Bengaluru Open Golf Championship – Three-way lead on day 1

Key highlights:

  • Arun, Karandeep and Om Prakash is on top of the table after round 1
  • Defending champion Anura Rohana tied seventh after scoring 3-69

{Press Release}: Delhi’s Arun Kumar, Karandeep Kochhar of Chandigarh, and Mhow’s Om Prakash Chouhan and were tied for the first-round lead at five-under-67 at the Indo-MIM presents Bengaluru Open Golf Championship 2019 powered by Karnataka Tourism, a tournament being played at the Karnataka Golf Association (KGA) course.

The trio comprising Bengaluru’s Rahil Gangjee, Delhi’s Kapil Kumar and Gurugram’s Abhishek Kuhar were in joint fourth, one shot behind the leaders at the Rs. 40 lakh event which is also the penultimate leg of the 2019 TATA Steel PGTI season.

Karandeep Kochhar has enjoyed a good season so far with four top-10s on the PGTI and four top-20s on the Asian Tour where he plays on a country exemption. The 20-year-old continued his hot form on day one in Bengaluru making an eagle and four birdies at the cost of a lone bogey.

Karandeep, currently in seventh on the PGTI Order of Merit, made a push up the leaderboard when he holed his second shot from 35 yards for an eagle on the first hole. Two birdies and a bogey followed over the next four holes before Kochhar sank a mammoth 35-footer for his last birdie of the day on the sixth.

Karandeep said, “I did well through the round and had my opportunities on the last three holes as well but misread a couple of putts there. It’s been an extremely consistent season for me. I hope to continue in this fashion over the last two weeks of the season.

Om Prakash Chouhan, a five-time winner on the PGTI, who was off-color by his standards at last week’s event in Kolkata where he finished outside the top-20, went bogey-free on Tuesday. Chouhan’s precise ball-striking saw him set up three of his birdies within five feet of the flag. ‘OP’, as he is often referred to, closed the day on a high with birdies on his last two holes, the 17th, and 18th.

Chouhan said, “The season’s not been up to my expectations. I’m 17th in the PGTI Rankings at the moment. At the end of the season, I want to get somewhere close to my last year’s career-best PGTI Order of Merit ranking of a fourth. My hitting was good today, but a lot of work needs to be done as far as my putting is concerned.

Arun Kumar, playing only his second event on the PGTI this year, also had an error-free day. The 37-year-old, who is among an elite list of ‘A’ category teaching professionals in India, made all fairways and 17 greens in regulation to shoot his career-best score.

Arun said, “I’m delighted with my effort as it was only at the start of this year that I focused on playing professional golf rather than coaching which had been my bread and butter for many years. It was a big decision for me to make, but I was committed to it.

Defending champion Anura Rohana of Sri Lanka struck a 69 to be tied seventh while Pune-based Udayan Mane, as well as local lads Syed Saqib Ahmed, Trishul Chinnappa and amateur Akshay Neranjen, were a further shot back in tied 15th.

Gurugram-based Veer Ahlawat, the highest-ranked player in the field, being third in the PGTI Order of Merit, shot a 77 to be tied 94th.

Posted on: 18-Dec-2019
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