Chikkarangappa helps India finish second after Round 1

Chikkarangappa-led India finished the day on a team total of four-over 200 at the Eagleton Golf Resort here with Ashbeer Saini carding a 73 and Manu Gandas registering the third best score of the day, a nine-over 81.

Thailand are atop the table with a total of one-over, three clear ahead of India, while Chinese Taipei was one stroke further back at five-over 221.
In the girls team event, Chinese Taipei holds a slender lead over Singapore with a total of one-under 143. Indian eves are placed third, six shots behind the leaders.
Meanwhile, in the individual category, Chikkarangappa was the story of the day as he opened up a two-stroke lead in the seniormost category over Thailand's Poom Saksansin.

Among the girls, Singapore's Joe-Ee Kok is on the top with a score of even-par 72, one shot clear of Chinese Taipei's Wei-Ling Hsu. The best-placed Indian in the category is Shreya Ghei, tied fifth at two-over 74.Starting from the 10th, Chikkarangappa made three straight pars before his first birdie of the day came on the par-5 13th hole.

The 16-year-old then went on to add three more birdies before he made the turn. A simple two-putt birdie on the first hole (his tenth for the day), put him at five-under.
Just when it looked like Chikkarangappa would drop a shot on the fourth, he recovered and somehow managed to put his ball on the green, fifteen feet from his sixth birdie of the day. He then went on to convert that putt and stayed put at the mark to return the best card.

"The greens are in excellent condition and I was also putting well today. I didn't hit many good shots off the tee, and sprayed a few of my drives. But I made some good long putts and that has helped me get this score," Chikkarangappa said after the round.
"I have now matched the score of six-under a few times on this course and I really wanted to do better than that."

Chinese Taipei's Sung-I Yu holds the lead in Category B (13-14) after a round of two-over 74. The leading Indian in fray in this category is Shubhankar Sharma, tied for third place at five-over 77.

Piyush Sangwan leads in Category C after carding level-par 72, three in front of Thailand's Pawat Kongkanjana.Ten-year-old Thai sensation Puwit Anupansuebsai leads the Category D (U-10) with a round of one-under 71. Karandeep Kochar is placed second at ten-over 82.

Today, Lahiri made a solid start due to some good hitting. He birdied the first and the two par five holes on the front nine, the third and the seventh to be three under after seven holes. The only blemish on his card was the bogey on the eighth where he missed a chip-putt.

The 22-year-old Bangalorean sank a few decent putts to collect birdies on the 10th, 12th and 18th that helped him close the day at 19 under 197 and is well set to claim his third professional title. His previous two professional wins came in 2009.

Lahiri said he would make the most of his advantage tomorrow in the final round.
"The third round score of 67 puts me in a strong position ahead of the final day. I misread a few putts today but I'll make sure that I focus harder on reading the line tomorrow. I'm glad that I capitalised on the par five holes today and made them count.
"It's great to be 11 under for the par 5s in the tournament so far. I'll look to make the most of my opportunities in round four," said Lahiri.

Shamim, after his fine round, said, "I hit 16 regulations today but could not manage to hit it close on most of the holes. Nevertheless, the putter was hot and I knocked-in as many as four birdie putts from about 20 feet."Australia's Bhasin, who produced a hole-in-one on the eighth, spoke in detail about his feat.

"I hit my seven-iron a little right of the hole which was at a distance of 170 yards but the wind drew it back.

"I couldn't sight the ball after it landed on the green. I walked towards the green with my putter and only realised it was a hole-in-one once I stepped onto the green," Bhasin said.

"It's an amazing feeling since this is my first ace in a professional tournament. In round two I had come up just three inches short of making a hole-in-one on the very same hole," he added.

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