Himmat , Abhishek share round one lead at 13th TATA Open

Abhishek-Kuhar-Round-2Jamshedpur: Himmat Singh Rai and Abhishek Kuhar, both of whom hail from the DLF Golf & Country Club, Gurgaon, shared the round one lead at the 13th TATA Open. While Himmat fired a five-under-66 at the Golmuri Golf Club on Thurday, Abhishek shot a five-under-67 at the Beldih Golf Club. Seven golfers were tied for third place with rounds of four-under-67 at Golmuri.

On Thursday one half of the field played its 18 holes at the par-72 Beldih Golf Club while the golfers in the other half completed their rounds at the par-71 Golmuri Golf Club. On Friday both halves of the field will switch venues (those who played at Beldih on day one, play eighteen holes at Golmuri on day two and vice-versa).

Abhishek Kuhar chipped-in for birdie on the fifth and landed it within six feet for birdies on the third, sixth and seventh. The 19-year-old Abhishek bogeyed the ninth to make the turn at three-under. Kuhar, who missed the cut at his first outing at the TATA Open last year, sank two long birdie putts on the 12th and 14th to end the day with a five-under.

“I struck the ball really well. I feel the chip-in on the fifth was the highlight of my round. The long putts on the back-nine helped me finish the day with a solid score. I’m delighted with this start as I had missed the cut at my only previous appearance at the TATA Open last year. This is an important event for me since I’m just outside the top-60 in the Rolex Rankings at the moment and need to move up with a good finish here in order to gain exemption for next year,” said Kuhar, who is placed 67th in the Rolex Rankings as of now.

Himmat Singh Rai chipped-in for birdie on the third and also picked up strokes from a range of seven feet on the first and sixth. Rai, a winner on the Asian Tour, recovered well from the bunker for another birdie on the ninth. Himmat, making his debut at the TATA Open, rolled it in from 10 feet and 20 feet for birdies on the 14th and 15th respectively. The only blemish on Himmat’s card was the double-bogey on the 16th that came as a result of him finding the water hazard. The Delhi-based professional produced an accurate tee shot on the par-3 17th for a tap-in birdie to close the day at five-under.

Himmat, currently placed 69th in the Rolex Rankings, said, “It’s great to have shot a five-under in my first round at Golmuri. I’ll be playing at Beldih for the first time during round two and would like to make a good start there as well. I played good percentage golf today and set myself up for the remainder of the week.”

Seven players, all of whom played at Golmuri, occupied joint third place at four-under-67. These seven players were Mandeo Singh Pathania of Greater Noida, Om Prakash Chouhan of Mhow, Meerut’s Sudhir Sharma, Sri Lankan K Prabagaran, Gurgaon’s Shubhankar Sharma and Delhi golfers Karan Vasudeva and Ikramuddin Shah. Shubhankar made an eagle-two on the 12th during his opening round.

Jamshedpur’s Karan Taunk was tied 10th after his round of three-under-69 at Beldih.