Bhullar tied 38th at Volvo China; Kapur, Jeev struggle
Shenzhen: Gaganjeet Bhullar alone shot an under-par round from among the three Indians in the fray to be tied 38th at the Volvo China Open here. Bhullar, who was two-under with two holes, including a par-5 to go, dropped a late bogey to finish at one-under 71.
Shiv Kapur, who has missed just one cut in nine starts this season, carded 73 in tied 69th place while Jeev Milkha Singh, a former winner here in 2006, left himself a mountain to climb with a first round of 76 in tied 108th place.
At the top, Alvaro Quiros moved close to his top form after a five under par 67 which gave him a share of the first round lead alongside Simon Dyson.
Henrik Stenson, who is World No. 3, and can become No. 1 if he wins this week, was one under for his round, but US PGA Champion Jason Dufner could only manage a one over 73. Dyson and Quiros were one clear of defending champion Brett Rumford, English rookie Tyrell Hatton, his compatriot David Horsey and Spanish Challenge Tour graduate Adrian Otaegui, with Park Il-hwan and Alexander Levy four under playing the par five ninth when play was suspended due to bad light.
Quiros, one of the game`s longest hitters, won six times on The European Tour between 2007 and 2011 and reached 21st on the Official World Golf Ranking when he captured the season ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai. But injuries and a loss of form saw the 31-year-old Quiros fail to record any top-three finishes in the last three seasons and slip outside the game?s top 250 at the turn of the year.
Dyson won this event in 2000 before it became sanctioned by The European Tour, and is looking to become the first player to capture the title twice. The Englishman bogeyed his opening hole, but responded with six birdies, the last of which came when he got up-and-down from the edge of the ninth green. With birdies on his first four holes, Rapha?l Jacquelin took the outright lead with further gains at the ninth and tenth, but a quadruple bogey eight at the 15th saw him slip down and eventually finish with a 69, the same as Ryder Cup star Ian Poulter.
"I had a lot of birdies, but the four bogeys spoilt the work. However, I am happy with the way things are progressing. I now need to string together a good week," said Sujjan. Atwal rallied from bogeys on first two holes with five birdies in next eight holes, but a bogey on 13th dropped him to two-under and he stayed there.
Lahiri had five birdies against three bogeys, while Gangjee, who had two bogeys in his first ten holes after starting from 10th pulled back with four birdies in last eight holes for his 70. While Fung, put his learning from EurAsia Cup and Malaysian Open to good use, Kang surprised even himself with an opening five-under-par 67.
Thailand`s Chapchai Nirat, a three-time Asian Tour winner, signed for a 68 to take a share of third place with defending champion Bernd Wiesberger of Austria, Thailand`s Jazz Janewattananond, Sujjan as well as Australia?s Jake Higginbottom and Cameron Smith who graduated from Qualifying School earlier this year.
The Malaysian held his own and emerged as the best player in the morning`s marquee group which included 2013 Asian Tour Order of Merit champion Kiradech Aphibarnrat (71) of Thailand and Major winner Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa (72).
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