Harpal Singh Bedi
Jammu: Chandigarh’s Yuvraj Sandhu and Delhi’s Arjun Prasad carded identical three-under 69 to share the lead at the end of round one of the J&K Open as the PGTI made its debut at the Jammu Tawi Golf Course.
On a high-scoring day which produced only nine under-par scores, Yuvraj and Arjun, lead the 126-man field by a margin of one shot.
The five players tied in third place at two-under 70 were Delhi’s Shamim Khan, Chandigarh’s Harendra Gupta, Bengaluru’s Khalin Joshi, Lucknow’s Sanjeev Kumar and Bangladesh’s Jamal Hossain.
Among the prominent names, Rashid Khan (72) was tied 10th, Udayan Mane (73) was tied 19th, defending champion Honey Baisoya (74) was tied 26th and Manu Gandas (75) was tied 32nd.
Bhawani Singh Parmar (78) of Jammu was the best-placed among the professionals from J&K as he occupied tied 55th position.
Sandhu, currently second on the PGTI Order of Merit, began the week with a bogey on the 10th but fought back with five birdies thereafter including a chip-in on the 17th, two good chip-putts and a 12-feet conversion on the seventh. Yuvraj finally closed the round with a bogey on the ninth.
Sandhu said, “I missed a few fairways today but I managed myself well in those situations. It’s a tight course and the tee shots are demanding. There’s a premium on hitting the maximum number of fairways.”
Arjun Prasad, who was Yuvraj’s playing partner on Wednesday, had a birdie and bogey each on the back-nine. Arjun, who came up with some quality wedge shots through the day, closed the round with a flurry of birdies on the fifth, eighth and ninth. Prasad’s birdie on the last was a result of his fabulous second shot from 185 yards that landed within three feet of the pin.
“After assessing the conditions early on, I knew that an under-par score would be a really good start here. So I’m quite pleased with my effort in my first outing here” Arjun said,