Milan: Shiv Kapur shrugged off a series of disappointments he has suffered this season with a sensational seven-under 65 on the first day of the Open D'Italia here today.
The 33-year-old Kapur, who has been a regular on the European Tour for nearly a decade but is still looking for his maiden win, was two-under for the front nine before he went on the over drive on the journey home.
While Kapur was two shots behind the early leader Nicolas Colsaerts (nine-under 63), another Indian, SSP Chawrasia also got off to a good start and took advantage of preferred lies being used today to card a round of three-under 69 that included five birdies, four of them on back nine, and two bogeys.
Jeev Milkha Singh, starting on 10th, was three-under through his first nine holes.
Kapur had five birdies, four on them on the trot from 12th to the 15th and a fifth on 18th. He had birdies on first, fourth and sixth and his only lapse of the day was a bogey on par-3 seventh. It was his best round of the season.
"It finally felt good to get a few nice putts going in. I hope this will reverse the trend and I hope I can keep the momentum going," said Kapur, who has two titles on European Challenge Tour but none on the main Tour.
Kapur's best this year has been tied-11th at Thailand Classic at the start of the year and tied-24th at Omega European Masters in Switzerland.
Chawrasia, who had a runner-up finish this year at the Hero Indian Open behind Anirban Lahiri, is hoping to seal his European Tour card for 2016.
"I have missed the cut in last few events by small margins. I am playing fine, but putting needs to fall in place," said Chawrasia.
Colsaerts fired eight birdies in a row as he took control of the first round at Golf Club Milano.
The big-hitting Belgian made a steady start to his round from the 10th, parring his first four holes before five consecutive birdies from the 14th to the 18th saw him turn in 31. Further birdies followed on the first, second and third to make it eight in a row and he had a good look at nine on the fourth but his putt from 15 feet did not quite turn.
With preferred lies in play, Colsaerts' name will not go in the history books but he was just the 11th player to make eight birdies in a row on the European Tour.
He signed for a nine under 63 and a two shot lead over Francesco Molinari, Kapur and Kristoffer Broberg.