Muniyappa sets pace on day one of PGTI Players Championship

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Pune, Sep 2 (UNI) Ace golfer C Muniyappa shot a brilliant seven under 64 to establish a two-stroke lead at the end of day one of the PGTI Players Championship at Poona Golf Club here today.

Muniyappa set the course on fire with nine birdies and two bogeys. He birdied the first, second, fourth, sixth, ninth, 10th, 14th, 15th and 18th and bogeyed the third and 11th. The professional from Bangalore set up quite a few birdie opportunities in the opening round as he was spot-on with his approach shots.

''I excelled in all aspects of the game today, be it hitting, chipping or putting. Once I picked up a birdie on the first, one of the toughest holes on the course, I grew in confidence and did not look back. I hit some really good approach shots today and also sank a number of long putts,'' said Muniyappa.

''The greens are in great shape and are holding well. The key on this course is to keep the ball on the fairway because the rough is very difficult to contend with,'' he added.

Gaurav Pratap Singh and Chiragh Kumar are in tied second place at five under 66. Play was suspended on the opening day at 1835 hrs due to heavy rain.

Twenty-four golfers are yet to complete their first round.

Gaurav's round began on the right note when he birdied the first hole. He then made birdie-bogey-birdie on the fourth, fifth and sixth before sinking another birdie on the ninth. Having made the turn at three under, the Noida-based golfer picked up two more birdies on the 14th and 18th to close at five under 66.

''I putted really well today and made some very good chip-putts, especially on the 16th where I saved par from the left side of the green. I also made a good up and down on the par five 12th. I sank a 10 feet downhill putt on that hole,'' said Gaurav.

Chiragh's bogey free 66 placed him tied second along with Gaurav.

Chiragh birdied the seventh, eighth, 10th, 11th and 18th. Toran Bikram Shahi of Nepal and Chandigarh's Gurbaaz Mann are tied fourth as both carded four under 67. Rahul Ganapathy fired two under 69 to be tied seventh.

Mukesh Kumar, a four time winner on the PGTI this season, was tied 25th as he finished round one at one over 72. He made four birdies and five bogeys in his opening round.

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