Mighty Udayan Mane grabs first-round lead at 2021 J&K Open

Mighty Udayan Mane grabs first-round lead at 2021 J&K Open

The Olympian Udayan Mane started his J&K Open campaign with a solid 7-under 65 to grab the first-round lead at the picturesque Royal Springs Golf Course.

Delhi golfers Rashid Khan, Honey Baisoya and Veer Ahlawat of Gurugram, the runner-up at the PGTI event last week, shot scores of five-under 67 to be tied second at the end of day one.

Among the three players in tied second at 67, Veer Ahlawat and Honey Baisoya had error-free rounds while Rashid Khan made seven birdies and two bogeys.

Udayan Mane got off to a dream start with eight birdies on the first 10 holes. He struck the ball with pin-point precision landing it within six feet of the pin to set up birdies on the first, third, fourth, sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth. On the 10th the big-built Mane sank a 12-footer to move to eight-under for the day.

After a terrific start, Udayan then slowed down on the back-nine as the putts didn’t roll in for him. He dropped a bogey on the 15th but saved a good par from the bunker on the 16th.

Udayan Mane
Udayan Mane

Mane said, “I just started off with a bang and was seven-under thru nine holes and eight-under thru 10. Coming in I didn’t really make enough putts to get the round going. I was looking at a 59 after the 10th but it didn’t go as per plan for me on the back-nine.”

Three golfers, Om Prakash Chouhan of Mhow, Chandigarh’s Akshay Sharma and Patna’s Aman Raj shot four-under 68 to share tied fifth position.

Indian golf legend Jyoti Randhawa posted an even-par 72 to occupy tied 25th place.

Bengaluru’s Chikkarangappa, the last winner at Royal Springs Golf Course, ended the day with a 73 to be tied 39th.

PGTI Order of Merit leader Karandeep Kochhar was a further two shots back in tied 63rd place.