Modest start for Indians in Solaire Open golf

Updated: Apr 11, 2013, 22:42 PM IST

Manila: Himmat Rai and Rahil Gangjee were tied at 59th place as Indian golfers made a very modest start to their campaign on day one of the Solaire Open on Thursday.

Rai and Gangjee were the best with rounds of 75, nine shots behind Dodge Kemmer, the Asian Tour Qualifying School graduate from the United States.

Kemmer who lost his card last year only to get it back through the Qualifying School, shot six birdies and had no bogeys.

Three other Indians Ajeetesh Sandhu, Chiragh Kumar and Abhinav Lohan shot 76 each to be tied 77th, while Sujjan Singh playing on medical exmeption carded 79.

Kemmer returned with a clean scorecard highlighted by six birdies to hold a two-shot advantage over Thailand`s Pawin Ingkhapradit at the inaugural USD 300,000 Asian Tour event.

Lin Wen-tang of Chinese Taipei, a multiple Asian Tour winner and local hope Mars Pucay, who is searching for a first Asian Tour win, posted identical 69s to be among 12 players to shoot under-par at the challenging Wack Wack Golf and Country Club.

Baek Seuk-hyun of Korea, who is ranked fifth on the Order of Merit, registered a 70 to share fifth place with Australia`s Matt Jager, Daisuke Kataoka of Japan and Thai duo Rattanon Wannasrichan and Piya Swangarunporn.

Kemmer, who regained his Asian Tour card by finishing 21st at Qualifying School after losing his playing rights last season, returned to form after reading psychology books to improve his mental strength.

"I get down on myself pretty easily. I`m trying to stay more level emotionally and that`s easy to do when you are playing well. It will be interesting to see if I can handle my emotions when I hit some adversity this week," said the 25-year-old.