Randhawa, Kapur tied third in CIMB Niaga Indonesia Masters

Jakarta: India`s Jyoti Randhawa and Shiv Kapur carded an identical four-under 68 to be placed tied third after their first round of the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters golf tournament here.

The duo is three behind leader Lee Westwood, who returned with a card of 65.

Westwood was two shots ahead of Arnond Vongvanij of Thailand, who returned a round of 67 at the USD 750,000 Asian Tour event staged at the majestic Royale Jakarta Golf Club.

Apart from Randhawa and Kapur, other Indians in the fray had a modest day as Ajeetesh Sandhu was tied 15th with 70 while Himmat Rai and Gaganjeet Bhullar shot 72 each to be tied 27th.

Sujjan Singh, Shankar Das and Rashid Khan carded 73 each to be tied 45th, but Anirban Lahiri (74) in tied 62nd place, Vikrant Chopra (75) and Digvijay Singh (75) in tied 77th place were in danger and needed a good second round to make the cut.

The task is even more difficult for Chiragh Kumar (76), who is tied 96th, and Ashok Kumar (79) further behind in tied 125th place.

Veteran Boonchu Ruangkit of Thailand was tied with Randhawa, Kapur, Lee Sung of Korea, Zaw Moe of Myanmar and Sam Cyr of the United States, who were all bunched up in the tied third place on matching 68s.

Randhawa opened with a bogey on first, but birdies on second and sixth saw him turn in one-under. On the back nine, he was boosted by an eagle on 12th and a birdie on 13th. He parred the remaining five holes to close in 68.

Kapur, the Asian Tour rookie in 2005, birdied three of his closing five holes to trail first round leader Westwood by three shots. He had just one bogey during the day on the fourth.

"I played pretty well. It was one of those rounds where I could have gone really low. I just didn`t hole enough putts. I hit a lot of fairways and greens and kept burning the edges. I was kind of rewarded with my patience," said Kapur.

"I like the course. It is one of those courses where there`s a big premium of hitting fairways. You have to hit quality iron shots here. Iron play is kind of my strength so it worked pretty well for me," he added.

A rejuvenated Westwood, who took a week`s break after his third place finish at the Masters, birdied the opening three holes before turning in 31 and adding three birdies and one bogey on his homeward nine.

"I had a break last week and hardly hit any balls. I played a lot of golf earlier this year and needed a rest. It was good to go home and recharge my batteries because the Masters always takes a lot out of you. It is physically and mentally very demanding," said the world number three golfer.

It was a wind-swept day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club and Westwood was caught off guard on the 14th hole where he dropped his second bogey of the day.

"This is quite a tricky test because the greens are very undulating. You got to have your A-Game with you. It (wind direction) changed on 14 and it caught me by surprise and ended up with a bogey where I three putted," said the Englishman, who rose to the world number one position with his victory in this tournament last year.


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