29 August 2019: Indian golfers are hungry for success and the race for Olympic spots is perhaps bringing the best from our young golfers. The resumption on the Asian Tour has helped them shake away the rust off their clubs and make an immediate impression. Viraj Madappa picked up the notes from a stellar 64 by Shiv Kapur in the final round of the Sarawak Championship. The young golfer shot a seven-under 65 in the Indonesia Open to take early charge of the leaderboard.
Itthipat Buranatanyarat emulated Viraj for a share of the lead later in the day. The good news for Indian fans though was the presence of six of our golfers inside the top twenty after an eventful first round at the Pondok Indah Golf Course in Jakarta.
Ajeestesh Sandhu shot three birdies in the last four holes in a six-under 66 to end the first day in a tie for third with Kosuke Hamamoto and amateur golfer Naraajie Ramadhan Putra.
Aman Raj is in T6 with five others including Sadom Kaewkanjana and Jazz Janewattananond. He made 67 in the opening round. Shiv Kapur was nearly done at five-under, but a bogey at the ninth, his last hole, dropped him to 68 and T12.
Rashid Khan continued his determined run with an opening-round 68, matched by Chikkarangappa. Kshitij Naveed Kaul is one-stroke further back from his three senior compatriots.
Om Prakash Chouhan and Aadil Bedi made two-under 70. Three golfers are sitting on the edge after making a 71 each. Khalin Joshi, Chiragh Kumar and M Dharma will all hope for a better return on Friday to secure their places in the weekend draw.
On a low scoring day, an even 72 from Abhijit Chadha was only good enough to slide him down to T82. Udayan Mane and Honey Baisoya might regret dropping a shot on Thursday unless they dip well under par in the second round. Jeev Milkha Singh opened with a disappointing 78, nearly killing any hopes for a full week of golf.