Nairobi, Kenya, 03-03-2022

Shubhankar Sharma tied second at Magical Kenya Open; Viraj Madappa and Karandeep Kochhar tied eighth at International Series Thailand

Shubhankar Sharma came up with a flawless first round of six-under 65 to be placed tied second and one off the lead at the Magical Kenya Open, a DP World Tour event, being played in Nairobi.

Englishman Daniel Gavins was the leader at seven-under 64.

Shubhankar was tied for second along with Johannes Veerman of the USA.

Sharma said, “I am really happy, I played really well, didn’t drop a shot which was bonus. I made some good par putts and to make that birdie on the 18th was especially satisfying.

“For me, I’ve changed a lot with my thinking from two years ago. Two years ago I was younger and wanted to play everything. I would play seven weeks in a row if I could.

“Now, if I’m playing well I understand that I need to conserve my energy. I don’t feel like I want to stay on the road all the time so a few weeks and going home really helps. I’m refreshed this week, I’ve had a few weeks off and you can see that in the first round, it’s been a good day.

“It offers you a lot of risk and reward holes, a lot of holes where you can take driver on and probably have a wedge in. It temps you in a lot of places but you’ve got to play to your strengths and my strength is my iron play and a lot of the holes where I felt like I could have hit driver, I laid up with two irons and four irons and I think that strategy worked really well. I hope to do that for the next few days.”

Elsewhere at the Asian Tour's International Series Thailand being played in Hua Hin, Viraj Madappa and Karandeep Kochhar returned error-free opening rounds of seven-under 65 to be tied eighth.

The Indian duo was placed three shots behind the leader Sihwan Kim of the United States at the Black Mountain Golf Club.

Gaganjeet Bhullar, Rashid Khan, Honey Baisoya and Aman Raj were all tied for 24th with scores of 67.

Khalin Joshi and Ajeetesh Sandhu were tied 38th having shot 68s.

Pictures: Asian Tour

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