Lokesh Lakshman, Deepak Chouhan and amateur Harsh Gangwar share first round lead in Pre Qualifying II
The trio of Lokesh Lakshman, Deepak Chouhan and amateur Harsh Gangwar shared the first round lead at three-under 69 in Pre Qualifying II as the TATA Steel PGTI Qualifying School 2022 presented by Gujarat Tourism resumed on February 8 at the Kalhaar Blues & Greens Golf Club in Ahmedabad after a month-long forced break due to the Pandemic.
Lokesh Lakshman, a teaching professional at the KGA in Bengaluru, enjoyed a good start in his third appearance at the PGTI Qualifying School. Lokesh began the day with a bogey but rallied thereafter with birdies on the third, fourth and fifth holes courtesy some terrific driving and approach shots. He narrowly missed an eagle on the fourth where his approach from 145 yards stopped inches from the flag.
On the back-nine, Lakshman added two more birdies at the cost of a lone bogey thanks to some excellent wedge-play.
Lokesh said, “I didn’t begin the day well but then focused hard to get my round going with the birdie on the third. It has been a challenge to deal with the one-month delay in the Q School due to the pandemic. I had to restart my preparations as my home course was also closed for a while due to the lockdown.”
Mhow-based Deepak Chouhan, brother of Om Prakash Chouhan who has been a multiple winner on the PGTI, was one-over for the day through 12 holes but fought back with birdies on the 14th, 16th and an eagle-two on the 18th where he found the hole with his approach from 150 yards.
Deepak, who has caddied for his brother Om Prakash in the past, said, “My brother OP (Om Prakash) keeps motivating me and often shares valuable inputs to improve my game. That has given me great confidence coming into this week.”
Delhi-based amateur Harsh Gangwar, appearing at the PGTI Q School for the first time, began with a double-bogey on the first but worked his way to the top with six birdies in exchange for a lone bogey thereafter.
Karan Taunk along with amateurs Arjun Bhati, Rohan Dhole Patil and Divyansh Dubey were tied for second place with scores of two-under 70.
Out of a total field of 86, the top 21 players (+ ties) will qualify from Pre Qualifying II, a 36-hole event, for the Final Qualifying Stage. There are three Pre Qualifying events in total.
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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