Himmat Rai finishes among top-placed Indians on the opening day of Avantha Masters – Golf News
Himmat Rai fired a four-under par 68 in the opening round of the Avantha Masters at the prestigious DLF Gold and Country Club, in Delhi, to tie for the fourth on the leaderboard, on Thursday, February 16, 2012.
He finished among all the top-placed Indian players participating in the event.
He carded five birdies against a single bogey on par-four fifth to tie with Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Thongchai Jaidee, Jean-Baptiste Gonnet, Gregory Havert and Jamie Donaldson.
Jeev Milkha Singh, Vivek Bhandari and Anirban Lahiri were all a further shot behind to share the 10th spot with six other players.
“I hit the ball well and got myself into good position for birdies,” Jeev said. “And I even putted well, but they just didn`t fall. Still I would say I am quite happy with the game today. A three-under is always a decent start”.
Jeev also made a spectacular eagle on the par-four fifth where Rai faltered for the bogey.
“That was a nice putt to hole,” he said. “A double break and an uphill one from almost 25 feet. The pin was to the left and I hit to the centre of the green,” he said.
He added, “That gave a good feel. I am getting over my cold, which affected me in Dubai. I am sure it will be fine as the week gets along. It was nice weather out there, so it helped”.
Jeev made a total of four birdies, an eagle and three bogeys to finish at a three-under par 69.
The defending champion, SSP Chowrasia, was way behind on the leaderboard with a one-under par 71.
He recently suffered a wrist injury during the practice round a few days back but was given the all-clear signal by the doctors to participate in the event.
While talking to the reporters, he said that he is hopeful to win the event again and become the first ever Indian player to successfully defend the European Tour title.
Spain’s Alejandro Canizares and Peter Whiteford from Scotland both carded a six-under par 66 to share the top position after the opening round of the tournament.
Italy's Federico Colombo shot a superb bogey-free round of five-under par 67 to take the third place.