New Delhi: Anirban Lahiri led the Indian charge with an impressive show as he posted a sparkling seven-under-par 65 to take the first round lead at the SAIL-SBI Open on Wednesday.
Canada`s Ron Harvey Jr made the most of his playing opportunity on the Asian Tour by carding a 66 to take second place while Sweden`s Rikard Karlberg came up a 67 to take third place at the Delhi Golf Club.
Australia`s Scott Hend, who is seeking his second Asian Tour win, returned with a 68 to take a share of fourth place alongside four Indians at the USD 300,000 full field Asian Tour event.
Lahiri was clearly delighted with his opening performance as he used to admit finding it difficult to tame the greens at the DGC.
However, since lifting his maiden title at the venerable golf course last year and with the monkey off his back, the Indian believes that he can go on and contend for the title again.
"I`ve been getting more and more comfortable at Delhi Golf Club and when I come here, I feel positive now as compared to this whole aura of negativity that I`ve always attached to earlier. I feel that I’m in better control of my game plan and I’m much assured of what to hit off the tee," said Lahiri.
Lahiri, who also led by one at the similar stage last year, is confident that he can continue to put up another assured performance as the week goes on.
"I`m happy with the way I’ve played today. I hit it really solid. I missed a couple of greens today but I managed to get up and down. I`m just happy that I played well today and I hope that I can just come out tomorrow and play another solid round of golf," said Lahiri.
Playing at the Delhi Golf Club for the first time, Harvey was pleased that he was able to execute a successful game plan.
"I played really conservative today and it?s a lot easier when you hit onto the fairways all-day. I used lots of three and four-irons and only hit two or three-woods and I guess that made it seemed a lot easier," said 28-year-old Harvey, who had earlier taken the morning round lead.
Karlberg returned to the scene of his maiden triumph ready to repeat his winning performances which had led to him winning twice at the Delhi Golf Club in 2010.
"There`s something about India that makes me play well here. It?s just my tempo which I always try to maintain throughout the round. I`m very composed especially when I play here at Delhi Golf Club," said Karlberg, a two-time Asian Tour winner.