Anshul Patel hogged the limelight with a sizzling first round of nine-under 63 to lead by three shots at the IndianOil SERVO Masters at the Digboi Golf Links.
Patel’s friend and roommate Shravan Desai, another Ahmedabad-based pro, was tied second at six-under 66 at the Rs 60 lakh event. Yuvraj Singh Sandhu (66) too took a share of second place on Day One.
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As a result of the delayed start, 18 players out of a total of 117 could not finish their first round on Wednesday. They will come back and resume their round at 6am local time on Thursday.
The left-handed rookie Anshul, currently ranked 74th in the PGTI Order of Merit and fighting for a spot in the top-60 to retain his card for next year, played some great wedge shots on the back-nine that helped him set up four of his five birdies before the turn. He also had a 20-feet conversion on the 16th and a bogey on the 17th.
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The 26-year-old playing at Digboi for the second time landed it close yet again on the second, third and eighth to pick up three more shots. Anshul found the green in two on the closing par-5 ninth before draining an eight-footer for eagle thus ending up with his lowest score in a tournament.
“I felt I was in the zone since the start of the day. I knew if my putts rolled in, I would shoot a good number today. Closing the day with birdie-eagle on the last two holes did a lot for my confidence.
“I’ve been trying to figure out a few things about my game and from the Srinagar event onwards in September I picked up a few things on how I should play around my strengths. That’s given some direction to my game. I’m still looking to putt better though,” said Anshul.
Shravan, another rookie like Patel, shot an error-free 66 in his first competitive round at Digboi Currently 68th in the PGTI’s money list, he is also vying for a spot in the top-60 to retain his PGTI card. Shravan, who had a top-10 in Srinagar in September, made two 12 to 15 feet conversions on Wednesday.
Yuvraj Singh Sandhu produced eight birdies and two bogeys during his 66.
Shivendra Singh Sisodia, former champion Harendra Gupta and Angad Cheema were in tied fourth with 67.
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