Ashok, Feroz chase leader Buhrmann at Asian Master Golf
Pune, May 11 (UNI) It may be somewhat early, but Ashok Kumar and the seasoned Feroz Ali, raised visions of an Indian celebration with identical cards of five-under 67 each, which gave them a share of second place on the first day of the US 400,000 dollars inaugural Aamby Valley Asian Masters 2006 golf.
The Indian duo were among the four players at five-under 67, and just one behind leader veteran Hendrik Buhrmann of South Africa. Adam Groom of Australia and Simon Hurd of Scotland were tied with Ashok, (24) and Feroz (37), to give the leaderboard a truly international flavour at the Aamby Valley City Golf Course.
The opening day of this new event on the Asian Tour saw a few other Indians grab a chance of having a go at the title. Mukesh Kumar (69), a colossus on the domestic Indian Tour and Uttam Singh Mundy (69), who has finished twice in last three weeks on the Indian tour to Mukesh, were tied in crowded eighth place, with five others at three-under 69. Keith Horne of South Africa and Simon Griffiths of England were tied sixth at four-under.
Dinesh Kumar and SSP Chowrasia at tied 16th at 70, Gurbaaz Mann and Amandeep Johl at 71 at tied 22nd; the 1991 and 1993 champion Ali Sher, Pappan, C Muniyappa and Ranjit Singh at even par 72 in ted 31st places were other Indians at par or under on first day.
Harmeet Kahlon and Vijay Kumar, both 77, will require good second rounds to get into weekend play.
Veteran Buhrmann, who is now into his 11th season in Asia, is hoping a ''holiday'' approach will steer him to a maiden title in Asia after he grabbed the first round lead. The 42-year-old Buhrmann fired a six-under-par 66, thanks to a hot putter, which produced seven birdies. A dropped shot on his 16th hole cost him a share of the course record.
Ashok, who was indisposed and played just nine holes over last two days, got off to a solid start. He capitalised on the par fives, going four-under on those holes. He was on the green in two, on three of the four par-fives. The highlight was on the 12th when he crunched a six iron to two feet for a tap-in eagle.
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