Chandigarh, Apr 18 (UNI) Delhi's Vinod Kumar and veteran Uttam Mundy carded identical five-under 67 to share the lead in the opening round of the Hero Golf Chandigarh Open here today.
The duo returned the same score on a day where the greens played truant for a one-shot lead.
Feroz Ali returned a card of four-under 68 to share the third spot with four others -- Mukesh Kumar, Rohit Chaudhary, Binod Pandey and Arjun Singh.
Four more players -- Ranjit Singh, C Muniyappa, Jaiveer Virk and Pappan -- were tied for the eighth position.
Local challenger and defending champion Harinder Gupta played a level-par round to be tied for the 25th position.
The 25-year-old Vinod Kumar played a flawless game on his front nine while notching up birdies on the second, fourth, seventh and eighth, courtesy his fine putting, coupled with some brilliant iron-play.
The longest putt came on the par-three eighth where he holed from 20 feet. The Delhi lad saved a brilliant par on the par-four fifth where his second shot hit a tree and ricocheted. He then made a par from that position.
Taking the turn at four-under, Vinod dropped a shot on the par-four 12th where he three putted. On the easy par-five 13th, he overshot the green on his second shot but yet he finished with a birdie. He saved one more stroke on the par-five 16th where he missed an eagle from just outside the green.
Uttam Mundy, who belongs to Chandigarh but is based in Kolkata, was four-under after the first seven holes making birdies on the odd holes. The 36-year-old Uttam failed to make an up and down from the bunker on the par-three eighth, mainly due to the loose sand in all the bunkers that hampered the players from hitting a perfect shot. With a similar shot on the 11th, Uttam had a similar result.
However, Uttam resurrected his round with consecutive birdies on the 13th and 14th, the last one with a 14-feet effort. He saved one more stroke on the penultimate hole to be five-under for the day.
Top scores after 18 holes (Pro): 67 Uttam Singh Mundy, Vinod Kumar; 68 Binod Pandey, Rohit Chaudhary, Arjun Singh, Feroz Ali, Mukesh Kumar; 69 Ranjit Singh, C Muniyappa, Jaiveer Virk, Pappan; 70 AS Lehal, Shamim Khan, Amardip Malik, Mohd. Salim, Vishal Singh, Rafick Ali. Amateurs: 72 Gaganjeet Bhullar; 74 HS Kang.
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