March 17, 2016: Live from the Delhi Golf Club
1525hrs: Asians have dominated proceedings this morning. Daniel Im, a naturalised American, is leading the scores at 65 with Prom Meesawat trailing him by one stroke in second.
An unassuming Sanjay Kumar from Lucknow played a dream round of golf this morning. He lead the first group in with his card holding the honours when he walked into the clubhouse. You might wonder if he sustain it, but at -5 he is right in the mix at the start of the tournament.
Jeunghun Wang admitted he barely made par on the 18th after an errant tee shot, but fact is the young Korean was spotless today around the pacy greens of this elegant course.
SSP Chawrasia rekindled his hopes of setting the record straight at the DGC by making amends for his final round meltdown last year. He started with a confident 67 to get inside a three way tie for third place.
Honey Baisoya is playing with a black ribbon this week, as are Vinod Kumar, Ashok Kumar, Shamim Khan and Rashid Khan. We will bring you more of that story a little later next week. For now, Baisoya is sitting pretty after he made a composed 68.
Alongside him are Alejandro Canizares and Anirban Lahiri. The two men suffered contrasting rounds. While Anirban showed great character to work his way back, the Spaniard gave it away at the end to slip away from holding the joint lead. Canizares was in the lead with just three left to play, before a bogey at 17 and a double at the final hole set him back.
Anirban was 2-under through eleven holes, starting at the 10th. But he suffered consecutive bogeys at the 3rd and 4th holes to slip back to even par. But he fought back with characteristic resilience to roll in the good times, making four straight birdies from the sixth to sign off on a 68 that keeps him very much in the dialogue for the rest of this week.
Noon: It is high noon at the DGC with the Sun baking the course. Four birdies and four bogeys on the card of Lahiri, who is even now through the fifth hole. He started on the tenth and has four left to play. Meanwhile, Chawrasia is holding steady at 4-under, he has three more holes to go.
1130hrs: Defending champ Anirban Lahiri is on the course with Padraig Harrington and Marcus Fraser. Both Lahiri and Harrington are 2-under through 11 holes. Their Aussie companion though is struggling to make an impression on a warm day in Delhi; he is one over with seven to play.
1120hrs: Sanjay Kumar shot 67 this morning, after starting in the first group at 0650hrs. He is in the clubhouse enjoying his meal and the clubhouse lead at 5-under. SSP Chawrasia in halfway through his second nine just one back at 4-under.
Daniel Im and Alejandro Canizares are both at 6-under and at the head of the leaderboard.
1100hrs: The crown jewels of Indian golf are out on display at the Delhi Golf Club. The Hero Indian Open has begun with a bang with 37 Indian golfers in the fray among a field of 144 golfers from Asia, Europe and USA.
If Padraig Harrington did the star turn by signing up to play this week, the field is also made exciting by the presence of an impressive collection of other stars – Edoardo Molinari from Italy, Marcel Siem from Germany, Frenchman Romain Wattel, Aussie Marcus Fraser, American David Lipsky and Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal are some of the internationals on the sun baked course this week.
Some marquee Indian players are in the field, adding to the enthusiasm of the local fans. Anirban Lahiri is set to defend the title that began to set him off on an international journey. Jeev Milkha Singh is here to try and consolidate the good vein of form we saw from him in Thailand last week. SSP Chawrasia is eager to undo the final round slip last year that cost him the title. And there are a bunch of young men from the PGTI Tour looking to make a mark on the international stage.