January 18, 2017: Delhi golfers Himmat Rai and Ikramuddin Shah shot scores of three-under-69 to be tied for the first round lead at the PGTI’s Final Qualifying Stage for the 2017 season being held at Kensville Golf & Country Club near Ahmedabad.
Former Asian Tour winner Himmat struck six birdies and three bogeys during his opening round on Tuesday. Ikramuddin put together five birdies and two bogeys to lead the rest by one shot.
The three players in tied third at two-under-70 were Delhi’s Karan Vasudeva, Lucknow’s Vijay Kumar and Harish K of Mysore.
Ahmedabad-based Arshpreet Thind shot 71 to end the day in T6. Bhopal’s Devendra Patel, Rudresh Sharma of Delhi and Bengaluru’s C G Somiah are also at T6.
Himmat and Ikramuddin gain narrow lead
Himmat surged to the top of the order with three birdies, late in his round. After making three in four holes from the third, Himmat conceded a bogey at the ninth hole.
There was plenty of action for Ikramuddin at the start of his round. He made three birdies and two bogeys on his first seven holes. Ikramuddin settled into a nice rhythm from there, making nine pars and two birdies.
Karan Vasudeva and Vijay Kumar played well
Vijay Kumar started with a pair of birdies, but three bogeys over the next five holes left him even through eight holes. He played with great discipline though to end the day at two under 70.
Karan Vasudeva was two under through the front nine. Even though he added three more birdies on the back nine, his efforts were tempered by an even count of bogeys. Karan settled for a 70 despite an aggressive push on the return stretch.
Harish started on the tenth hole, soaring to four under by the third hole. Unfortunately though, he suffered bogeys at the 7th and 8th holes to surrender the advantage.
The top 80 players (+ ties) will make the cut after round two of the Final Qualifying Stage. At the end of round four only the top 39 players (+ ties) will earn full cards for the 2016 PGTI season.