Chandigarh, March 2, 2011: Shamim Khan of Delhi shot the best score of the day, a six under 66, to lead in round one of the Aircel PGTI Players Championship presented by Chandigarh Golf Club. Kapurthala’s Gaganjeet Bhullar fired a five under 67 to be tied second along with Roop Singh of Chandigarh and Navtez Singh of Jamshedpur.
SSP Chowrasia, the champion at the Avantha Masters last month, lies tied eighth as he shot a three under 69. Indian star Jeev Milkha Singh made a steady start on his home course with a one under 71 that placed him tied 25th.
Shamim Khan’s bogey-free 66 gave him the lead in round one. Shamim, who finished fifth on the Rolex Rankings last year, reaped the reward for his accurate hitting on Wednesday. He landed his third shot from 112 yards to within a foot on the seventh, the longest hole on the course, to line-up an easy birdie putt. The three-time winner on the Aircel PGTI also converted a 15 feet birdie putt on the sixth.
“I hit it quite close and didn’t really make any mistakes. The birdie on the seventh was one of my best today as that hole is not easy. I also made a couple of good par saves on the 12th and 15th. Six under is a great start to the tournament. I’ll have to keep the intensity going over the next few days since the field is very strong and lot of players have the ability to shoot low numbers,” said Shamim.
Gaganjeet Bhullar put up a score of 67 on the board to be tied second. His bogey-free round was a result of some exceptional putting. He saved par with a 25 feet putt on the ninth and sank a 35-footer for birdie on the 12th.
Bhullar was joined by Roop Singh and Navtez Singh, who also returned scores of 67, in tied second position.
Chiragh Kumar, Kapil Kumar and Md Islam share fifth position at four under 68.
SSP Chowrasia carded a 69 for a share of eighth place along with eight others including Gaurav Ghei, Himmat Singh Rai and Vijay Kumar. Chowrasia’s opening round featured four birdies and a bogey.
Jeev Milkha Singh fired three birdies against two bogeys in his round of 71.
Jeev said, “It’s a decent start. I was just a little rusty to begin with and that’s probably the reason I did not hit too many good shots on my first nine (10th to 18th) today. I did hit it much better on the second nine (1st to 9th). I missed a few fairways but recovered well. The sand wedge shot on the fourth that stopped a foot from the hole and helped me save par stood out for me. I also made a 35 feet uphill putt for birdie on the eighth.”