12 April 2022: Abhijit Singh Chadha excelled in familiar conditions at his home course to take the round one lead at the Rs. 50 lakh TATA Steel PGTI Players Championship 2022 presented by Chandigarh Golf Club. Abhijit’s dream start saw him shoot a six-under 66 that featured a hole-in-one on the 14th.
On a windy day when scoring was not easy, Gurugram’s Kartik Sharma produced the day’s only bogey-free card to be tied second at 67. Bangladesh’s Md Zamal Hossain Mollah and Tricity golfer Ravi Kumar from neighbouring Chandimandir also struck 67s to join southpaw Kartik in tied second position.
The 30-year-old Abhijit Singh Chadha, a three-time winner on the PGTI, made a solid start to the week with birdies on the second and fifth, landing his approach within six feet on the latter. Chadha, who won in Pune last year, then zoomed on the leaderboard with a birdie on the 13th followed by a hole-in-one on the 14th.
Abhijit then had a minor blip on the 15th where he dropped a bogey but more than made up for that with birdies on the 16th and 17th. He drove the green on the par-4 17th.
Chadha, who scored on three of the four par-5s on day one, said, “The wind didn’t affect me much as I play here day in and day out and know my way around the course. However, I feel the heat will be the bigger challenge this week. In that sense, we got lucky today with the weather as it wasn’t that hot.
“The form has been good but I feel that I haven’t peaked yet. I’m just beginning to play well. I’m confident of playing well this week as I know the conditions well here. The hole-in-one was special as it turned out to be a perfect 7-iron shot.”
Kartik Sharma got going early with three birdies on the first six holes. Kartik, playing his second season on the PGTI, then had a quiet stretch till the 16th before closing in style with birdies on the last two holes which included a quality chip-putt on the 17th.
Sharma said, “It’s quite satisfying to go error-free in tough conditions like we had today. My putting form has been off and on so I just focused on that aspect in the practice round on Monday. I told myself to keep trusting my putting.
“This is one of those courses which doesn’t suit my eye but every time I play here I learn something new about this course that helps me perform better.”
Both Md Zamal Hossain Mollah and Ravi Kumar traded six birdies for a bogey on Tuesday. Zamal was in top form with the driver as he missed just one fairway.
Sri Lanka’s N Thangaraja and Indians Kshitij Naveed Kaul and Shivendra Singh Sisodia shared the fifth spot having fired rounds of 68.
There were seven golfers bunched in tied eighth at 69 including Indian golfing great Gaurav Ghei as well as Tricity golfers Ranjit Singh and Angad Cheema.
Among the other prominent names, Olympian Udayan Mane and Chandigarh’s Yuvraj Singh Sandhu were tied 15th with scores of 70.
Defending champion Karandeep Kochhar of Chandigarh carded a 71 to be tied 24th.
Fifty-eight-year-old amateur golfer Justice Anupinder Grewal, a sitting judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, shot a 79 in round one to be tied 111th. Justice Grewal had earlier won the qualifying event organized by the Chandigarh Golf Club on Monday to make it to the main draw of the PGTI Players Championship.