Gurgaon, March 09, 2017: The Hero Indian Open has been labeled the “Battle of Titans,” in its debut at the DLF Golf & Country Club. The challenging Gary Player course seems to have taken it upon itself to challenge the titans at their own game. Midway through the first round of the tournament, the scorecards are shrieking out in agony. Golfer after golfer has been bleeding today. Matteo Manassero is leading the charge for the golfers, taking control with a fine 68. The Italian has a one shot lead over Eddie Pepperell and is two clear of Danny Chia, Paul Peterson, Angelo Que, Steven Tiley and Sam Walker.
There is a premium on discipline at this beautiful course. The wind and the greens are combining to test the best as they get a first taste of this course.
A tricky challenge for golfers
“It is very tricky out there,” Arjun Atwal told the Golfing India, after signing on a 74. “I am not sure why it has been so difficult here, but the greens are really tricky.”
Anirban Lahiri, starting on the 10th, lost his rhythm on the 18th after taking his time at the box. “”I stood on the tee for a long time and couldn’t make up my mind whether to draw or cut the ball,” said the disappointed Indian. “I ended up making a bad swing and a double bogey.”
“After the 18th, I just couldn’t find my rhythm. I couldn’t hit the right kind of shape,” added Anirban. “I’ve gotten myself a long way out of position now, but it’s up to me to see what I can make of it.” The Indian fans will hope that Anirban can dig deep and come up with a good recovery in the second round.
Manassero also started on the back nine. After an initial struggle, his round came to life at the 17th hole. “I made a very good (birdie) putt on 17th. I think that was important, I was two over at that point after seven holes.”
Despite finding six birdies in twelve holes, the Italian was weary of the test that lay ahead. “You have to be always in play, otherwise there will be a lot of doubles. It is very easy to lose shots on this course,” he concluded.
Select Scores: (at 0300pm)
68 Matteo Manassero
72 Rahil Gangjee, Shubhankar Sharma, Rigel Fernandes (Amateur)
73 Shiv Kapur, Gaurav Pratap Singh, Rashid Khan, Feroz Ali
74 Gaganjeet Bhullar, Shamim Khan, Arjun Atwal
76 Anirban Lahiri, Abhijit Singh Chadha, Ashok Kumar