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Gujarat Open Golf: Kochhar takes lead with sizzling 64, Yashas Chandra a shot behind

Ahmedabad, Feb 22 (IANS) Chandigarh golfer Karandeep Kochhar shot a sizzling eight-under 64 to take the lead after the first round in the Gujarat Open Golf Championship 2022, the first event of the PGTI season.

Yashas Chandra MS of Mysuru struck a 65 to be placed second at the Rs. 40 lakh event played at the Kalhaar Blues & Greens Golf Club here. The three players tied for third place at 66 were Om Prakash Chouhan of Mhow, Tapy Ghai of Gurugram and Jaipur-based rookie Prakhar Asawa.

Kochhar, who finished second on the PGTI Order of Merit last year courtesy of his two wins, had a quiet start to the day after he bogeyed the first hole and followed it up with pars on the next five holes.

Kochhar produced a great tee shot on the par-3 seventh that led to his first birdie of the day and set him up for the rest of the round as he went on to add eight more birdies including a chip-in on the 15th and five conversions from a range of 12 to 15 feet.

Kochhar said, “The four events I played on the Asian Tour recently were a good experience for me as far as negotiating windy conditions is concerned. That helped my game in similar conditions today at Kalhaar.

“I would credit the birdie on the seventh for my turnaround today after a slow start. That was a key moment as it got me going for the day. The birdie on the 15th was quite satisfying as it is one of the toughest holes on the golf course, especially with the wind coming into play today. So that too was a confidence booster towards the end of the round,” he was quoted as saying in a release.

Chandra, who hit it close through the day, was six-under through 12 holes before his first bogey of the day on the fifth. Chandra, however, ended the day well with two more birdies on the seventh and ninth.

Prakhar Asawa, making his debut as a professional, scored 10 birdies and conceded four bogeys during his 66 while Om Prakash Chouhan, who came close to win’ing last year’s edition, produced eight birdies and two bogeys. Tapy Ghai made an eagle on the eighth as well as five birdies and a bogey.

Among the Ahmedabad-based golfers, Anshul Patel was the best-placed as he shot an opening round of 73 to be tied 32nd. Olympian and reigning PGTI Order of Merit champion Udayan Mane began with a 79 to be tied 98th.

–IANS

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