Samui (Thailand): Anirban Lahiri was the sole Indian to shoot a par score as his compatriots struggled on the opening day of the USD 312,000 Queen`s Cup here on Thursday.
Lahiri, a three-time winner on Asian Tour, carded an even par 71 to be placed 25th, while the next best Indian was Sujjan Singh (73) in tied 59th place.
Rahil Gangjee and C Muniyappa carded 76 each and were placed 99th, while Abhijit Chadha and Ajeetesh Sandhu shot 78 each and Himmat Rai shot 79. The cut at the end of the first round looked likely two-over 73.
Japan’s Daisuke Kataoka continued his fine form by firing a flawless six-under-par 65 to grab a share of the first round lead with Finland’s Jaakko Makitalo and Malaysia’s Danny Chia.
Bangladesh’s Siddikur stayed close to the leaders by posting a 66 to trail by one in fourth place while Pariya Junhasavasdikul emerged as the leading Thai after he signed for a 67 to take fifth place at the Santiburi Samui Country Club.
Kataoka, who served notice of his talent in Indonesia last month by battling his way into contention against a host of elite players that included Major winner Ernie Els, is confident of notching another impressive result this week.
Chia, who holds the distinction of being the first Malaysian winner on the Asian Tour when he won the Taiwan Open back in 2002, traded seven birdies against a lone bogey on the par-four 12th to enjoy an encouraging start as well.
Having finished tied-second last year, Siddikur signalled his intention of winning the Queen’s Cup this year by staking his place among the leaders with a flawless 66 which was highlighted by five birdies.
On a day where much was expected of leading Thai stalwarts Thaworn Wiratchant (73) and Kiradech Aphibarnrat (72), it was Pariya, who led the home charge.
Sanctioned by the Asian Tour, the Queen’s Cup is held in honour of Her Majesty, Queen Sirikit and is one of four tournaments in Thailand to feature on the Asian Tour, which is celebrating its milestone 10th season after establishing itself as a players’ organisation in 2004.