Kolkata, February 2, 2011: Vijay Kumar of Lucknow and Kolkata’s Raju Ali Mollah shot scores of six under 66 to hold the joint lead at the end of round one of the PGTI Players Championship presented by Royal Calcutta Golf Club. SSP Chowrasia, another local favourite, was placed third at the end of round one as he fired a five under 67.
Vijay Kumar garnered seven birdies and a lone bogey in his opening round of 66. Vijay coupled his exceptional iron-play on Wednesday with some consistent putting. The 42-year-old veteran sank birdie putts within a range of seven to 10 feet on the second, third, sixth, 12th, 17th and 18th.
The Lucknow-based professional chipped it to within a few inches for birdie on the 15th. He only stumbled on the 11th where a missed putt from three feet resulted in a bogey.
“My putting average was very good today. I made 26 putts in all, having converted a number of putts from seven to 10 feet. My accurate iron shots set up quite a few birdies. I need to continue putting well in order to stay on top,” said Vijay, a winner on the Aircel PGTI during the 2010 season.
Thirty-three-year-old Raju Ali Mollah of Kolkata, who won his first professional title on the Aircel PGTI last year, fired a bogey-free 66 at his home course to hold the joint lead along with Vijay Kumar.
SSP Chowrasia made seven birdies against two bogeys in his solid opening round of 67. Chowrasia, who is playing on his home course, used the pitching wedge to great effect to set up birdies on the sixth, ninth and 10th. The highlight of his round was the 30 feet birdie putt on the 10th.
Roop Singh of Chandigarh, Sri Lankan Mithun Perera, Vivek Bhandari of Delhi and Lucknow’s Sanjay Kumar share fourth place at four under 68.
Gaganjeet Bhullar and Harmeet Kahlon are a further stroke behind in tied eighth position.
Anirban Lahiri shot a two under 70 to be placed tied 10th.