Lahiri struggles to 75; Shankar best Indian at Queen`s Cup

Samui (Thailand): Anirban Lahiri, who needs a win in order to have a chance to make the U S Open next year, opened with a modest three-over 75, even as Shankar Das (70), in tied 13th place, turned out to the best Indian at the Queen`s Cup here today.

Other Indians in the fray, Manav Jaini was three-under through 15 holes, while Chiragh Kumar and Jyoti Randhawa carded even par 71 each to be 19th. Youngsters Angad Cheema and Abhijit Chadha shot one-over 72.

Meanwhile, the scores of others read: Digvijay Singh (76), S Chikkarangappa (77), M Dharma (78), Rashid Khan (78) and Abhinav Lohan (80).

Lahiri, who got married last week, struggled to a 75 after carding a triple bogey seven, three bogeys and two birdies. At the top of the leaderboard was Thai newcomer Poom Saksansin, who snatched a surprise clubhouse lead in the rain-hit first round of the Queen`s Cup following a superb five-under-par 66 today.

The 21-year-old rookie ensured a memorable debut at the USD 300,000 Asian Tour event by firing five birdies for a blemish-free card at the Santiburi Samui Country Club to lead by two shots from countrymen Chinnarat Phadungsil, the 2009 champion, Varut Chomchalam and Donlaphatchai Niyomchon.

A weather suspension of one hour and 25 minutes meant that 27 players will return tomorrow morning to complete their rounds, including Jaini who was three-under through 15 holes when play was halted due to darkness.

Canadian Richard T. Lee, the 2013 rookie of the year, Filipino Antonio Lascuna, Thai veteran Boonchu Ruangkit, Englishman Steve Lewton and Bangladeshi Zamal Hossain were amongst those bunched on 69 at the Queen`s Cup, which is sponsored by Bangkok Airways and Sports Authority of Thailand.

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