Jammu, 04-10-2023

Akshay Sharma and Karan Pratap Singh set the pace on day one of J&K Open 2023 presented by J&K Tourism

Chandigarh’s Akshay Sharma and Karan Pratap Singh of Faridabad fired scores of four-under 68 to hold the joint lead in round one of the J&K Open 2023 presented by J&K Tourism being played at the Jammu Tawi Golf Course (JTGC).

The Delhi trio of Saarthak Chhibber, Kapil Kumar and Harshjeet Singh Sethie as well as Bengaluru’s Mari Muthu R were tied second at three-under 69.

Akshay Sharma, fresh from two top-3 finishes in the last two events, continued his hot streak with some outstanding chipping and putting. Akshay’s seven birdies included three brilliant chips that led to tap-ins and four conversions on the green from a range of 10 to 35 feet. Sharma also dropped three bogeys.

Akshay said, “I performed well with the wedges and the putter in particular even though my driving was also accurate. I feel I’m carrying forward my positive mindset from the last few events and that once again helped me get a good start today. Reading the greens isn’t that easy here at JTGC, so I’m quite satisfied with my putting as I took just 28 putts today.”

Karan Pratap Singh, playing at JTGC for the first time, had a bogey-free day that featured two 15-feet birdie conversions. Karan also capitalized on two of the par-5s, the eighth and 18th, with good approach shots that led to birdies.  

Karan, a winner on the PGTI this season, said, “As I’m playing at this venue for the very first time, I’m quite happy with my opening round effort since I feel I did well to adapt to the conditions. The narrow fairways are one of the challenging features of this course. I’ve not had a great second half of the season so far so this start is quite encouraging.”

TATA Steel PGTI Rankings leader Om Prakash Chouhan and last week’s winner Aman Raj were both in tied ninth place at 71.

Pawan Parihar (79) was the highest-placed among the J&K-based players as he ended the day in tied 73rd place.

Earlier in the day, Mr. Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar, Advisor to Lt. Governor Jammu & Kashmir, inaugurated the tournament amidst much fanfare at 7 am at the Jammu Tawi Golf Course.

The inauguration ceremony was also attended by Dr. Syed Abid Rashid Shah, Secretary, Tourism, J&K, Mr. Amarjeet Singh, Special Secretary to Government, J&K Tourism Department, Ms. Sunaina Sharma Mehta, Joint Director, Tourism, Jammu and Mr. Manav Gupta, Secretary, Jammu Tawi Golf Course.  

The inauguration ceremony featured a ceremonial tee off, cake-cutting and release of balloons by the Chief Guest Mr. Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar, Advisor to Lt. Governor Jammu & Kashmir.

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