Rana leads at LG Southern India Amateur

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Bangalore, June 10 (UNI) Experienced amateur golfer Vikram Rana opened up a one stroke lead firing a two-under par 70 in the opening round of the LG Southern India Amateur being played at the par-72 Eagleton Golf Resort near here today.

Chasing the leader was the trio of Tarun Ghogale, Rashid Khan and Arshdeep Tiwana, who played contrasting rounds and yet returned the same score of one-under 71.

As many as six players -- Abhinav Lohan, Aditya Bhandarkar, Gagan Verma, Jasjeet Singh, Saurav Bahuguna and Siddharth Seth were all tied for the fifth place at level par 72.

Local challenger and the top ranked Abhishek Jha was languishing in the 20th position after a round of three-over 75, while another promising lad from the city, Chikkarangappa, was tied for the 14th place after shooting a 74.

Rana made early in roads with birdies on the 11th and 13th with some good approach shots. However two consecutive bogeys on the next two holes undid all the good work the ONGC-sponsored employee had done thus far. From then on the 30-year-old maintained his nerve and made three straight pars to take the turn at level par.

Beginning his back nine with a flourish where he made back to back birdies on the par-5 opening hole and the par-4 second. A slight mistake on the par-3 third cost him a stroke but that was the end of mistakes as he parred his way home while adding a birdie on the short par-4 eighth.

"It was excellent weather out there. The roughs are up but the greens are playing very true," said Rana. "I made some foolish bogeys where I three-putted on the 15th and the third otherwise I could have gone deeper into the round," added the youngster from Delhi.

Arshdeep Tiwana also fired four birdies and an eagle but had five bogeys to his credit. While saving a stroke each on the 1st, 2nd, 14th, and 18th, Arshdeep made an eagle on the par-5 13th.

However his card was spoilt by four consecutive bogeys beginning from the seventh. Before that he had lost a stroke on the fourth too.

Top scores after 18 holes: 70 Vikram Rana; 71 Arshdeep Tiwana, Rashid Khan, Tarun Ghogale; Abhinav Lohan, Aditya Bhandarkar, Gagan Verma, Jasjeet Singh, Saurav Bahuguna, Siddarth Seth; 73 Karan Singh, Siddarth Sharma, Surya Vijay Singh.

UNI MSP RS GM1818

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