Kolkata, Feb 8 (PTI) Local lad Rahil Gangjee blasted ascorching nine under 61 to take the honours on the opening dayof the Aircel PGTI Players Championship here.
Gangjee made an astounding ten birdies and an eaglebesides three bogeys in his first round. Jyoti Randhawa androokie Rashid Khan of Delhi are in tied second place withidentical scores of six under 64 at the Tollygunge Club.
Gangjee was on fire at the par-70 golf course as itrained birdies for him. After a birdie-bogey start on the 10thand 11th, Gangjee converted a 12-footer for birdie on the12th. He picked up another stroke on the 13th.
The 32-year-old produced a superb second shot (lob-wedge)from 76 yards on the 16th that ended up in the hole and thusearned him an eagle. Gangjee closed his first nine with abirdie after almost making a hole-in-one on the 18th. His teeshot stopped six inches from the pin on the 18th.
Gangjee, a winner on the Asian Tour in 2004, made theturn at five under, and thereafter kept up the intensity byhitting it really close on the second nine. He sank birdiesfrom the first through the fourth to make it five birdies in arow (including the 18th).
A bogey on the fifth was followed by two more birdies onthe seventh and eighth. Rahil closed the round with a bogey onthe ninth.
"I hit it extremely close. I had a wonderful run from the16th to the fourth. The eagle-two on the 16th was one of thehighlights of my round. I then almost pulled off a hole-in-oneon the 18th.
"The putter was also hot as I sank a couple of 10-footerson the first and third. I recently made nine birdies on thiscourse during a practice round and that gave me a lot ofconfidence going into this event," said Gangjee.
"This course is very tight so one needs to be on theright side of the hole. That is exactly what I managed to dotoday," he added.
Jyoti Randhawa, playing in Kolkata after 12 years, made abrilliant start in round one with a six under 64 that featuredeight birdies and two bogeys. Randhawa, who won the last eventhe played at this venue back in 1998, was in good putting formtoday.
"I putted well today. The 25-footer for birdie on thesixth was one of the best putts of the day. Most of thescoring will be done on the greens this week since puttingholds the key. I feel I''m focusing well at the moment since ashort break from the game in the last few months has served mewell," said Randhawa. (More) PTI Corr SHN