Three share lead after round one of Eagleburg Open

Bangalore, July 2 (IANS) Rahil Gangjee (Kolkata), Arshpreet Thind (Gurgaon) and Sri Lanka's K. Prabagaran fired scores of four-under-68 to share the lead in round one of the PGTI Eagleburg Open being played at Eagleton Golf Resort near here Tuesday.

Mukesh Kumar of Mhow, Lucknow's Sanjay Kumar, Jaipur-based Vishal Singh and Delhi golfer Kapil Kumar were in tied fourth, one stroke off the lead.

Thind had an ideal start to the tournament as he found the par-5 10th green in two shots and subsequently two-putted for birdie. He then converted a 10-footer for birdie on the 14th.

Another birdie followed for Arshpreet on the 15th before his first bogey of the day on the 16th that came as a result of a missed chip-putt.

Thind, who so far has two top-10s to his credit in professional golf, sank putts from 25 feet and 15 feet for birdies on the fifth and ninth respectively.

The 30-year old Thind who stands 6-foot 3-inch tall, said: "It was one of my best putting days in recent memory. I made 17 regulations and thereby set up lots of birdie opportunities for myself. I felt I had a good conversion rate with five birdies from 17 regulations."

"The greens on this course have lot of slopes therefore one needs to land the ball on the right side of the greens in order to score well. I managed to do that today. My marriage few months back has brought stability to my life which also reflects in my game."

Gangjee produced a bogey-free 68 to be the joint leader on day one. Playing his first ever competitive round at Eagleton, Gangjee produced a terrific approach shot from 100 yards on the sixth that landed within eight feet of the pin and led to a birdie.

He hit the green in two on the par-5 10th to pick up another birdie. The 12th saw Gangjee hole a massive 35-feet birdie putt, while on the 14th he converted a downhill, curling 12-feet birdie putt.

"I have been in good touch recently, having posted a top-5 finish on the PGTI last week. The conditions were easier in the morning as it was not too windy unlike the practice round. I kept the ball in play and hit most of the greens. I was never in a position where I had to struggle for par. I putted well through the day," said Gangjee.

Prabagaran, a 10th tee starter, had five birdies against a lone bogey. He dropped a stroke on the 11th thanks to a missed chip-putt, but negated that with a solid chip-putt for birdie on the 15th.

The 32-year-old with two top-10s on the PGTI this year, collected birdies on the second and eighth after landing his shots within three feet on both occasions. Prabagaran also sank a couple of 12-footers for birdies on the fifth and seventh holes.

"I putted well and also hit it close on a few occasions. I have played at this course as an amateur and done reasonably well. The experience of playing here in the past helped me today," said Prabagaran, currently placed 19thon the Rolex Rankings.

Mukesh Kumar, Sanjay Kumar, Vishal Singh and Kapil Kumar shot scores of three-under-69 to be placed tied fourth.

Among the Bangalore-based professionals, C. Muniyappa was the highest placed in tied eighth as he carded a 70. Abhishek Jha, M. Dharma and Chikkarangappa S. returned scores of 72 to be placed tied 25th. Anirban Lahiri's 73 placed him tied 39th.

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