Yashas Chandra  fires 65  to take the solo lead  after first round at PGTI Players Championship
Yashas Chandra

Yashas Chandra fires 65 to take the solo lead after first round at PGTI Players Championship

Panchkula, September 8, 2021

Mysuru’s Yashas Chandra fired a sizzling error-free seven-under 65 to lead the field after the opening round of the Rs. 50 lakh Tata Steel PGTI Players Championship at Panchkula Golf Club here Wednesday.

Rashid Khan of Delhi returned five-under 67 enabling him to end the day in tied second place along with Kolkata’s Sunit Chowrasia and Gurugram’s Veer Ahlawat.

Defending champion Akshay Sharma of Chandigarh and Gurugram-based Manu Gandas, winner on the PGTI last week, were both placed tied 26th with scores of 72.

The 26-year-old Yashas, who secured tied 11th on the PGTI last week, started with four consecutive birdies from the fifth to the eighth which came as a result of some brilliant driving and chipping. He picked up three more birdies on the back nine including a 30-feet conversion on the 18th.

Yashas, searching for his maiden title, said, “I’ve played well at the PGC in the past. I finished fourth here back in 2019 having shot a seven-under in one of the rounds. I also made three eagles in my opening round at the same event.

“I was hitting it well so kept landing it close to the green on the par-5s and made some good chips from there to create chances. I’ve been sharp in all aspects of my game since last week but now I just need to make sure that I stay patient.

“It was quite windy today but the wind didn’t create too many doubts for me because it was one-way and not swirling around. I felt the wind was predictable so one could commit to a shot.

“During the strict lockdown in my hometown Mysuru when I was housebound, I set up a practice net in my backyard and practiced my hitting and chipping daily. Importantly, that kept me in touch with the game and contributed to my good ball-striking since the resumption of the season last week.”

Two-time Asian Tour winner Rashid Khan mixed six birdies with a bogey during his 67. His round featured some quality approach shots and up and downs. He closed the day with a 15-feet birdie conversion on the ninth.

Rashid said, “I’m in the process of finding my swing. Things are slowly settling down for me. My ball flight is generally high but I’ve somehow been hitting it low for the last few months. That seems to have worked to my advantage today as low ball-flight helps in such windy conditions. After a good finish last week I’m hoping to carry forward the momentum in this event.”

Sunit Chowrasia too had six birdies and a bogey while Veer Ahlawat sank seven birdies against two bogeys to share a second-place along with Rashid.

Chandigarh’s Ranjit Singh was the highest-placed Tricity golfer as he shot a 68 to occupy the fifth position.

The eight players bunched in tied sixth at a score of 69 included the Chandigarh trio of PGTI Order of Merit leader Karandeep Kochhar, Abhijit Singh Chadha and the seasoned Amritinder Singh as well as the Bengaluru duo of Chikkarangappa and M Dharma, Kolkata’s Shankar Das, Mhow-based Om Prakash Chouhan, and Delhi’s Kartik Sharma.

NNN

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