July 10, 2018: Noida’s Dipankar Kaushal fired a red-hot eight-under-62 to storm into the first round lead at the PGTI Feeder Tour event being staged at the Palms Golf Club & Resort, Sushant Golf City, Ansal API in Lucknow.
The 32-year-old Kaushal sank an amazing nine birdies at the cost of a lone bogey on a windy day to establish a two-shot lead at The Palms in the final event of the Feeder Tour season.
The Lucknow duo of Rajesh Kumar Rawat (64) and Amardeep Rawat (65) occupied the second and third positions respectively.
Dipankar, currently 15th on the Feeder Tour Order of Merit thanks to two top-10s in the season, produced one of the best rounds of his career to set the bar for the rest of the field.
Kaushal, in pursuit of his maiden title, began the tournament with a bogey on the 10th where he found the bushes. However, he soon made up for that with a couple of good wedge shots that set up birdies on the 13th and 16th.
What followed was a golden stretch for Dipankar as he conjured five straight birdies from the 18th to the fourth to work his way to the top of the pack. The well-built Kaushal’s excellent ball-striking ensured all his birdie putts on this stretch were within a range of seven feet.
Dipankar added two more birdies to his card, a 20-feet conversion on the sixth, followed by a great recovery from the fairway bunker on the ninth, to end up with a scintillating 62.
“I’m delighted with my opening round effort, even more so because it was a windy day and scoring wasn’t that easy. I scored on all four par-5s and that was another heartening aspect of my game today’, said Kaushal.
“I had earlier shot a seven-under-63 at the Feeder Tour event in Karnal last month. So I would like to believe that my game is on the upswing but I just need more consistency.
“The Feeder Tour has given me the opportunity to work on my swing and also try out different things before getting back onto the main tour.
“My good friend and room partner Bikramjit Singh Sandhu and me have been helping and motivating each other to raise our games. The results are showing as both of us have played well in the current Feeder Tour season.
“I made birdie on just one of the six par-3s today. So going ahead my focus over the next two days will be to hit solid tee shots on the par-3s in order to create even more opportunities for myself.”
Local lad Rajesh Kumar Rawat began the day with a bogey but then rallied with seven birdies to close the round two shots behind the leader.
Amardeep Rawat, another Lucknow-based golfer who was runner-up at last week’s event, mixed seven birdies with two bogeys to be placed third.
Feeder Tour Order of Merit leader Pawan Verma of Delhi carded a four-under-66 to be placed joint fourth along with Gurugram’s Aditya Raj Kumar Chauhan. Both enjoyed a run of four consecutive birdies on the front-nine.