Petaling Jaya (Malaysia): Gaganjeet Bhullar and Anirban Lahiri overcame their hesitancy in the fourball format to take the fifth place at the end of the first round of the Omega Mission Hills World Cup Asian Qualifying on Wednesday.
The duo carded a four-under 67, and was four shots behind the leaders Mardan Mamat and Lam Chih Bing of Singapore, who shot a sizzling eight-under-par 63.
The Indians had six birdies and two bogeys in their 67.
"We had a shaky start because it was our first time playing in this format. It took some time to settle down. Once we played the first five holes we started to feel more comfortable. Overall, it was good. We just made two silly bogeys and apart from that we are both comfortable with each other's game," said Bhullar, who has twice won on Asian Tour.
Lahiri added, "We are looking forward to tomorrow. You will need more consistency to have a good round. It is going to be less aggression and more smart play. The days when you play alternate shots are when you can catch the leaders."
"We figured out a few chinks in our armours which we are going to fix and hopefully we will be bulletproof. We both made our own shares of birdies. It is all about supporting each other and played good once we got into the rhythm. There were a couple of loose holes but that's golf," added Lahiri.
A good finish in top three will earn the Indians a ticket to the Omega Mission Hills World Cup in China in November.
The Singaporean duo combined effectively to sink eight birdies in a bogey-free round at Seri Selangor Golf Club to give themselves a chance of earning one of three berths.
Iain Steel and Shaaban Hussin of Malaysia flourished with a 64 to lie in second while New Zealand's Michael Hendry and Gareth Paddison, who shot two straight eagles on the fifth and sixth holes, are a stroke back in third. Myanmar's Zaw Moe and Nay Bala battled to a 66 to trail Singapore by three shots.
First Published: Wednesday, August 03, 2011, 16:40