Mukesh and Toran grab a share of the first round lead

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Jamshedpur, Jan 3 (UNI) Mukesh Kumar and Nepal's Toran Bikram Shahi were the joint leaders at the end of the first round of the Tata Open Golf tournament 2008 being jointly played at the Beldih and Golmuri golf courses here today.

The two shot identical scores of three-under 69 at the Beldih Golf Course.

In tied third place were Amardip Sinh Malik, Gaganjeet Bhullar, Gurki Shergill, Ramesh Kumar and Mohd Siddikur Rehman.

While Malik returned a one-under 69 at Golmuri Golf Course, Bhullar, Shergill, Ramesh Kumar and Siddikur Rehman carded an identical one-under 71 at Beldih.

One half of the field played its 18 holes on the par 72 Beldih Golf Course, while the golfers in the other half completed their rounds at the par 70 Golmuri Golf Course. On Friday both halves of the field switch venues (those who played at Beldih on day one, play 18 holes at Golmuri on day two and vice-versa).

While the two joint leaders Mukesh Kumar and Toran Bikram Shahi had the best scores at Beldih, Amardip Sinh Malik (one-under 69) recorded the best score at Golmuri.

Mukesh Kumar shot into the joint lead with a 69. He made a birdie on the third hole then dropped a bogey on the sixth by missing a one foot putt for par.

Subsequently, Mukesh made birdies on the seventh and ninth to be two-under at the turn. On the back nine Mukesh dropped a bogey on the 11th and sank birdies on the 14th and 16th.

The other joint leader, Toran Bikram Shahi, who also shot 69, began his round by chipping in for a birdie on the second hole. He then made another birdie on the very next hole by sinking an eight feet putt.

However, Shahi dropped a shot after he bogeyed the fourth hole.

The Delhi-based golfer had another good phase when he made consecutive birdies on the seventh and eighth holes. On the eighth he holed a 12 feet putt. Toran's back nine was quite steady as he made a bogey on the 14th and birdie on the 16th.

Defending champion SSP Chowrasia finished with an even par 72 at the Beldih while Digvijay Singh,who is currently second on the PGTI Order of Merit for 2007-08 shot a three-over 73 at Golmuri.

UNI BDG TB RK1915

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