Shiv Kapur emerges as the best-Indian with 5-under start

Shiv Kapur emerges as the best-Indian with 5-under start

Shiv Kapur emerged as the best-placed Indian on Thursday after shooting 5-under 65 in the opening round of the highly anticipated Asian Tour tournament.

The veteran Shiv smashed six birdies against a single bogey to claim a tied-7th heading into the second round at the Saudi International.

The 10-time PGTI champion Rashid Khan also had a good day in Saudi as he posted 4-under 66 to grab tied-13th position.

His fellow Indian Shubhankar Sharma, on the other hand, ended his day as the third best Indian placed at the tied-16th position.

2018 Asian Tour Order of Merit Champion, Shubhankar began his journey with a bogey on the par-4 372 yard 10th hole, then slammed three back-to-back birdies starting from the 11th hole, and finished his nine-holes at 3-under 32 with five straight pars.

Rashid Khan and Shubhankar Sharma

Sharma then made another five straight pars before making his first error of the day that resulted in the form of bogey on par-4 470 yards 6th hole, but the young lad again backed himself and shot a birdie and finished his last nine holes of the round with a par to complete his round one at 3-under 67 to be placed tied-23rd.

Italian golfer Matteo Manassero grabbed the first-round lead after carding a blistering 8-under 62 at the Royal Greens Golf & Country Club in King Abdullah City.

Manassero, who holds the record for the youngest player to win on the European Tour, had a dream start with a bogey-free round of 8-under to take a two-shot lead at the US$ 5,000,000 event.

Matteo Manassero

Englishman Sam Horsfield and Adri Arnaus of Spain and three others were at tied-second with matching scores of 6-under 64.

Defending Champion and the highest-ranked golfer in the field, Dustin Johnson, also had a solid start as he shot 5-under 65 to sit at tied-7th after 18 holes.

2021 PGA Championship winner Phil Mickelson, who was all happy before the start of this multi sponsored Asian Tour event, kept his confidence high with a 3–under to be placed tied-23rd.

Among the other Indians playing in the event, Veer Ahlawat and Viraj Madappa were at tied-67th after both carded 1-over 71, Chikkarangappa S was tied-80th with a score of 2-over 72, and Khalin Joshi was at tied-80th after shooting 4-over 74.