12 February, 2019: Delhi’s Kapil Kumar and Chandigarh’s Akshay Sharma struck scores of five-under-67 to take the joint lead on the opening day of the PGTI Players Championship at the Classic Golf & Country Club.
The trio of Delhi golfers Himmat Singh Rai and Naman Dawar and Kolkata’s Sunit Chowrasia were tied for third at four-under-68.
India’s highest-ranked golfer Shubhankar Sharma, who returned to play on the PGTI after over a year, began his week with a two-under-70 that placed him tied 11th.
Kapil Kumar, who finished 18th on the 2018 PGTI Order of Merit, was off to a solid start on Tuesday. The 26-year-old made the turn at two-under after leaving himself a few short birdie conversions.
Kapil, yet to register his first win, recovered well after a bogey on the 12th as he sank eagle-birdie-birdie on the 14th, 15th and 16th as a result of conversions from 10 to 15 feet. He finally ended the day with an impressive 67 after bogey-birdie on the last two holes.
Kapil said, “It was the driving and putting that clicked for me today. I also played some good chips. The four-under on the last five holes helped me close the day high on confidence. Putting will be the key this week. Whoever grabs most opportunities on the greens is set to score well.
“I’m carrying forward the positives from last season which was quite decent for me since I posted three top-6 finishes. I’ll look to perform even better this year.”
Akshay Sharma, a winner on the PGTI last year, strung together seven birdies and two bogeys in his round of 67.
Indian star Shubhankar Sharma mixed an eagle and two birdies with two bogeys during his first round of 70.
Delhi’s Rashid Khan was tied 42nd at 72.