New Delhi: Suleman Ali caused the biggest upset in round one of the PGTI All India Professional Golf Matchplay Championship as he knocked-out the defending champion Shamim Khan by a margin of 2 and 1 (two holes ahead with one to go) at the Delhi Golf Club on Tuesday.
While top seeds Ashok Kumar and Mukesh Kumar made it to the next round, established names such as Himmat Singh Rai, Rashid Khan and Vinod Kumar fell at the first hurdle.
In a clash between two DGC professionals, two-time champion and fourth seed Shamim Khan took on Suleman Ali who was seeded 61st.
Shamim took the lead by winning the second hole. Suleman then fought back by bagging the fourth, sixth and ninth holes to go two ahead at the turn.
Suleman lost the 11th but regained his two-stroke lead by taking the 12th hole. The two golfers halved the next five holes and as a result Suleman emerged the winner on the 17th.
"It`s a great start for me. I played four under today as compared to Shamim`s two under. Importantly, I did not make any bogeys today and that`s what gave me the upper hand. My chipping and putting was top class.
"I hit an excellent chip from 20 yards on the ninth and landed my 125-yard approach shot from the rough on to the green on the 15th. This victory gives me a lot of confidence going ahead as I managed to beat the defending champion who
also happens to be a very close friend of mine," said Suleman.
Top seed and 2009 champion Ashok Kumar sailed through to the next round after defeating Amritinder Singh 4 & 3.
Second seed Mukesh Kumar did not have it easy in his encounter against Rajiv Datar of Pune. Mukesh was taken the distance before he managed to win it on the 19th hole (first playoff hole).
Himmat made an early exit as he lost to Sudhir Sharma (1 Up) of Meerut.
Local favourite Rashid Khan lost at the hands of Kolkata`s Shankar Das (1 Up) while another rising star of Indian golf, Abhishek Jha of Bangalore, lost to Md Islam (1 Up) of Patna.
Vinod Kumar of the DGC, the 2010 runner-up, fell victim to Mithun Perera of Sri Lanka by a margin of 2 and 1. Chiragh Kumar and Manav Jaini did not disappoint on their home turf. Chiragh prevailed over Kapil Kumar 2 and 1 while Manav Jaini came through with the same scoreline against Karan Vasudeva.
In other important matches, Sujjan Singh beat Sheeraz Kalra 4 and 3, Sanjay Kumar ousted Amandeep Johl 4 and 3 and third seed Vijay Kumar beat Siddharth Sharma 5 and 3.