie-bogey on the 16th and 17th before signing off with a spectacular eagle on the 18th. Cheema found the par-5 18th green in two shots before sinking two-and-a-half foot eagle putt.
Cheema thus equalled the course record of seven-under-63 which was earlier set by Md Zamal Hossain Mollah, Ashok Kumar, Rafick Ali Mollah, Karanjit Singh Sandhu and Gurbaaz Mann.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better start to the week. I hit it really well and was within four feet of the pin on four occasions. I capitalized on the par-5 holes as I made an eagle and three birdies on the four par-5s. The eagle on the final hole has given me a lot of confidence going into the second round,” said Cheema.
He added, “My runner-up finish at the BILT Open last month has helped me raise my game. The fact that I’m placed fourth on the Rolex Rankings and lead the Emerging Player of the Year race is added incentive to perform better in my first season as a professional. The key at this course will be to grab maximum opportunities on the greens.”
Chikkarangappa S came up with a bogey-free 64 that placed him in joint second along with Rolex Rankings leader Rashid Khan whose round of 64 featured seven birdies and a bogey.
Chikkarangappa, currently ranked fifth on the Rolex Rankings, said, “My hitting was top-class and I made 15 greens in regulation. I sank three birdie putts from a distance of 10 to 12 feet and hit the green in two shots on the 16th and 18th, both par-5s, to register birdies.
“I’ve had a good season so far and I’m carrying forward the form from the last PGTI event where I finished tied third,” added Chikka.
Divyanshu Bajaj of Kolkata made a hole-in-one on the second hole during his round of five-under-65 that placed him tied fourth along with K Prabagaran of Sri Lanka.
Divyanshu’s six-iron tee shot from 178 yards on the second hole, pitched a yard short of the hole before finding the cup on the second bounce.
Chandigarh golfers Abhijit Singh Chadha, Harmeet Kahlon and Randhir Singh Ghotra are in tied sixth place at four-under-66 along with Delhi’s Vinod Kumar, Abhishek Jha of Bangalore and Bangladeshi Md Shakhawat Hossain Sohel.
Defending champion Harendra Gupta fired a one-over-71 to grab a share of 56th place.