Brilliant Perera takes sole lead

Lankan fires 65 on opening day

Brilliant Perera takes sole lead

 Sri Lanka’s in-from Mithun Perera ran away with the opening round honours in the PGTI-Eagleburg Open here on Wednesday.

Winner of the Standard Chartered Open in Colombo last week, the portly 28-year-old carried on from where he had left off, firing a sizzling seven-under 65 for a two-shot lead at the Eagleton Golf Resort.

“The win last week has really lifted my spirits,” said the ever-smiling Perera. “I’m now 29-under for the last five rounds on the PGTI. This is an ideal start to the tournament. I’ve generally played well at Eagleton but this round of 65 is my best score here and has put me in a great position.”

Delhi pros Naman Dawar and Vinod Kumar shared the second spot at 67 while defending champion and favourite Anirban Lahiri was lying tied fourth at 68 along with Vishal Singh, N Thangaraja, K Prabagaran and R Murthy.

An early starter, Perera made the best use of the benign conditions that were on offer. Playing with a new-found confidence, he hardly put a foot wrong on a glorious day for golfing that saw a whopping 32 players go under par.

He picked up his first birdie on the second hole before going on a rampage from the sixth, nailing five successive birdies. He then picked up his seventh birdie on the par-5 15th before suffering a minor blip on the 16th, dropping his first shot. He, however, made amends very quickly, birdieing the 17th to wrap up a superb day.

Lahiri, a playing partner of Perera, too looked good, striking the ball beautifully. He sunk four birdies and an eagle, but the two bogeys, especially the one on the final hole, ruined an otherwise impressive show.

Leading scores (after 18 holes): 65: Mithun Perera; 67: Naman Dawar, Vinod Kumar; 68: Vishal Singh, Anirban Lahiri, N Thangaraja, K Prabagaran, R Murthy; 69: Arjun Singh, Manav Jaini, Moinuddin Malak, Vijay Kumar, Mukesh Kumar.

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