Lahiri leads India charge with 66

 Lahiri’s decision to leave his driver out of the golf bag paid off tremendously as he took a one-stroke lead at the challenging Delhi Golf Club.

Japanese Daisuke Maruyama put his troubles at home behind as he returned with 67 to share second place with in-form Gaganjeet Bhullar and little known Anura Rohana of Sri Lanka in the $300,000 event co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and PGTI.

Big-hitting Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand, who is searching for his maiden Asian Tour victory, shared fourth place with compatriot Prom Meesawat, India’s Manav Jaini, Japanese Akinori Tani and Bangladeshi Siddikur Rahman.

Highly rated Miguel Tabuena of the Philippines made a flying start to his one week old professional career as he posted a 69, three strokes from the leader.

Indians had a good day with Manav Jaini (68), Mukesh Kumar (69), Ajeetesh Sandhu (69), Jyoti Randhawa (70), Ranjit Singh (70) and Sanjay kumar (70) all within striking distance of the leaders.

Lahiri said it was the first time in 11 years since he opted not to use a driver and was rewarded with five birdies and one eagle against one bogey for his best score at the DGC.

“I’m hitting my three wood and that’s good enough. I decided yesterday evening to take my driver out. It was partly because this golf course has narrow fairways and also because I haven’t been hitting it very well with my driver,” said the 23-year-old Bangalorean.

 He was delighted with his strong start but admitted that he could have gone lower. “I missed about six putts inside 12 feet for birdie but I’m not complaining. I’m just happy I’m giving myself a lot of scoring opportunities,” he said.

Maruyama turned in 37 but bounced back brilliantly with six birdies in his homeward nine.

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