Ajeetesh Sandhu enjoys early advantage at PGTI Masters 2016; Sujjan Singh joint second with Gulfam

Ajeetesh SandhuMewat: Chandigarh’s Ajeetesh Sandhu enjoyed the early advantage at the Rs. 50 lakh PGTI Masters 2016 being played at the Classic Golf & Country Club in Mewat, Haryana.

Sandhu posted a breathtaking seven-under-65 to take the clubhouse lead on day one as the opening round could not be completed due to heavy rain.

Sujjan Singh, another Chandigarh golfer, occupied joint second place along with Delhi’s Gulfam at five-under-67.

Ajeetesh Sandhu, currently placed fourth in the Rolex Ranking thanks to a win and five other top-10s this season, had an error-free day as he drained an eagle and four birdies.

The 27-year-old Ajeetesh, who advanced to the third qualifying stage of the Japan Golf Tour last month, picked up two birdies on the front-nine before chipping-in for another on the 10th.

Sandhu, fresh from a top-10 finish at PGTI’s last event in Ahmedabad, tapped-in for his fourth birdie of the day on the 12th which was followed by a 15-feet eagle conversion on the 14th. He finally knocked in a 12-footer for birdie on the 16th to set the pace on day one.

Ajeetesh said, “I was hitting it well off the tee and also sank some long putts today. The conditions were good for scoring while I was playing as there was no breeze. The rough is also lesser than the last time we played at Classic two months back. I had done really well in the first half of the year and am now looking to make further inroads.

“Getting past the second stage of qualifying for the Japan Golf Tour has been a huge morale-booster. The fact that I didn’t scrape through but instead finished inside the top-10 in the second qualifying stage, reinforced my confidence,” added Sandhu, who has to clear four stages of qualifying to earn his card in Japan.”

Sujjan Singh, a 10th tee starter, also had a bogey-free day. He picked up strokes on three of the four par-5s – the 14th, third and ninth – and converted from a range of 10 to 15 feet on the 15th and 17th.

Sujjan said, “I’ve changed a few things in my game since the last event three weeks back. I’m using a new driver, 3-wood and putter and have also made a few adjustments in my swing. These changes seem to be settling well at the moment.”

The seasoned Gulfam mixed six birdies with a bogey on day one to lie joint second along with Sujjan.

Bengaluru’s C Muniyappa and Delhi’s Ashok Kumar were joint fourth with scores of four-under-68.

Heavy rain first halted play at 1430 hrs local time. Play resumed at 1630 hrs only to be finally suspended for the day at 1700 hrs due to fading light. The 66 golfers from the morning session completed their round but the remaining 60 golfers from the afternoon session who could not complete their round, will resume play at 0730 hrs on Wednesday (October 5).

Round 1 leading scores:

65: Ajeetesh Sandhu

67: Gulfam, Sujjan Singh

68: C Muniyappa, Ashok Kumar