Edited by Anand Datla
Mumbai, December 3, 2014: Randhir Singh Ghotra of Chandigarh shot a six-under-64 to grab the lead on day one of the CG Open, the penultimate event of the 2014 PGTI Super Series, being played at the Bombay Presidency Golf Club. The Chandigarh duo of Abhijit Singh Chadha and Ajeetesh Sandhu occupied joint second place along with Delhi’s Shamim Khan at five-under-65.
Randhir Singh Ghotra, who came into the tournament, looking to improve upon his 28th position in the Rolex Rankings and four top-20s this year, made an impressive start with a round that featured an eagle and five birdies against a lone bogey. Ghotra sank birdie putts from a range of seven to 12 feet on the 13th and 14th but dropped a bogey after finding the rough on the 15th.
The 36-year-old Randhir then made merry on the four par-5s by picking up strokes on each one of them. His putt from just off the green left him a tap-in birdie on the 16th. He then holed it in spectacular fashion from 90 yards out for birdie on the 18th. Ghotra drained two 10-feet putts on the first and fourth for birdie and eagle respectively to be five-under on the four par-5 holes.
“It’s my joint best score of the year so I’m delighted with this start. This is the third time I’ve shot a six-under this year. I didn’t have a great first half of the season but things have picked up in the second half. I’m regularly shooting low scores. Today I reached six-under in just 13 holes and was brilliant on the par-5s. The fourth shot on the 18th that I holed from 90 yards was the highlight of the round,” said Ghotra.
He added, “I was unlucky on a couple of occasions as my putts just sat on the edge of the lip. I recovered well after a poor approach shot on the closing ninth to make a good par. The BPGC course is in great shape and the course conditions are excellent.”
Abhijit Singh Chadha, a two-time runner-up this season, and Shamim Khan, winner of PGTI’s last event in Digboi, came up with bogey-free rounds of 65 to be placed joint second.
Ajeetesh Sandhu made it a three-way tie for second place with a matching 65. He too was bogey-free till the 16th but his three-putt on the 17th resulted in a double-bogey. He made up for the double-bogey with an eagle on the closing 18th where his second shot from 185 yards stopped within a foot of the pin.
Lucknow’s Sanjay Kumar, the winner in Shillong few weeks back, was placed tied fifth at four-under-66 along with Harish K of Mysore, Mhow golfer Om Prakash Chouhan and Jaipur’s Vishal Singh.
Defending champion Chikkarangappa of Bangalore posted a three-under-67 to end the day in tied ninth place along with nine other golfers. Delhi’s Kapil Kumar, who also shared ninth place with Chikka, had the distinction of making six consecutive birdies from the 18th to the fifth. The Mumbai duo of Anil Bajrang Mane and Wilson Raj D’Mello shot scores of four-over-74 to be tied 85th.
Leading Scores after Round 1:
64: Randhir Singh Ghotra
65: Shamim Khan, Ajeetesh Sandhu, Abhijit Singh Chadha
66: Sanjay Kumar, Harish K, Om Prakash Chouhan, Vishal Singh