Vijay Kumar, Raju Ali Mollah share first round lead

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Kolkata, Feb 2 (PTI) Vijay Kumar and Raju Ali Mollah shotidentical scores of six under 66 to take the joint lead afterround one of the PGTI Players Championship here today.

Local favourite SSP Chowrasia was placed third with afive under 67 at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club.

Vijay garnered seven birdies and a lone bogey in hisopening round of 66. He coupled his exceptional iron-play withsome consistent putting.

The 42-year-old veteran sank birdie putts within a rangeof seven to 10 feet on the second, third, sixth, 12th, 17thand 18th.

The Lucknow-based professional chipped it to within a fewinches for a birdie on the 15th. He only stumbled on the 11thwhere a missed putt from three feet resulted in a bogey.

Thirty-three-year-old Raju Ali of Kolkata, who won hisfirst professional title on the Aircel PGTI last year, fired abogey-free 66 at his home course to hold the joint lead alongwith Vijay.

Chowrasia made seven birdies against two bogeys in hissolid opening round of 67. He used the pitching wedge to greateffect to set up birdies on the sixth, ninth and 10th.

The highlight of his round was the 30 feet birdie putt onthe 10th.

Roop Singh of Chandigarh, Sri Lankan Mithun Perera, VivekBhandari of Delhi and Lucknow''s Sanjay Kumar share fourthplace at four under 68.

Gaganjeet Bhullar and Harmeet Kahlon are a further strokebehind in tied eighth position.

Anirban Lahiri shot a two under 70 to be placed tied10th.

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