Harendra, Sanjay share limelight in PGTI round one

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Kolkata, Jun 18 (UNI) Chandigarh's Harendra Gupta and Noida's Sanjay Singh shared the lead after round one of the PGTI Players Championship, that began at Royal Calcutta Golf Club today.

Gupta and Singh shot scores of three under 33 to be placed at the top of the board at round one, which was reduced to nine holes due to bad weather and rains.

Rahil Gangjee, Ashok Kumar, Neil Mundra and Chiragh Kumar (all two under 34) were one stroke behind the joint leaders in tied third position.

SSP Chowrasia and Mukesh Kumar carded one under 35 along with nine other golfers to be tied seventh.

Harendra Gupta, the winner of PGTI's last event in Chandigarh, sank birdies on the third, fourth, eighth and ninth holes. He had only one blemish on his card, a bogey on the sixth.

''I had a great round today even though I did not find it easy to assess the speed of the greens due to lack of practice on this course. My victory at Chandigarh gave me a lot of confidence heading into this tournament. I think that's what made the difference today,'' Gupta said.

Noida-based professional Sanjay Singh also fired an impressive 33 to be right up there with Harendra Gupta. Sanjay's round was marked by birdies on the first and fifth, a bogey on the seventh and an eagle on the par five eighth.

''My hitting was not good today but I made some difficult putts. I made a 20 feet putt for birdie on the first and another 20-footer for eagle on the eighth. It was one of those days when I did not play all that well but ended up with a good score. The key in wet conditions is to hit the ball softly and that's what I did,'' said Sanjay.

Kolkata's Rahil Gangjee returned a two under 34 to finish the day in tied third place. His round included birdies on the first, fourth, eighth and a bogey on the sixth. Ashok Kumar, Neil Mundra and Chiragh Kumar also shot scores of 34 to join Gangjee in tied third.

Ashok Kumar, the 2006-07 PGTI Order of Merit winner, birdied the third, fourth, eighth and bogeyed the seventh to stay in the hunt.

Another Kolkata lad, SSP Chowrasia had a decent outing as he carded 35 for a share of seventh place.

The reigning Indian Masters champion made birdies on the fourth and ninth and a bogey on the seventh. Chowrasia said, ''It feels great to play a professional tournament on my home course after a long gap'', he added.

Mukesh Kumar who had three birdies and two bogeys, joined Chowrasia in tied seventh position. Kolkata's Yusuf Ali was also tied seventh.

Divyanshu Bajaj's 35 ensured he was the highest ranked amateur at tied seventh.

Rahul Ganapathy and Digvijay Singh returned scores of even par 36 to be tied 18th.

Arjun Singh's one over 37 placed him tied 32nd.

Gaurav Ghei and Gaganjeet Bhullar were tied 68th after posting scores of three over 39.

UNI PC KK AB RAI1940

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