Sep 12, 2019: Indonesia’s Rory Hie found that much-needed form to stake his place atop the leaderboard after opening with an eight-under-par 64 at the Classic Golf and Country Club International Championship on Thursday.
Indian quartet, Aadil Bedi, Aman Raj, Rashid Khan, Ranjith SIngh placed within top ten positions of the leader board at the end of first round.
Indian rookie Aadil Bedi took advantage of his course familiarity by signing for a five-under-67 to end his day in share of fifth place with countryman Aman Raj and Sweden’s Andreas Gronkvist. Aadil shot six birdies and one bogey, whereas Aman fired a spotless round with five birdies.
“I didn’t have any expectations when I started. It’s my fifth week in a row so I just tried to play my own game. I am trying to find my groove, stay in the game and follow my processes.
I birdied 2nd, 3rd, 9th; then bogeyed 11th and birdied 14th, 16th and 18th.
I have been playing this course for over 6-7 years now. I grew up playing here and have played a lot of junior and amateur golf here. So I know the course and what challenges it presents.
The season has been good so far. I am developing my game and have been practicing hard. It is just about time when I find the right scores. I played the Monday qualifiers of the Korn Ferry Tour, finished 8th and missed just by 2 positions. I gained a lot of experience there”, said Aadil Bedi.
Rashid Khan and Ranjith Singh carded similar four-under-68 and lying at T7, just a shot behind Aadil and Aman. Rashid scored bogey free round with four birdies and Ranjith shot five birdies and one bogey to align with Rashid.
“Today I birdied the 13th, hit a driver and gap wedge, around 10 feet. And then the 18th hole, up and down from 70 yards.Also, the par-5 3rd hole where I was on the greenside bunker. From the bunker, around 1 foot and a tap-in birdie there. And then the 5th hole, around 8 feet. So had those four birdies, no drop shots.Last year I had a full Asian Tour card, this year I have a country spot. I had a full card for four years previously, so really want to do well. This is my fifth event on the Asian Tour”, said Rashid Khan.
The 31-year-old Indonesian Hie, has never found himself in contention of late but a return to the Classic Golf and Country Club after almost a decade has rekindled happy memories when his last visit in 2009 ended with a top-10 finish.
It was at the same event that witnessed a slice of history when Thailand’s Chapchai Nirat recorded the world’s lowest 72-hole score with a 32-under-par to win the third of his four Asian Tour titles then.
A two-week break from competitive golf where he worked closely with his mental coach also paid off for Thailand’s Sattaya Supupramai as he returned with a 66 to trail Hie by two shots together with compatriots Kwanchai Tannin and Suradit Yongcharoenchai in tied-second place at the inaugural Asian Tour event.
New Zealand’s Gareth Paddison meanwhile came close to tying the Asian Tour record for the lowest nine-hole score when he blitzed his front-nine with a 29.
However, he could not maintain that momentum after a triple-bogey seven on the par-four first followed by a closing birdie on nine saw him finish the round with a 69, five shots back of Hie in tied-18th place.