Ibaraki, Japan, 28-10-2021

Rahil Gangjee shoots seven-under 64 to take first round lead at ISPS HANDA Gatsu-n to tobase Tour tournament

Rahil Gangjee made a great start at the Miho Golf Club on Thursday with eight birdies and a bogey to post a score of seven-under 64 and be the first round leader at the ISPS HANDA Gatsu-n to tobase Tour tournament.

Rahil, currently 81st on the money list, has been struggling with his putting this season. He changed his putter two weeks back at the Bridgestone Open, but it didn't solve his problem and he missed the cut. He spent time at his home course, the JOYX Golf Club, for the past two weeks, since he wasn't playing any tournaments, but that didn't help either.

Gangjee, playing on the Japan Tour for the fourth straight year, said, "A practice round with my good friend and fellow professional Shaun Norris did me a world of good. My putting got really great. I owe all of this to Shaun.

"Shaun's advice was quite simple. Just change the ball position from the middle of the stance towards the left foot. That's all, and it worked."

Rahil drained a 10-meter birdie at the second. He picked up three more birdies on the fifth, eighth and 10th at the expense of a bogey on the seventh. Then from the 12th onward, Gangjee made three consecutive birdies nailing all of them from a range of five meters. He sank his last birdie on the 18th.

With only six more tournaments remaining in the season, of which Rahil is eligible to play just five, the Kolkata lad will be looking for a good result this week to make big strides in the Order of Merit.

Gangjee had earned a multiple year Tour Card with his victory at the 2018 Panasonic Open Golf Championship. But his winner's exemption will end this season.

"If I don't make my way up on the Money Rankings, I'll have to go to Qualifying School in December," said Rahil.

He was planning to go back to his home country India during the Tokyo Olympics but due to the pandemic he decided to stay on in Japan, since re-entry into the country would've been almost impossible at that time.

Gangjee added, "I haven't been able to go back to India since March. I really want to go visit my mother. I cannot make her wait any longer. If I could secure my Tour Card quickly, I will fly back home at the earliest."

Source: Japan Golf Tour

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