Chowrasia in second spot after first round

The DGC — where Chowrasia lifted the 2008 Indian Masters ahead of the likes of Ernie Els — once again saw Chowrasia at his best as the affable pro reeled off seven birdies, as against the lone eighth hole bogey, to remain hot on Karlberg’s heel, along with Thailand’s Chinnarat Phadungsil.

Karlberg fired a seven-under 65 to sit atop the leaderboard, riding on a sensational back nine where he nailed as many as six birdies.

Among other Indians in fray, Shamim Khan and Shiv Kapur opened their campaign with strong five-under 67 to share the fourth spot, one stroke ahead of compatriots Gaganjeet Bhullar, Gaurav Ghei and Manav Jaini who were tied sixth.

As many as 11 players are trailing them by one shot and the pack includes six Indians — C Muniyappa, Rahil Gangjee, Himmat Rai, Raju Ali, Sujjan Singh and Gurbaaz Mann.

Pre-tournament favourite Jyoti Randhawa began his campaign with a sedate two-under 70 to lie tied 23rd.

Barring the eighth hole bogey, Chowrasia did not put a foot wrong and his renowned short game — which earned him the moniker of ‘Chipputsia’ — was in full bloom again on his back nine as he signed off with four successive birdies.

“I have been in great hitting and putting form of late. I hit it within 10 to 12 feet on most holes but the putts rolled in on the back nine and not so much on the front nine,” said the affable golfer.

“My best shot of the day was the second on the 15th which could have gone 20 yards further but instead it spun back towards the flag,” he added.

“The victory on the Aircel-PGTI tour earlier month has done wonders for my confidence and I am feeling very good about my game at the moment. I had a memorable win at the Delhi Golf Club during the Indian Masters in 2008 and I hope I repeat that performance this time around,” Chowrasia said.

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