Snake spoils Chowrasia's round

Guess what slumped defending champion SSP Chowrasia to a poor 50th place on the leaderboard on the opening day of the PGTI Year-Ending Championship at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club -- a big snake!

On par after seventh hole, SSP’s drive on the trickiest eighth hole went into the red line area -- called ‘lateral water hazard’ where the scary sight of a coiled snake sleeping in the bushes greeted the reigning champion.

For the two-time European Tour winner, who knows the RCGC course inside out, it was not a scary sight though. But having hit into the lateral water hazard, he missed the ball and he was penalised one stroke to finish the eighth hole with a double bogey.

As per the rule, SSP had two options, either to take a fresh tee, or take the shot from a position about two club lengths from the ball’s ‘point of entry’. SSP chose for the latter only to complete the eighth hole with two-over.

“Nothing went in my favour today. I had to go into the jungle, see many things,” he said referring to the snake. “It was not scary. It was not a first time that I saw a snake here. But it was difficult to come back from there on as I was under real pressure,” Chowrasia lamented.

Lahiri in lead

Chowrasia finished three over 75 on a day when Anirban Lahiri led the charts with six under 66. 

Lahiri registered eight birdies against two bogeys in round one. Jyoti Randhawa returned a five-under-par 67 to tail the leader in second place.

Abhinav Lohan of Faridabad and Sanjay Kumar of Lucknow occupy joint third place at four-under-par 68. Rookies Khalin Joshi of Bangalore and Angad Cheema of Panchkula are a further shot behind in tied fifth place.

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