Masterly 65 by Vikrant Chopra places him in the lead

Greater Noida: Delhi’s Vikrant Chopra fired a masterly seven under 65 at the Jaypee Greens Golf Resort to take the lead in round one of the BILT Open 2011. Chiragh Kumar, another Delhi golfer, was placed second after he posted a 66.

Vikrant Chopra opened his round with a birdie on the 10th and then converted a 25 feet putt for his second birdie of the day on the 13th. The 31-year-old moved his score to four under for the day thanks to an eagle on the 15th where he chipped-in from the left edge. Vikrant made a three-putt on the 16th against the run of play that resulted in a bogey. However, he recovered with a birdie on the very next hole where his tee shot landed three feet from the pin.

Chopra, who has one top-10 to his credit in the 2011 Aircel PGTI season, produced yet another brilliant tee shot on the par-3 third hole to pick up his fourth birdie of the day. Vikrant’s putter helped him earn two more birdies as he sank a 20-footer on the fifth and an 18 feet putt on the seventh.

"It was a good putting day for me and my hitting was quite consistent. The course is playing extremely well and the greens are rolling well. The conditions were favourable for scoring today since there was no wind. The process and routine is important for me. Once I get my process right, the results will automatically follow,” said Vikrant, who is an adventure sports enthusiast.

Chiragh Kumar, fresh from his runner-up finish at the Indian Open, posted a 66 to be placed second. Chiragh’s opening round effort included seven birdies and a bogey.

Vijay Kumar of Lucknow and Chandigarh’s Ranjit Singh share third position as both shot matching scores of five under 67.

Vivek Bhandari, Mithun Perera, Amardip Sinh Malik, Gaurav Ghei and Mukesh Kumar are a further stroke behind in tied fifth position.

Defending champion Anirban Lahiri carded a one under 71 to be placed tied 19th.

Jyoti Randhawa grabbed a share of 28th place after his round of even par 72 while Gaganjeet Bhullar was in tied 51st as he returned a score of two over 74.