Delhi`s Rashid Khan and Anil Bajrang Mane of Mumbai shot scores of four-under-32 each to take the joint lead on the opening day of the PGTI Cochin Masters here on Wednesday. Gurgaon-based Shubhankar Sharma, Gulfam of Delhi, Faridabad`s Abhinav Lohan, Sanjay Kumar of Lucknow and Chandigarh`s Randhir Singh Ghotra occupied joint third position at three-under-33 in the season`s second PGTI Super Series event.
As many as 11 golfers, including Anirban Lahiri and Rahil Gangjee ended the day in tied eighth with scores of two-under-34.
As per the decision of the tournament committee, the front-nine was declared unplayable due to the heavy rain on Monday. Therefore, the tournament was curtailed to a total of 36 holes (9 holes daily) instead of 72 holes.
Each stipulated round would consist of nine holes only (10-18). A cut will not be applied and all players will play all four rounds. The top 50 scores and ties will be entitled to prize money.
Mane started the tournament with a 15-feet birdie conversion on the 10th. He dropped a stroke immediately after on the 11th after finding the hazard.
Mane, who finished second on the PGTI Feeder Tour Order of Merit in 2012, got back into his stride with a chip-in for birdie on the 12th. He landed it within two feet of the pin on the 15th, 16th and 17th for three successive birdies. Rashid, the reigning Rolex Rankings champion, landed it within six feet for birdies on the 11th and 14th. The 23-year-old`s second shot stopped within three feet of the flag on the par-5 16th and thus set up a tap-in for eagle.
Rashid had become the latest Indian to win an international event when he won on the Asian Tour in Delhi in March.
Local amateurs -- Joseph Joseph (seven-over-43) and Alexander K J (10-over-46) -- are placed tied 115th and tied 121st, respectively.
I`ve always said the person who wins the world championship this year is the person who does the best job on the circuit, but that does not seem the way it is at the moment.