Chandigarh: S Chikkarangappa returned to the venue where he lost his All India Amateur title and opened with a round of three-under 68 on the opening day of the Samarvir Sahi Amateur Golf Championships on the Indian Golf Union circuit on Tuesday.
Chikka, who opened with three birdies in first five holes, had seven birdies against four bogeys in an aggressive performance and he was three shots ahead of Jasjeet Singh (71), whose card had two birdies and two bogeys.
Raghav Bhandari, with four birdies and an eagle, was also in fine form but he also dropped a triple bogey on par-4 ninth and four other bogeys for his one-over 72.
Lying in tied fourth place was Khalin Joshi, leader Chikka`s state mate. He carded 73, as did Sidharth Semwal of Delhi and Ashbeer Saini of Punjab.
Delhi`s talented Honey Baisoya was lying in tied seventh place with Sher Mohammed, Arjun Sharma and Ravindra Kumar --all of whom had 74 each.
Some of the big names struggled on the opening day as All India champion Angad Cheema carded 80 and was lying 38th, while Gagan Verma, who lost to Cheema in the All India final, carded 78 and was tied 30th.
Bangladesh Open winner Manav Das was tied 11th alongside Trishul Chinappa and Simarjeet Singh at 75.
The event opened with a strong field of 81 golfers and heralds the start of the IGU season after the North Zone qualifier last week.