Karandeep Kochhar took the first round lead in the Golconda Masters 2020

Key Highlights

. Karandeep Kochhar takes the charge with opening day 63 and enjoys one-shot lead at Golconda Masters 2020.

. Aman Raj, Trishul Chinnappa and Khalin Joshi also shine with rounds of 64 to be tied second.

{Press Release}: Chandigarh golfer Karandeep Kochhar carrying forward his blistering form into the 2020 season as he shot a masterly eight-under-63 to seize the first-round lead at the season-opening Vooty & Haldi Presents Golconda Masters 2020 Powered by Telangana Tourism being played at the Hyderabad Golf Club (HGC).

The 20-year-old Kochhar, who became the youngest-ever winner on the PGTI back in 2016 at age 17 years and five months while still an amateur, enjoyed a one-stroke advantage over Patna’s Aman Raj and the Bengaluru duo of Trishul Chinnappa and Khalin Joshi, all three of whom posted 64s.

Karandeep, who went bogey-free on Wednesday, said, “I was in contention here last year and played in the leader group in the final round before ending up fourth. I really like this venue as the greens are similar to those at my home course, the Chandigarh Golf Club.

Aman Raj, the joint runner-up at last year’s Golconda Masters, once again displayed he has what it takes to negotiate the tough conditions at the HGA. The Asian Tour regular, who had shot three rounds of 64 at the 2019 edition, came up with another 64 on Wednesday to make an impact early on in the tournament.

Aman said, “It was a fairly consistent day for me. I’m happy to have kept the errors out. I got on a roll towards the end and could’ve made a fifth consecutive birdie had my eight-feet putt not lipped out on the closing ninth. I made a really good par save from eight feet on the 13th after hitting it over the green.

Trishul Chinnappa began his season with an eagle-two as he holed his approach from 117 yards on the par-4 first hole. Chinnappa added seven birdies and two bogeys thereafter.

Khalin Joshi, struggling with a neck injury coming into the tournament, too began the tournament with an eagle when he rolled in his wedge shot from just off the green on his opening 10th hole. Joshi added seven birdies and two bogeys to his card joined Aman and Trishul in a three-way tie for second place.

Five players were bunched together in tied fifth with rounds of 65. This included Sri Lankan Mithun Perera, Mhow’s Om Prakash Chouhan, Ludhiana’s Pukhraj Singh Gill, Gurugram’s Veer Ahlawat and Kolkata’s Shankar Das.

Rashid Khan, the leading Indian in the world ranking at 177 and also the 2019 PGTI Order of Merit champion, carded a 66 to be placed tied 10th.

Pune’s Udayan Mane, the 2018 Golconda Masters champion and winner of PGTI’s last event in December 2019, returned a 68 to be tied 18th.

Venkkat Gautham was the best-placed among the Hyderabad-based professionals. He was in tied 27th courtesy his two-under-69.

Former Indian hockey captain Dilip Tirkey, playing as a professional for the first time, produced a 10-over-81 to be placed 125th.

Posted on: 06-Feb-2020
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