Nuh (Haryana), Nov 14 (IANS) The Indian quartet of Shiv Kapur, Arjun Prasad, M. Dharma and Shankar Das shot scores of five-under-67 to be tied third in the clubhouse on day one of the Asian Tour’s Panasonic Open being played at the Classic Golf & Country Club.
The clubhouse lead was held by Thailand’s Itthipat Buranatanyarat who fired a breathtaking eight-under-64.
The round began at 11 a.m., four hours and 10 minutes behind schedule, due to poor visibility and the weather conditions. The 60 golfers in the first session of play completed their rounds while the 66 golfers in the second session will play their first round on Friday.
Shiv Kapur, the 2017 champion, started the week in high spirits as he delivered a bogey-free 67. Kapur, who teed off from the 15th, enjoyed a hot start as he birdied three of his first four holes. Shiv added two more birdies to his card on the sixth and 10th.
The 20-year-old Arjun Prasad, who has had an ordinary season this year, was glad to shoot a low number after a long time. Arjun set up some birdie opportunities on the front-nine but couldn’t capitalize on them until the ninth.
Prasad got on a roll from the ninth hole onward as he sank four birdies on the trot. The best of the lot was the birdie on the 10th where he hit a fantastic shot from the fairway bunker, 130 yards out, to land it within a couple of feet of the flag. He thereafter picked up a bogey and a birdie each.
Prasad, one of India’s leading amateurs till 2016, said, “Even though it’s not been a good season for me I know I have the game and still have the self-belief to turn it around.”
M Dharma and Shankar Das too struck bogey-free rounds of 67. While Dharma missed a hole-in-one by a whisker on the 17th, Shankar landed it close through the day to set up four birdie conversions within four feet.
Indian golfing legend Arjun Atwal made a promising start with a 69 to be tied 11th along with compatriots Viraj Madappa and Aadil Bedi.
Jeev Milkha Singh was a further shot back in tied 20th along with Om Prakash Chouhan and Gaurav Pratap Singh.
Jyoti Randhawa, celebrating his 300th start on the Asian Tour, shot a 72 to be tied 33rd.