Ajeetesh Sandhu, Harendra Gupta, Honey Baisoya share first-round lead at Delhi-NCR Open
Gurugram, March 16, 2021
Chandigarh-based Ajeetesh Sandhu, Harendra Gupta along with Delhi’s Honey Baisoya were tied for the lead as they all carded identical six-under 66 in round one of the Delhi-NCR Open Golf Championship at the Golden Greens Golf Club here on Tuesday.
Rashid Khan (Delhi) and Trishul Chinnappa (Bengaluru) were placed tied fourth, one behind the lead, at five-under 67.
Asian Tour winner Sandhu opened with birdies on the first two holes including a 15-feet conversion on his opening 10th hole and fired another 15-feet birdie on the 16th. He was a promising four-under at the turn having drained a birdie on the 17th, too. However, on the front-nine, he missed a few scoring opportunities on the greens and hit just two more birdies.
“I had a great start today as the birdies on the first two holes really got me going. But a few missed chances on the greens slowed down my progress after the turn. Nonetheless, I’m happy to have kept the errors out. I used my 5-wood to great effect today. It’s a club that I’ve always favoured and been comfortable with," Ajeetesh said.
Five-time winner on the PGTI, Gupta hit seven birdies as against one bogey. He struck his approach shots well to set up a number of birdies within four to eight feet.
Gupta said, “It was a good day with the putter despite the greens being quite testing here. I made a few good four- to eight-feet putts and also drained an 18-footer. So with my putting showing some spark today, I’m hoping I can have a good week.”
Baisoya, the winner of the Delhi-NCR Open’s inaugural edition in 2018, had a slow start since he sank his first birdie of the day on the eighth. However, his four straight birdies from the eighth to the 11th brought him within sight of the lead.
A minor blip followed on the 12th where he dropped a shot but he came back stronger with three birdies on the last five holes including two on the closing stretch of 17th and 18th.
Rashid Khan, currently the highest-ranked Indian in the world at 311, mixed an eagle and four birdies with a bogey for his 67. Trishul Chinnappa, who too fired a 67, had an identical card.
The seasoned Gaurav Ghei of Delhi and Gurugram-based youngster Veer Ahlawat were tied for sixth at 68.
Bengaluru’s Chikkarangappa was tied 12th at 70 while PGTI Order of Merit leader Karandeep Kochhar of Chandigarh, Kolkata’s Rahil Gangjee and Pune-based Udayan Mane were all in tied 22nd place with matching scores of 71.