Pune: Himmat Singh Rai returned a five under 67 to emerge sole leader after first round at the PGTI Players Championship on Tuesday.
Naman Dawar of Delhi trailed Rai by one stroke at second place after firing a four under 68 at Oxford Golf & Country Club.
Rai, representing DLF Golf and Country Club and runner-up at last year`s event, made a terrific start to the day as he birdied five of his first seven holes.
He started from the 10th and made birdies on the 11th, 12th, 13th, 15th and 16th thanks to some accurate hitting and consistent putting. The only blemish on his card was the bogey on the eighth. He went on to make birdie on the closing ninth
to end the day at five under.
Dawar`s round featured five birdies and a bogey.
Chandigarh golfers Harmeet Kahlon and Sujjan Singh and Australian Kunal Bhasin are in joint third at three under 69.
Mukesh Kumar, Shamim Khan, KPS Sekhon, Manav Jaini, Rashid Khan, Rudresh Sharma, Amardip Sinh Malik and Pune-based amateur Aditya Bhandarkar are tied sixth at two under 70.
KPS Sekhon of Chandigarh had the distinction of firing five consecutive birdies in his round of 70. He made successive birdies on the 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th and 17th.
Anirban Lahiri is tied 14th at one under 71 while Gaganjeet Bhullar is tied 22nd at even par 72.