Greater Noida, December 25 :Anirban Lahiri set the pace on day one of the BILT Open 2008 with a magnificent bogey-free seven under 65. Lahiri is currently at the top of the leaderboard as only 96 professionals out of a total of 118 could complete round one on Thursday as a result of the one and a half hour delay due to fog in the morning. Rahil Gangjee carded six under 66 to be second while Jeev Milkha Singh and Shamim Khan are joint third with scores of five under 67.
Anirban Lahiri began with a birdie on the first and then went on to knock down two more on the fifth and seventh to make the turn at three under. The Bangalore-based professional made four birdies on the back nine – 11 th, 12th, 15th and 16th, to close with a 65.
Kolkata’s Rahil Gangjee fired another bogey-free round for second place on day one. Gangjee got off to a dream start with birdies on the first two holes. He then came up with four more birdies on the fourth, 12th, 15th and 18th to finish the day at six under 66, one stroke off the lead.
Jeev Milkha Singh is currently in tied third place, having shot five under 67 on Thursday. Jeev, who started from the 10th tee, birdied the 12th, 13th, 15th, second, fourth, fifth, seventh and bogeyed the 10th and third.
Jeev said, "It was a pretty solid round for me today. I missed only two greens today and made bogeys on those very holes. The birdie on the par three seventh was special because my tee shot rolled past the flag and thereafter the ball came back towards the pin due to the slope."
He added, "The course is playing really well and one needs to be a good driver to succeed here. The bunkers are also very well placed."
Shamim Khan also shot 67 to join Jeev in tied third place. Jyoti Randhawa, Gaganjeet Bhullar, SSP Chowrasia, Shiv Kapur, Gaurav Ghei and Mohd Siddikur Rahman are all tied fifth with identical first round scores of four under 68.
Harmeet Kahlon, Harendra Gupta, C Muniyappa and Sujjan Singh are a further stroke behind in tied 11th. Digvijay Singh shot two under 70 to occupy tied 15th place while Mukesh Kumar, Ashok Kumar, Rahul Ganapathy and Arjun Singh are all tied 23rd at one under 71.