Five golfers are tied for the lead at six under par at the close of the first day
The close of the first day of the Hero Indian Open at Delhi Golf Club left five golfers tied for the lead at six under par. Among them was Indian SSP Chawrasia. He has won twice on the European Tour, including at this venue in 2008 in the Indian Masters.
“I played very well and was bogey free,” said Chawrasia. “I made some good putts and was hitting it good off the tees. I’ve played here many times so I know how to play this course. This is my National Open and all the Indian golfers enjoy playing in this event. All my family and friends are here so that’s nice; I’m playing well and I have good memories here.”
He won most recently here four months ago in the Panasonic Open on the Asian Tour. His success on the first day of the Hero Indian Open was made on the greens – he took only 23 puts, two fewer than anyone else.
Chawrasia is joined by playing partner Canadian Richard T Lee, Thai Chapchai Nirat, Bangladeshi Siddikur Rahman and Swede Joakim Lagergren on top of the leaderboard.
Lee, who was one of Tipster Tom’s picks at 40/1, enjoyed playing with Chawrasia: “It was great because not many guys have played as well as he has round here. He has won twice here and I learned a lot about managing this course by watching him hit certain shots.”
“I have played here for the last two years so I knew what to expect from this course. Here it’s tight and bouncy.” So tight is it that 24 players did not carry a driver in their bag.
It’s the first time the European Tour has co-sanctioned the Indian Open but it’s the 51st edition of the event. Thirty-seven Indians teed it up, part of the 27 different nationalities taking part in the tournament.
But so far home hopes are firmly rest upon SSP Chawrasia as the only Indian in the top 14 on the leaderboard.
One who was expected to challenge and who is the lowest ranked player in the field, was Anirban Lahiri. But the world number 39 posted an 8 on the 10th, as part of a two-over par 73 which has left him tied in 80th.
It was a day of high scoring generally, with only 23 of the 132-man field breaking par.