Rana leads first round of LG Southern India Amateur

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Bangalore, Jun 10 (UNI) Experienced amateur golfer Vikram Rana opened up a one stroke lead, by firing two-under par 70 in the opening round of the LG Southern India Amateur here today.

Chasing the leader the trio Tarun Ghogale, Rashid Khan and Arshdeep Tiwana, played contrasting rounds and returned with one-under 71.

As many as six players - Abhinav Lohan, Aditya Bhandarkar, Gagan Verma, Jasjeet Singh, Saurav Bahuguna and Siddharth Seth - 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 two-over 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 for the ONGC-sponsored employee.

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, he made back to back birdies on the par-five opening and the par-four second. A slight mistake on the par-three third cost him a stroke but that was the end of mistakes, as he parred his way home while adding a birdie on the par-four eighth hole.

''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 Delhiite.

Arshdeep Tiwana also fired four birdies and an eagle but had five bogeys to his credit. While saving a stroke each on the first, second, 14th and 18th, Arshdeep made an eagle on the 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 and Siddarth Seth, 73 Karan Singh, Siddarth Sharma and Surya Vijay Singh.

UNI MSP RS AB HT2000

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