Nuh, Haryana, 14-03-2024

Steven Brown and Martin Couvra share day one lead at Delhi Challenge 2024

Trishul Chinnappa, Karan Pratap Singh and Akshay Sharma best-placed Indians in tied 19th



Steven Brown and Martin Couvra both posted seven under par rounds of 65 on the opening day of the Delhi Challenge to lead by one at Classic Golf & Country Club.

Englishman Brown made three birdies on the front nine before adding four more without a bogey on the back nine to jump into the lead. His score however was matched by in-form Frenchman Couvra who carded eight birdies and a solitary bogey.

The duo lead by one from a large chasing pack, including Frenchmen Andoni Etchenique and Pierre Pineau, Englishmen John Parry, Jack Senior and James Allan, Swede Rikard Karlberg and Joshua Grenville-Wood from the UAE.

Trishul Chinnappa, Karan Pratap Singh and Akshay Sharma returned scores of four-under 68 to be the highest-placed Indians at tied 19th.

Brown arrived late to India, but after going bogey-free on the final day of the Magical Kenya Open on the DP World Tour two weeks ago, was delighted to continue that run of form on the parkland layout.

“I played really well so I can’t complain,” he said. “I found something with my swing yesterday and played well in practice so I couldn’t ask for more.

“I was bogey-free in Kenya in my last round before coming here, so I’m on to something at the moment, I’ve just got to keep it going.

“I hit loads of good shots and played pretty solid. I think I missed one green and holed a couple of decent putts which always helps.”

Couvra, who sits tenth on the Road to Mallorca Rankings ahead of back-to-back events in India, also impressed on the greens, holing long putts at the second, 13th and 15th.

The 20-year-old became only the seventh amateur to win on the Challenge Tour when he triumphed at the Challenge de España last year, and having turned professional soon after, he thinks that experience is paying dividends already in 2024.

“I’m really happy with my game today,” he said. “The greens were very quick but I liked it, it was good to test myself on them. The course is in great shape.

“The win last year was pretty good for me and gave me a lot of confidence for my game this year. I know the setup now, I know the feeling of the tournaments and I know a lot of the guys that I’m playing with which helps.”

Among the three Indians in tied 19th place, Akshay Sharma produced a bogey-free effort with a birdie on the front-nine and three on the back-nine.

Karan Pratap Singh sank an eagle on the closing 18th besides three birdies and a bogey while Trishul Chinnappa made five birdies and a bogey.

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