Petaling Jaya (Malaysia): Indian golfers Anirban Lahiri and SSP Chowrasia took the top two positions at the end of the first round of the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters, here on Thursday.
Lahiri, the top ranked Indian in the world and winner of four titles on Asian Tour, carded a brilliant seven-under-par 64 while Chowrasia shot five-under 66 to be at joint second position with Chinese Taipei's Chan Yih-shin here at the Seri Selangor Golf Club course.
Another Chinese Taipei player, Hung Chien-yao carded a 67 for fourth place.
Among other Indians, Chiragh Kumar (70) was tied 21st, Jyoti Randhawa (71) was 37th, Digvijay Singh (72) was tied 54th, Rahil Gangjee, Manav Jaini and Rashid Khan shot 73 each to be tied 69th, Arjun Atwal and Daniel Chopra went to 74 in tied 92th place. Sujjan Singh (76) and Himmat Rai (78) struggled to 117th and 125 places, respectively.
The 27-year-old Lahiri, currently second on the Asian Tour's Order of Merit, sank 10 birdies against three bogeys to put himself in prime position for a second win of the season.
An in-form Lahiri, who finished tied fourth in Taipei last weekend and was runner-up here last season, was delighted with his blistering start.
"I'm really happy with how I played. I got off to a good start and made a couple of good putts. It could have been even better. I missed some short putts but I hit it really good," said Lahiri, who is a four-time Tour winner.
"I have a lot of positive energy coming into this week, having finished second here last year. It tells you that you can do it. I've figured out how to play on this golf course so it helps when you've played here a few times.
"On this golf course, you are never in total control. You can hit a good shot but have a bad bounce. Sometimes you don't make the best swing and you get a decent score. You need a lot of help from the golf course but as far as what I've been doing, I'm feeling mentally calm because I know I can hit it well enough to play well," he added.
Playing alongside current Merit leader David Lipsky, who carded a 72, the talented Indian only missed three fairways and three greens as he had to negotiate swirling winds in the afternoon session.
"David really played well. He just came back from Europe so he is adjusting to the greens here. I had the same problem last week. I don't really blame how he played. I'm looking forward to playing with him again tomorrow.
"The wind started and stopped, started and stopped but I'm really happy. I missed a few shots but I made a few so I have no complains. It is nice when you have that confidence. I'll keep my head down and keep moving in the right direction," said Lahiri.
Chowrasia, a two-time Asian Tour winner, enjoyed a sparkling outward 30 with five birdies before coming home with two more birdies against two bogeys.
"I started very well but struggled a bit on the back nine. This is a short but very tricky course. You always have to place the ball in the right spots," said Chowrasia, who is currently 10th on the Order of Merit.
"I've been working on every aspect of my game and I think the hard work is starting to show results."