Ashok, Zamal take day one lead

Mumbai: Ashok Kumar of Delhi and Bangladesh’s Md Zamal Hossain Mollah shot immaculate bogey-free scores of seven-under 63 to be the joint leaders after round one of the CG Open 2011 at the Bombay Presidency Golf Club. Vijay Kumar trails the joint leaders by one stroke.


Ashok Kumar sank his first birdie on the 12th and then made some significant gains with five straight birdies on the 16th, 17th, 18th, first and second courtesy some brilliant hitting and putting. The 28-year-old picked up another birdie on the sixth to end the day at seven under. Ashok, a winner of a record 11 titles on the Aircel PGTI, made all greens in regulation and converted a number of 10 feet birdie putts. He holed a 15-footer for birdie on the 17th but missed a three feet eagle putt on the first.

“I drove the ball really well today. I found most of the fairways. The key to scoring well on this course is to drive well. The birdies on the 16th, 17th and 18th set the ball rolling for me. I didn’t leave myself too many long putts as I managed to land it close quite often. I enjoy playing at this venue as I have tasted success here on more than one occasion,” said Ashok, who won the 2007 CG Open at the BPGC.

Md Zamal Hossain Mollah matched Ashok with an equally impressive 63. Zamal’s round featured some excellent approach shots from a range of 100 yards that set up birdies for him on the fifth, 11th and 12th. The 26-year-old also fired in a 12 feet birdie from the edge on the seventh.

Zamal said, “I was very good from a range of 100 yards today and was in top form with the driver. I even made some excellent chip-putts. The course is in great condition, especially the greens. Seven under in the opening round gives me a perfect platform to launch a strong challenge in the tournament.”  

Lucknow’s Vijay Kumar fired a six under 64 to be placed third. Bangladesh’s Md Sayum, Chadigarh golfer Ajeetesh Sandhu, Vikrant Chopra of Delhi and Abhinav Lohan of Faridabad shot matching scores of five under 65 to be tied fourth. Sayum sank two eagles in his round of 65.

Gaganjeet Bhullar, defending champion Mandeo Singh Pathania, Raj Randhawa, Akshay Sharma, Harendra Gupta, Raju Ali Mollah and Gaurav Pratap Singh share eighth position at four under 66. Jyoti Randhawa is in tied 15th place at three under 67 along with six other players. Rolex Rankings leader Chiragh Kumar and SSP Chowrasia lie tied 34th as both shot identical scores of even par 70.